How can the use of IoT in the supply chain improve your processes?

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The networking of physical objects is often cited as one of the most fascinating aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT). But what does it mean for business and especially for the supply chain? 

In a recent article, Cisco predicted that the IoT will have a significant impact on logistics. They estimate that companies that deploy IoT-enabled logistics will see improvements in speed, accuracy and visibility. 

This could potentially revolutionize the way goods are transported and delivered. So what are the opportunities for companies to harness the potential of IoT in logistics? Read on and find out!

How long has IoT been used in supply chain management? 

The term "Internet of Things" was coined by Kevin Ashton in 1999, but the concept of networked devices goes back much further. In fact, the first industrial IoT applications were developed in the 1970s, when manufacturers began using RFID tags to track inventory. 

Since then, the use of IoT technology in supply chain management has steadily increased. Today, IoT devices are used for a variety of tasks, such as tracking inventory levels, monitoring asset performance, and detecting security threats. 

The benefits of IoT are enormous and the potential for further innovation is significant. As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that the role of IoT in supply chain management will become even more important.

IoT in the supply chain

Why and how has the IoT been used in the supply chain?

In short, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the connection of physical objects to the Internet. This means that everyday objects can now collect and exchange data, making them "smart". The supply chain is one of the many areas that has been transformed by IoT technology

By attaching sensors to products, manufacturers and retailers can track items throughout the supply chain, from production to delivery to the customer's doorstep. This has many benefits, such as reducing losses and waste, improving customer service and increasing efficiency. 

In addition, data collected from IoT devices can be used to improve future planning and decision-making. As technology continues to evolve, more uses for IoT in the supply chain are likely to be found.

5 outstanding benefits of IoT in the supply chain 

As companies strive to improve supply chain management and increase efficiency, many are turning to the IoT for help. By connecting devices and systems throughout the supply chain, the IoT can provide valuable data that can help reduce waste, optimize inventory and improve customer service.

Authentication of the location of goods / vehicles at any time.

The potential applications of the IoT are almost limitless. One of the most promising is the ability to track the location of goods and vehicles in real time. This allows companies to authenticate the location of their products at any time and ensure that they are not counterfeited or stolen. 

In addition, the IoT can help optimize supply chains by reducing the need for manual inventory management. By tracking the location of goods and vehicles, companies can save time and money while improving the accuracy of their data.

Tracking the speed of movement and the time of arrival of the goods.

By attaching sensors to goods in transit, companies can track the speed of their movement and time of arrival with unprecedented accuracy. 

This information can then be used to optimize routes, plan deliveries and manage inventory. In this way, the IoT helps companies optimize their operations and improve their customer service.

Monitoring the storage conditions of raw materials and products.

The technology is increasingly being used in various industries, including food and beverage, to monitor the storage conditions of raw materials and products. By connecting storage facilities to the Internet, companies can track temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions in real time. 

This helps ensure that products are stored in optimal conditions and reduces the risk of spoilage. In addition, the IoT can also be used to monitor the movement of goods within a facility and track inventory levels.

Streamlining problematic movement of goods.

However, transporting goods from one place to another is often problematic. Delays and interruptions can lead to significant financial losses. The Internet of Things offers a solution to these problems. 

By connecting devices and sensors, the Internet of Things can provide real-time information about the location and status of goods. This information can be used to streamline the transportation of goods and avoid delays.

iot in supply chain management

Localization of goods in the warehouse.

The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects connected to the Internet. This technology can be used to track the location of goods in a warehouse. When companies know the location of goods, they can save time they would otherwise spend searching for items.

Manage the goods immediately after their arrival.

The IoT can help you manage your goods more efficiently, whether you're in a warehouse or a retail store. With sensors that track the location of products, you can make sure they're always where they're supposed to be. 

You can also use RFID tags to track inventory and determine when items need to be replenished. In addition, the Internet of Things can provide real-time data about the condition of your goods, so you can take immediate action if problems arise. By using the Internet of Things to track your inventory, you can reduce losses and ensure that your shelves are always well stocked.

Conclusion: IoT in the supply chain

So what is the first step to implementing IoT in your supply chain? The answer may vary depending on your specific needs and business model, but there are a few key considerations that will help you get started. 

Understanding how the IoT can benefit your business and planning for the necessary infrastructure upgrades are important steps on the road to success. With the right preparation, you can significantly improve efficiency and visibility throughout your supply chain. Are you ready to make the move to the IoT?

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Published August 17, 2022

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IoT for logistics webinar

Webinar: IoT for Logistics

In the 30-minute webinar "LPWAN & LoRaWAN for Logistics" you will learn about application scenarios, sensor technology and components for a complete solution.