IoT – Internet of Things: Moving Supply Chain Logistics Ahead
The technology revolution in supply chain logistics is experiencing a transformational wave of new innovations and challenges. With rapid digital technologies, now the customers expect a faster order placement and delivery process resulting in organizations seeking to implement innovative technologies to deliver service quickly and efficiently. IoT is one such innovation that is transforming the complex supply chain into a seamless process. IoT innovations like Sensor data and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) provide information to enable real-time tracking and alerts for better decision making. Such data can be converted into vital information to help business improve operations and businesses.
What is IoT in supply chain logistics?
IoT or Internet of Things is a gathering of interconnected devices (physical) that can monitor, report and send and exchange data. The information compiled via IoT provides manufacturers and other stakeholders with abundant information for updated business insights.
There are numerous IoT devices in the supply chain like autonomous vehicles, sensors that alert and inform customers, but the most interesting use of IoT is to embed smart sensors in a product’s packaging to allow customers to trace their products throughout the supply chain up to final delivery.
How does it help a supply chain business?
IoT enables supply chain logistics to connect vehicles, equipment and devices to obtain approximate real-time status updates of a shipment. It offers the stakeholders a comprehensive report across the supply chain from warehouse to destination of delivery, instead of showing the shipment in transit; it shows the exact location of the shipment. With all the information consolidated and analysed, the business can make timely decisions according to the business logic. Not only that, but it also helps in reducing cost and saving time.
In companies like 20Cube wherein it’s quite a complex supply chain (different cargo sourced across dissimilar suppliers and locations). Under such scenarios, IoT provides decision-makers with the control to access near real-time tracking status across the supply chain and also helps break it down to details to derive at strategic decisions and maximize productivity.
Physical assets like fleets and vehicles can be optimised with improved connectivity as with IoT, smarter routes can be planned as well as assets can be identified that are delayed due to traffic or held up due to any previous jobs.
With the data derived, the organization can monitor and analyze the efficiency of the asset and fine-tune the process by scheduling the maximum no. of jobs for each asset. This whole exercise will bolster the business as deliveries can be easily managed.
Strengthening customer service
A strong supply chain not only helps to resolve much of logistics issues but also help in delivering the best customer service. As the managers can easily access information through devices and mobile apps to track the complete journey details and real-time reports, it becomes easy to identify issues, contact the customer to manage their expectations or make necessary arrangements. Customer also has complete control and visibility that enhances the whole supply chain transactions.
IoT is displaying a lot of promise, but the implementation is in the primary stage in the supply chain. Steps are been taken by organizations will certainly seep benefit in the near future as technology advances. Logistics companies like 20Cube, have developed smart application MyHub+ that works on the principle of IoT as it provides real-time alerts after each milestone that keeps the customer aware about the shipment location. It offers complete transparency and control to the customer to make sound business decisions based on the reports from the application. It’s a win-win scenario for both the customer and the organization in implementing the IoT based tools that are going to be the future of the logistics industry.