Reshaping Technology: How IoT Tech Is Improving the Modern Supply Chain

Reshaping Technology: How IoT Tech Is Improving the Modern Supply Chain
Supply chains and the connectedness of modern technology have become increasingly complex over the past few decades. Now, most manufacturers, suppliers, and 3PLs are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to help them retain an edge against their largest industry competitors.

IoT has several benefits when applied to modern supply chains. It has the power to reduce wastage and delays, optimize supply chains through the use of real-time data, and monitor commercial environments with exceptional accuracy.

Are you interested in the most notable benefits of powering supply chains with IoT? We’ve explored why this technology is enabling new levels of operational efficiency at every point in the modern supply chain.

Real-Time Monitoring

Companies that regularly handle consumer goods can provide a consistently positive customer experience if they have real-time insights into the temperature, humidity, and integrity of those goods while in transit. Food retailers and pharmaceutical companies can have thousands, or even millions, of dollars worth of goods traveling in a single shipment that may or may not be temperature and environment-sensitive.

Many other manufacturers rely on optimizing environmental factors to ensure that their products get delivered in good order. You can use IoT to monitor these factors, send real-time alerts if environmental conditions get compromised, and provide accurate and actionable analyzes for corrective measures.

IoT technology can monitor stock and inventory levels in retail stores. This tech can assist retail stores to fulfill orders via the application of IoT in supply chains. In-store sensors and product tracking devices can use the IoT to send notifications to manufacturers and suppliers when the supply of certain products is low. This automatically kicks the supply chain fulfillment process into motion, ensuring that retail locations never run out of stock of their best-selling products.

Stock Damage Alerts

Pharmaceutical and food suppliers have concerns over ambient storage temperatures and humidity. Manufacturers that produce electronics, vehicular components, and sensitive equipment have concerns about their stock getting handled correctly during transit. In-transit damages caused by mishandling, tilting, or dropping can cause irreparable damage to fragile electronics—and IoT can help to avoid this.

Many larger electronics producers have started to use IoT tracking and alert systems in their supply chains. They are then notified immediately if a shipment of sensitive products is tilted or exposed to significant levels of shock. These notifications give manufacturers the data they need to plan ahead. They can minimize the fallout caused by damaged shipments and prevent similar costly occurrences in the future.

Delay Avoidance and Prevention

IoT-powered supply chains can handle much more than shipment condition monitoring alone. IoT provides real-time shipment location tracking, which allows its users to predict and minimize shipment delays.

Modern businesses need to have accurate insight into the progress of valuable shipments. Especially when they contain important materials, expensive electronics, or other luxury goods, or are traveling across borders using multiple methods of transport.

IoT-enabled trackers on each shipment keep manufacturers up to date on the precise locations of their shipments, enabling them to identify potential delays and rapidly develop plans of action to avoid them.

Minimize Waste

IoT-driven digital supply chains make it possible for manufacturers of all sizes to reduce the amount of waste produced by their operations. Using extensive data on where shipments are and which areas of the supply chain experience the most issues, managers can strategically allocate buffer stock to higher-risk areas. They can reduce safety stock levels in lower-risk areas.

If a manager knows that a shipment may arrive damaged or late, they can adjust schedules to minimize factory downtime and wasted manpower hours. These advanced IoT capabilities make it possible for manufacturers to reduce waste in all areas of their operations and to slash costs to maximize their profit margins.

Data-Based Supply Chain Optimization

IoT’s strength lies in its ability to provide manufacturers with highly accurate, real-time data about their supply chains, from end to end. This access to data allows you to implement smart data-based optimization strategies to help your business run at its best.

In the past, a lack of data made it challenging to implement and adapt to popular management frameworks like Six Sigma and Lean. Nowadays, real-time visibility and large-scale data sets on shipment durations, damages, and other crucial metrics have made it possible for manufacturers to integrate data-driven solutions directly into their supply chains.

Many manufacturers have started using the data generated by IoT to conduct Statistical Process Control analyzes on their supply chain management systems. This form of analysis is a statistical and effective way to identify outlying data points. Plus, it helps update business processes to address issues like incorrect ETAs, high rates of shipment damage, and other common issues in supply chains. IoT-driven tools like these enable tangible, immediately actionable optimization of shipments, shipping routes, and entire supply chain operations as well.

A Potential Gamechanger

Unlike desktop computers and the Internet itself, IoT technology is still in its infancy. But it already has massive potential in the industrial supply chain management sector. IoT has the power to reduce shipment damage, streamline ETAs, minimize waste and optimize supply chains of all sizes from end to end as businesses scale. The IoT tech solutions of the future could be even more powerful, comprehensive, and capable of providing highly accurate data sets to assist manufacturers with every aspect of their business’ operations.

CobuildLab’s solutions can provide your business with the supply chain management tools you’ve been looking for. Our software is based on advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. It assists our clients in preventing inadequate inventory, overstocking, and unanticipated outputs.

It also automates time-consuming and error-prone manual tasks to save manpower hours and divert them to where they’re needed the most. We integrate systems and databases to reduce repetitive data entry, and develop custom software for our clients that improves their decision-making processes, minimizes bottlenecks and delays, and much more.

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