The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the supply chain industry in a short period of time. IoT-powered tools are enabling a digital supply chain, in which shipments are tracked, monitored, and analyzed in real-time.
Through IoT tracking, businesses can better manage their supply chain to reduce shipping damage, improve successful on-time deliveries, and reduce costs. It’s crucial for supply chain managers to familiarize themselves with IoT and how IoT trackers make the shipping process easier and more cost-effective for their business.
Why IoT Trackers Matter in the Supply Chain
Before IoT trackers, businesses had no reliable way of tracking their products while in-transit. With GPS on the cab of the truck, it’s nearly impossible to monitor and track damage or spoilage of hundreds of products inside the trailer or container. It isn’t feasible for drivers to check packages throughout the delivery process, so IoT trackers are able to pick up the workload.
With an IoT tracker, businesses can track and monitor temperature, moisture, shock, and other types of conditions in real-time for products in-transit. IoT connected devices can send alerts to shippers to let them know if their products have been damaged during shipping. Businesses can then take immediate action to fix the issues and ensure their customers don’t receive products that are spoiled or damaged.
The Benefits of Using IoT Trackers in the Supply Chain
Some of the benefits of using IoT devices in supply chain management include:
- Critical real-time information: IoT trackers help optimize the shipping process. Businesses can accurately track if their products are damaged or within the safe temperature band.
- Say goodbye to product damage: IoT devices play a vital role in reducing product wastage. Companies are implementing IoT trackers to reduce costs and the number claims that they process on a daily and weekly basis.
- Improving the customer experience: Armed with real-time insights about in-transit goods, managers can warn their customers in advance if a product will arrive early, late, or damaged.,. In most cases, managers can even use that advance warning to resolve the problem before the customer even notices anything. For example, a container set to the wrong temperature can be reset as soon as an excursion alert is received, saving both the manufacturer and the customer a lot of needless headaches.
Use Cases for IoT Trackers in Supply Chains
1. Freight and Shipment
IoT trackers track freight in real-time. Over time, the analytics collected from shipments can be used to assess performance and resolve common issues associated with shipping damage.
IoT solutions enable information to flow both ways – these interconnected devices can be used to make supply chains smarter and less dependent on human input. IoT devices not only supervise important aspects of the supply chain, but they can also send real-time information across all interconnected data streams inside your business, making certain tasks that are prone to human errors redundant.
3. Improved Condition Monitoring
Suppliers are using IoT devices to track the condition of their products while in transit. If they’re alerted to an issue, they can get in front of the issue by notifying their customers about any potential delays and improve customer satisfaction. Another example is how pharmaceutical manufacturers use IoT trackers to trigger alerts whenever products fall out of an acceptable temperature range while in transit.
Since IoT technology reduces the risks of supply chain interruptions, companies can maintain total supply chain transparency internally and with customers to improve their processes and their interactions.
As industries shift towards big data & real-time analytics, IoT trackers are set to play a massive role in digitizing the supply chain. These devices feature IoT sensors that can be used to apply the best practices of data analytics. Since these devices are constantly in touch with their surrounding environments, they can pick up vital data such as GPS location, movement, temperature, humidity, presence of light, etc. Be it an RFID chip or a smart device – IoT technology is set to transform supply chain management.
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