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How IoT can drive the Supply Chain revolution!

IoT is known to increase productivity, efficiency and ROI of your business. Forrester reports predict that over 58% to 77% of all organizations surveyed by them consider locating objects, personnel and containers as their topmost functions performed by IoT solutions.

The ability to capture and optimize transparency through the supply chain will improve efficiency and provide accountability of the delivered product. While goods are in transit, the size, style and products along with other pivotal details including temperature and humidity of the goods that are being transported can be logged. Sensors and controllers can also predict the time of delivery of the goods by locating them.

The main advantage of automated data capture is to provide real-time visibility of goods. This will most definitely avoid manual errors that humans are prone to make.

Supply chain management is an area where it is impossible to take risks. A minor slip up could mean taking loads of time to get back to the set process. It is vital for companies to incorporate the best practices and technology available in the market to ensure smoother inventory, quality and demand tracking methods. IoT Solutions are the best bet for these problems.

Of course, capitalizing on the potential of IoT needs careful designing and involves braving a spread of challenges. However several corporations from varied business sectors are already benefiting from IoT-enabled supply chains. Given the present pace of technological modification, and also the impetus to use digital technologies to rework established business models and operations, corporations are compelled to move currently to start out modernizing their supply chains with IoT-driven solutions.

Here are some major reasons why IoT for supply chain management is the need of the hour:

1. Business transparency

Consumers are ever curious to know under what conditions are products made, how they are manufactured etc. Businesses are expected to showcase where their products come from, how and where they are stored. An IoT integration holds answers at a glance for brands. Through IoT, Business owners and in turn customers can accurately know how their product is made. This will improve customer trust as well as brand value.

2. Improved Maintenance

When a piece of factory equipment or a delivery truck experiences a breakdown, the loss is inevitable. The major factor that supply chain relies upon is the life cycle of these machines. With smart sensors, failure of these machines can be prevented. Instead of adapting to the standard preventative maintenance schedules ,sensors could collect data that would predict issues which otherwise might lead to a breakdown of the chain. This could save businesses their time and might just improve their profitability.

3. Efficient Inventory Management

Inventory management is an area where IoT plays a huge role. Manufacturers will be able to analyze different materials and products available and make the right decisions based on their stock. With IoT, businesses can improve the decision making and accuracy involved in inventory management by knowing the in real time the whereabouts of their current stock.

4. Accuracy in Asset Tracking

Asset tracking is that part of the chain on which efficiency and productivity truly depend on. Integrating IoT in Supply Chain Management will ensure an increase in data quality, quantity and awareness. RFID enabled Asset tracking methodologies are a fast-growing trend in the industry. Businesses will be able to track inefficiencies in the practices that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Asset theft and material loss are known to incur heavy losses on businesses. A study by Hiscox states that employee theft resulted in a loss of $1.13 million in the year 2016 for the U.S. It is possible to prevent such issues by integrating IoT for Supply chain.

Constant monitoring of the process would weed out inconsistencies which could otherwise lead to damaging results.

IoT enabled supply chain management
One of the bigger problems that retailers face is the mayhem that a Supply chain brings with it.

Let’s say that Diwali is fast approaching. Wholesale manufacturers and retailers will have a huge demand for crackers, garments and sweets. Each and every year, the trend keeps changing. Manufacturers are supposed to keep up with this fast-paced trend and ensure that they are ready to face the brewing market, but what if the required stock is unavailable?

Also,

There is no Diwali without sweets. Based on customer preference, retailers must be able to keep track of the sweets that are in demand. With that in mind, they need to work with their wholesalers and plan their inventory accordingly, well before time.

In another example, each year garment manufacturers have to update their inventory based on the demand. Textile manufacturing hubs like Anarkali and Patiala in India have to order raw materials an entire 6 months before the next financial year delivery starts. That is the size of the demand. If a particular stock is popular and most preferred by customers, retailers should ensure that those goods are available. But, what if they are damaged, or in low quantity?

IoT implementation streamlines the supply traceability to a full new level. Retailers are currently able to capture the minutest details, referring to the whereabouts of delivered merchandise. RFID and IoT primarily based connected warehouses give an improbable level of correct measure of demand and merchandise location and movement.

Atmosphere sensitive products like in pharmaceutical companies or biodegradable things are often monitored perpetually within the warehouse and in transit for factors like temperature, humidity, etc. Just in case of broken merchandise, an audit can easily be expedited that gives data regarding the time and placement of wherever the products were broken. This strengthens responsibility.

RFID based Inventory Management system can save manufacturers from loss, damage or theft of raw materials and finished goods. If at all any materials are damaged or attempted to be stolen along the way, an automatic intimation can be sent to the production manager.

Through IoT, the whole supply sequence, right from customer demand to raw materials and product delivery will get automated making the supply chain smoother for all retailers and manufacturers alike.

Even though change is constant, adapting to change is only efficient if its implementation is spot on!

IoT solutions for supply chains are also difficult to implement, given the inherent complexness of a supply chain that consists of multiple corporations and IT systems. These firms manufacture, operate and move a large number of assets, and therefore the chains could span immense geographic distances and cross multiple borders. Each stage of the supply chain introduces potential security vulnerabilities, integration problems and different hurdles, which implies the sequence must be efficiently managed.

IoT implementation should be done in a way to ensure these hurdles become a little less cumbersome. Businesses must have a well organised tech team in place or a concrete strategy to oversee the execution and enforcement of smart devices to optimize their supply chain.