With millions of goods being transported through land, sea, and air each day; spanning the entire globe through a complex network of logistics and delivery, it was the natural order to move towards automating as many supply chain processes as possible to minimise wastage. What perhaps was a greater incentive was the human effort and time saved in doing so.
For any logistics company or vertical, there is a multifaceted web of routes, people, equipment, warehouses, etc, that must be carefully stitched together. Add to those global markets and we have ourselves a pressing need to optimize supply chain workflows. And as logistics and warehousing costs skyrocketed after Covid, companies have now increasingly begun to adopt IoT technology.
Why IOT is important to SCM?
Current supply chains have multiple data points. However, often these data points are collected and analysed independent of each other. This is where IoT shines! Adopting an IoT system can not only integrate ‘smart’ interaction of data from various data points but can also help automate routine processes.
Constant Adaptability to Demand and Supply – Well planned and planted IoT sensors can give real-time data on how and when the merchandise is selling on the retail-to-customer front. This gives a clear picture on what products must be increased/decreased in supply, consequently having a cascading effect on the vendor supply chain. The aftereffect is that warehousing costs are optimised.
Improved Visibility – Poor end-to-end visibility leads to immense time-efforts-money wastage. In the absence of real time date feeds, supply chain managers are playing catchup. With IoT support, there is complete visibility and control over the entire journey of the goods. Storage conditions, theft, or damage (if any) can be constantly detected, and corrective measures taken immediately.
Fleet Management – Much like inventory and warehouse management systems, companies are relying now on GPS-integrated Fleet Management Systems that give insightful data on the fleets of vehicles. These could be for goods-delivery vehicles, either long-haul or last-mile, or, as many government agencies are turning to, people carriers to streamline efficiency.
Better Risk Management – Risk detection and mitigation is perhaps the most important metric for IOS. Avoiding over/understocking, planning for seamless transportation, preventing theft or damage of goods are all a direct outcome of integrating IoT with supply chain.
Temperature Monitoring – It is the single-most important parameter of a cold supply chain. Sensor tags can be placed in the fleet and the cargo to monitor real-time temperature fluctuations. Businesses can keep an eye on movement of cargo throughout the supply chain and take corrective action as per the need.
Reduced Operational Costs – Supply chains, when working in silos, can have higher-than-average operational expenses, especially with greater workforces to monitor them. IoT can greatly reduce this dependency because it can integrate workflows and make monitoring easy, thus human workforce dependency can be minimised.
Predictive Maintenance – Another great leverage that IoT provides is valuable datapoints on breakage, maintenance, repair, and upkeep. Based on analytics of historical data, IoT can, to a large extent, predict future and upcoming repair & maintenance issues with the inventory, fleet, and warehouse infrastructure. This is invaluable in carrying our pre-emptive checks than waiting for actual breakage to occur.
IoT solutions to maximise efficiency in every sphere of supply chain are now available. Be it vendor management or fleet management, from warehouse management system to dealer management. Bar Code India has a diverse portfolio of solutions that cater to all touchpoints along the supply chain.
Also, BCI has recently launched Inteliiot (Read more: https://www.inteliiot.com/), its own venture which is an IoT platform enabling leaner and more responsible supply chains.
For a full spectrum of Bar Code India IoT solutions, please visit, https://www.barcodeindia.com/technology/iot