The Internet of Things has been receiving a lot of press over the last few years. For most people, IoT technology is about opportunities to connect their homes and everyday items to the internet.
Advancements in areas like on-demand app development are also slated to redefine what the IoT is capable of doing for individual users. While this is likely to be the firsthand experience for most, IoT technology is expected to have its biggest impact in the business world.
With the Internet of Things, businesses have the ability to collect and process information in ways that were previously unthinkable. When applied to supply chains, IoT technology will make for more efficient systems that save companies money. It will also lead to new opportunities to provide better service for consumers.
Efficient Inventory Solutions
IoT technology will be able to provide inventory management and forecasting that is far better than any human system could achieve. With IoT sensors, a business could always know how much inventory they have without taking an employee away from their regular duties to perform a manual count.
Beyond keeping an accurate count of the current inventory at a facility, IoT systems will also be able to use the data to forecast for future needs. This means factories will no longer risk running out of key material and stores won’t have to worry about popular products going out of stock.
If a critical piece of equipment breaks down at a manufacturing plant, the entire supply chain can suffer. By placing smart sensors in the machines of a production facility, performance can be monitored and maintenance needs can be predicted before they become a problem.
Keeping these machines running is not only important for launching a smooth manufacturing process, but predictive maintenance can also save a company a considerable amount of money. By improving the care for these expensive pieces of equipment, businesses can avoid the need for costly repairs and help extend the life of these machines.
Accurate Shipment Tracking
Asset tracking used to be a process which involved humans manually scanning barcodes to keep track of items. With advances in IoT technology, businesses can now use sensors to accurately track the location and condition of items in real time.
This information will give businesses a better understanding of their supply chain, allowing them to improve relationships with customers. This could be used to gain insights that could improve the overall flow of the supply chain. Additionally, it can serve to reduce the problems that companies experience with damaged goods reaching consumers.
More Information for Consumers
Consumers are more interested in the supply chain than they were in the past. People want to know where their products have been and they want to see that they are using products that are ethically sourced and produced.
Until recently, this level of supply chain transparency was not possible. However, IoT technology provides businesses with the tools they need to achieve this level of transparency. This can help your business win socially conscious consumers, and it also gives you the opportunity to build a brand that represents ethical and responsible business practices.
The Internet of Things is already starting to shape the supply chain of the future. For businesses that want to get ahead of this trend and start experiencing some of the benefits of IoT supply chain solutions, now is the time to start investing in this technology.