Why Connected Supply Chain is a Future for Business Optimization

25 Jun 2019

Overview

It is becoming imperative for present-day companies and corporations to resort to emerging technologies for their supply chain flows, while improving and optimizing production processes, procurement and delivery procedures, and reduce expenses. Equally important, however, is to receive, analyze as well as provide visible and transparent product data as one of the key factors to set up a profitable and secure business deal. And Connected Supply Chain with variety of IoT devices and services is unquestionably the exact recipe any company needs in order to achieve these goals.

“On today’s ever-changing product markets, Connected Supply Chain is the only optimal choice to maximize logistics operational efficiencies for all key participants along the entire logistics journey of consumer goods – from manufacturer to distributor to wholesaler.

Supply Chain benefits: Explained

As was mentioned above, flexible and accurate Supply Chain Management is a very important process, for instance, when it comes to reducing expenses, speeding up production cycles, and measuring ongoing product data, and more.

According to the research of the Grand View Research, Inc., the global supply chain analytics market size is expected to progress at a CAGR of 16.2% during the forecast period since 2017.

 

In compliance with the IndustryWeek, 60% of manufacturers will rely on digital platforms which will support as much as 30% of their overall revenue by 2020.

Unfortunately, there is no out-of-the-box solution for every kind of industry and business type at the moment, so companies have to improve their supply chain management piece by piece and implement custom solutions, as of current and urgent needs, as well as use different solutions and insights from different software vendors to improve user experience and acquire more productivity and functions.

The role of IoT in supply chain

That’s an open secret, traditional supply chain has numerous cost, transparency and complexity issues, as well as other vulnerable spots that can significantly impede business growth and stability. However, integrating new data-driven solutions, aimed to streamline and convert ineffective models into a new tech-enabled system, are eventually able to fix and overcome these problems. That’s where IoT (the Internet of Things) jumps into play, firstly

  • To optimize all the needed functions and build a widespread and far-reaching smart infrastructure; secondly
  • To unify and manage all the valuable supply chain assets, including objects, entities, products and data; and thirdly
  • To help create a single holistic data ecosystem for the sake of high efficiency and interoperability between all the supply chain stakeholders.

With regard to the stats above, the Internet of Things getting applied in Supply Chain, provides advantages as follows:

  • Real-time delivery and storage status visibility and tracking;
  • Effective products storage and distribution in light of easy-to-find warehouses locations;
  • Accurate location identification of the stakeholders’ goods;
  • Issues immediate identification, when goods are lost or delayed;
  • Better production and management quality, as raw materials and other products are stored under appropriate terms and conditions;
  • Most efficient goods delivery and demand planning;
  • Allows staying in touch with partners’ network.

IoT Devices for Supply Chain

IoT devices, whether that be cameras, sensors or transmitters, just to name a few, nowadays have the power and capacity to affect all supply chain cycles and aspects, such as transportation and logistics, production and storage, as well as delivery to final customers. It is now possible for manufacturers to reduce and control thefts and fakes, improve production efficiency and provide excellent customer service, in accordance with received data from IoT devices in their supply chain.

In IoT-fueled logistics, there is a wide slew of specific devices providing computerized shipping and tracking, simplified operational processes, etc., but here are some of the most prominent use cases worth to be mentioned:

  • Chemical manufacturers can monitor and ensure raw materials to be stored in a safe place and under appropriate conditions, so no environment exposure may affect it, or trigger an alarm in case the containers were damaged and some product leakages appeared 
  • By using IoT cameras and sensors, manufacturers can detect damaged products and reject faulty ones, reducing the production of commodities of inferior quality, thus reducing expenses and time for damaged products repairing
  • Manufacturers can find out when their equipment units and spare parts, as well as whole production lines need to be maintained or even dismounted and replaced with new ones, having IoT devices installed in the equipment
  • Another feature of IoT devices application, allows a manufacturer to prepare and make a goods producing schedule as soon as shipment arrives, in order to save time or avoid expenses from down-time, by using reserved materials and products, if shipment was delayed
  • In case of fragile and sensitive goods shipment, manufacturers can monitor the condition of such goods and be sure they reach warehouses unharmed. In case some goods were damaged, manufacturers can notify truck drivers or suppliers, and get another shipment on its way
  • Using IoT devices, manufacturers can track, monitor and be informed about where the materials and products within their own territory and production sites are precisely located, or find out the location of misplaced shipment, in case supplier’s specialists made a mistake
  • Retailers and suppliers can track all their drivers’ road patterns and vehicle ID numbers as well, to ensure correct and organized work and staying in touch constantly

 

Despite obvious and clear advantages, there are some challenges of IoT in supply chain

  • First of all, all IoT devices rely on safe and good network connectivity and Internet connection, so they can work properly. Specific interferences and latency times may also effect on devices correct work
  • IoT device installed by trained experts only is a mandatory precondition, as it can be easily damaged, in case of wrong installation or misuse
  • Manufacturer will have to offer good onboarding training courses for his employees, in order to ensure correct work of IoT devices and qualified service performed by own workers
  • Manufacturer will need an expert to leverage all the received data and the insights gained from analytics, since simple data gathering is not enough to use the IoT devices full potential

Nevertheless, it pales before all the advantages and features of IoT devices, especially in the face of rapidly advancing digital and information technologies, which are the true core of successful and profitable business in our days.

With all that said, if you decide to use and apply aforementioned services, ByteAnt is always ready to offer you competitive solutions with an eye to IoT integration for your supply chain or provide an appropriate consultation regarding any other software development issues of your interest. Feel free to contact us anytime.

From Smart Home appliances to connected cars and robotics, our IoT app development services has no bounds.
About the Author
Valeriy Ilchenko
CEO at ByteAnt
Valeriy is CEO of ByteAnt with over 15 years of experience in software development always focusing and embracing new technologies IoT and SaaS. Besides leading the ByteAnt, Valeriy is a public speaker on tech talks, events, and meetups; mentor and marathon runner.
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From Smart Home appliances to connected cars and robotics, our IoT app development services has no bounds.

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