How IoT and Big Data are solving the problem of visibility in Supply Chain

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The first thing that comes to your mind when someone says Internet of Things would be smart tech like a gadget or a wearable that is revolutionizing consumer lifestyle. However, there is a lot more to the IoT story and its impact on supply chain. The IoT trend is going to disrupt the way we are currently experiencing the logistics business.

According to research there will be a thirty-fold increase in Internet-connected physical devices by 2020 and this will have a significant impact on supply chain operates.

IoT will enable solutions to intelligently connect people, processes, data, and things via devices and sensors. Supply chain through data and intelligence will benefit as business will witness automation of the manufacturing process to improved visibility within the warehouse.

Impact of IoT:

In-transit visibility plays a crucial role in supply chain, the logistics ecosystem has many players, products are handled and transferred between the manufacturer, suppliers, the distribution center, retailer, and customer. This many nodes in the supply chain calls for an agile and informed network that tracks product whereabouts and other specifications.

Cloud-based GPS and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, which provide identity, location, and other tracking information play a crucial role here. They are the backbone of IoT as it relates to the supply chain. By tapping the data gathered by these technologies, detailed visibility of an item is provided all the way from the manufacturer to the retailer. Data gathered from GPS and RFID technologies not only allows supply chain professionals to automate shipping and delivery by exactly predicting the time of arrival; they can monitor important details like temperature control, which impact the quality of a product in-transit. It helps identify issues in time and find a right solution.

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Building your tech Infrastructure:

Companies need to invest in the right tech for have a 360-degree view on their business. Getting an infrastructure in place is key to being able to collect, process, and analyse data to feed the many use cases shippers have in mind when they set better visibility as a goal. This infrastructure enables you to track and trace your inventory, assets and materials in your supply chain. This data can be accessed easily from anywhere anytime. It helps reduce costs helps in compliance and adherence to laws. Current data helps in planning processes, identify segments, and then forecast by customer, customer type, and channel.

Evolving nature of tech:

Solutions are being designed to meet visibility goals and are becoming more real time and granular. Technology advancement has made it easy to pull data from varied sources and exchange it with business partners, as well as perform data harmonization through simple configuration instead of writing working on all the processes manually.

The blendingand merging of the process of supply chain planning can determine what informed decisions must be made to proactively address the situation before the impacts are felt.Cloud-based connectivity is best for the connectivity, but that’s not the only factor shippers should consider in the build-it-or-buy-it decision.  Companies have invested in tools but often lack the expertise to use it.

Companies need to know the difference between nice-to-have to must-have, with the ROI evidence to justify the considerable investment required. Which is possible with IoT. IoT and big data are disrupting the industry, while we need to know the value it can add to business, we should also know how much invest in as per business needs. Technology keeps changing everyday make sure that you keep updating your systems and use the latest version.

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Shreya Banda

 

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