How Does IoT Benefit the Supply Chain ?
Internet of Things (IoT) is a giant network of devices which contain sensors to gather data from each device and communicate with a common platform in a common language. IoT integrates gathered data, analyses them and extracts valuable information as per the requirement.
IoT has become an integral part of the supply chain management through the course of the time. It benefits manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and customers in every step of the supply chain from start to finish. IoT devices can collect data on temperature, humidity, movement, light levels, speed of movement and other environmental factors, and feed such data to be analysed and sent to anyone, be it manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, or end customers. An individual can extract information about the storage condition of goods, where they are stored in, how fast such goods will arrive at their doorstep or any other information as per the requirement.
Let’s take a practical scenario to understand how IoT benefits the supply chain. Consider the process of manufacturing an air conditioner. There are sensors on the manufacturing machines and belts to pick data about the health of the air conditioners. The data are sent to the manufacturers to identify the issues beforehand and take preventive steps to remedy the issues. Once the air conditioners are sent to be stored in the warehouses, manufacturers can keep track of the inventory.
The barcode attached to the air conditioner contains information regarding the manufacturer and its specifications while it also provides the where about of the goods to the manufacturer, so he can keep track of the inventory to manufacture goods to meet demands.
Retailers gain access to the information on the barcodes of the air conditioners where they can track the information about the inventory, specifications, storage, and any other information as required. Another important aspect of IoT in the supply chain is the improved last mile delivery. Retailers can improve last mile delivery with the data gathered in delivering goods to the customers, optimize last mile delivery, and restructure good tracking systems to reduce any problematic situations in delivery or finding alternate routes.
Air conditioners contain sensors that transmit data when it is overheated. This will alert the customer service agents of the supplier who will notify the customer when a repair is needed and the closest agent who can help them out with it. Data gathered throughout the supply chain is used to analyse the process and make recommendations to improve the quality of the goods, the quality of the process, operational efficiencies, and many others.
The supply chain of the air conditioner from manufacturing to the delivery involves IoT platforms where it benefits all connected individuals. IoT benefits the supply chain of many other industries in numerous ways other than what we have already discussed. IoT has transformed the world of technology and business and it just keeps getting better.