Many people refer to the “Cold Chain” primarily as the delivery of goods and the environment in which they were transported. They even tend to focus mostly on only one attribute: Temperature. There is much more information to collect for cold chain monitoring other than temperature.
Temperature questions include:
- Were the goods properly cooled during their journey?
- Was the temperature low enough but not too low to damage the goods?
- Were the goods un/loaded quickly enough without interruptions of the cold chain?
Buy or Don’t Buy
These are all crucial questions, and we should definitely continue asking them. However, what about the remaining information that might influence the buy or don’t buy a consumer’s decision? These questions include:
- When were the goods produced or picked?
- Were the goods specially treated to be sustainable in case of a long journey?
- Where are the goods coming from and what path did they take to arrive here?
- How long were the goods stored and at what locations?
How about the information, which focuses on the business side to ensure efficient and economical operations?
|How were the goods picked?
|Is this process in combination with all other steps reducing the shelf time of the goods?
|Where are the goods packaged / transported / handled as defined throughout the whole journey?
|Are we able to dynamically adjust to changes along the journey?
|Who is transporting/storing the goods?
|When something happens, who will be responsible? What additional insurance is required to cover specific corner cases?
|What is the final destination and when should the goods arrive there?
|How can we bundle multiple deliveries into one and optimize our delivery routes?
There is so much more information to collect than just temperature. On the one hand, information enriched and shared with consumers increases confidence in the product itself. On the other hand, information that highlights underperforming processes (such as delivery routes) enables companies to create new and better ways of monetization.
Recording and Managing
Recording and managing all attributes from the complete cold chain (end to end) is not an easy venture. The data must be provided by multiple independent companies, recorded by dozens of employees, and on top of that, also monitored, summarized, and reported by a dedicated team.
With the masses of goods shipped and delivered daily across the globe, recording all the mentioned data traditionally creates a monumental task that is everything but economical and efficient. Therefore, it is often neglected because it’s cheaper and easier to order a replacement part instead of investigating hours to determine where the process has failed.
But it does not need to be like that. Modern IoT sensors can provide all of the mentioned benefits including full insight into every single process of the whole cold chain (end to end) with a fraction of the usual efforts and cost!