IoT can improve supply chain management
IoT, the Internet of Things, consists of a wide collection of interconnected physical devices that are able to monitor, send, exchange, and report on data. The IoT devices are usually connected to a computer system and are connected by data or a Wi-Fi network. Within supply chains, IoT devices can be used to track and authenticate products and shipments using GPS as well as other technologies. The devices can also be used to monitor the storage conditions of products which would improve supply chain management.
How IoT can improve supply chain management
There are a wide range of IoT devices. IoT devices come in different forms like RFID chips, smart devices, and mobile sensors. These devices function to use sensors to measure specific aspects. Examples of these aspects and factors are location, temperature, humidity, light levels, movement, handling, speed of movement, and other environmental factors.
IoT devices can be used to vastly improve supply chain management. With these devices, supply chain professionals are able to know the location of the goods, the way the goods are being stored, and when delivery can be expected. Let’s find out more:
- IoT devices can be used to determine the exact location of the goods
Supply chain professionals can attach IoT devices to storage containers, raw materials, and to the final product. Once the goods are in transit, the IoT device will transmit the location to GPS satellites which allow supply chain professionals to follow the location of the goods.
- IoT devices can be used to determine when delivery is expected
IoT devices can be used to track the speed of the goods’ movement as well as the traffic flow of the goods. This allows supply chain professionals to predict when the goods will arrive and how fast they will move throughout the supply chain. This information will allow members of the supply chain to prepare to receive the goods which ensures a smoother flow throughout the supply chain.
- IoT devices can study the storage conditions of the goods
Specific goods throughout the supply chain, like food and volatile chemicals, need specific storage conditions. Specific IoT devices can be used to monitor the temperature, humidity, exposure, light intensity, and other environmental factors in storage. Additionally, the IoT device is able to set off an alarm if specific conditions are not met. This will improve supply chain management as goods can be prevented from spoiling, which would save money and time.
- IoT devices can determine delays in transit
Delays in transit are often inevitable, but the use of IoT devices can combat this. IoT devices can be used to determine where and when the goods have been delayed. Supply chain professionals can then use this information to plan alternative routes and speed up movement along the supply chain.
- IoT devices can be used to locate goods in a distribution centre
Supply chain professionals can tag specific goods with IoT devices to help find them faster. This is extremely useful if the goods are to be stored in a large container or warehouse.
IoT can overcome supply chain issues
Supply chain professionals can create a smart supply chain using IoT devices. A smart supply chain can be created if supply chain professionals are able to unite disparate systems and automate routine processes. Supply chain issues can also be overcome because IoT devices improve supply chain visibility. This will save time and money for all members of the supply chain.
The Bottom Line
IoT devices offer a wide range of opportunities to supply chain professionals and management. Ensure a smooth flow along the supply chain by improving traceability, risk management, and decision-making by using IoT devices.