Supply chain success is a reflection of information. It’s not enough that the shipment is scheduled to arrive on Thursday. Will it arrive on Thursday? And if not, when?
Today’s shipping managers expect — rather, demand — supply chain visibility. It’s not enough to know that the shipment departed from Newark, New Jersey on Monday, arrived in Antwerp, Belgium, on Saturday afternoon while waiting for a transfer to another carrier. Understanding what’s transpiring in the interim of each recorded handoff— a traffic jam, weather disruption, vessel issues, labor unrest — are key to achieving the 7Rs in product delivery: the right product to the right place at the right price to the right customer in the right condition at the right time with the right quantity.
Of course, the traditional supply chain solution has left logistics managers in the dark. Delays or misrouted shipments are identified only after they arrive (later than scheduled, if at all) at their destinations. And to be clear, it’s not that these disruptions are entirely avoidable.
But it is the ability to minimize disruptions and lost hours (or days or weeks) that determine bottom-line success, along with the preservation of customer loyalties.
There’s a solution. Enter the Internet of Things (IoT), a smart technology that uses sensors to emit real-time data into the precise movement of assets. The result? Shipping managers can respond more quickly to missteps and make better, more strategic business decisions.
IoT devices will use our ever-growing wireless bandwidth, whether wi-fi, satellite or the up-and-coming 5G to stream a plethora of data of all kinds to data aggregating applications. Available 5G space will allow for billions and billions of new devices. Data collection will be integrated into everything.
IoT technology has a number of use cases in the supply chain, including:
The ability to meet the growing demands of your customers is an operational imperative, one facilitated by the introduction of IoT technology. It’s the intelligent solution to today’s complex shipping challenges.