Internet of Things can be referred to as the amalgamation of the physical and digital worlds with the capability to share information without any actual intervention over a network. The data gets automatically analyzed and transferred. Internet of Things has affected almost every industry from retail to vehicles but it is the Supply Chain Management that will see the most impact in the time to come. In fact, IoT is all ready to revolutionize the supply chain both in operations and opportunities for gaining revenue. In the present scenario, supply chain does not only refer to tracking your products rather it is a way to build your brand and gain a competitive advantage over your competitors
The three ways in which IoT will influence the supply chain industry are stated below
Efficiency in Operations
For operational efficiencies, IoT has lots to offer in terms of asset tracking and vendor relations. Asset tracking is the ability to use RFID or a combination of sensors to track and monitor shipments in real-time. Communication channels like internet, GPS and 3G/4G are also used for this purpose. It becomes possible to provide more information concerning real time status of transit like present location, temperature, and diagnostics. A good example is in the case of perishable cargo. The company not only offers real-time shipment tracking but also has the ability to change transit routes to retain the freshness of perishable goods. Here all environmental elements like ozone, temperature, and atmosphere are taken into consideration as often quite a large percentage of perishable food items are destroyed before they reach their destination. Asset tracking data also allows organizations to adjust their production schedules accordingly along with recognizing vendor relationships that often cost a lot of money. Close attention is paid to the vendors who handle the products once they reach them. Better quality of goods certainly leads to better relations with customers. IoT development has not only helped to optimize transit flow and vendor relations but also help in serving humanity in the long run.
IoT sensors can provide accurate inventories as compared to humans. They have the ability to reduce human intervention by understanding the need to restock a product and order it on a machine to machine basis. When a vending machine is out of stock of a particular product it will not wait for a person to come and replenish it, rather it will immediately send out an alert to restock the product. This will mean less human intervention, faster replenishment, better sales that will, in turn, lead to greater revenue. Similarly, industries like hospitals and pharmacies with critical time inventories can efficiently maintain stocks and supplies through controlled real-time tracking. One can thus track your inventory with just a click of a button, including the present stock of supplies and also decide on future manufacturing.
Predictive maintenance uses sensors and other connected devices to monitor issues in time. IoT plays the role of a typical business to business automating communication at every link. Potential issues are detected before an actual failure, a replacement ordered and maintenance scheduled to avoid wastage of time that may prove to be costly. Predictive maintenance keeps companies and factories running impeccably with improved efficiency in the total supply chain.
Thus IoT, when connected to the supply chain will give an insight into the digital business prospects that will enable business organizations to work more efficiently, plan better and make smarter decisions. Extensive knowledge about supply and demand will benefit all including manufacturers, consumers, retailers, and distributors as they can obtain a greater level of intelligence at all levels.