IoT and Supply Chain: A Beneficial Integration for Product Delivery Management

Ritesh Sutaria
Illustration: © IoT For All

Supply chains are the heart of any business, and if something goes wrong, it affects the entire supply chain system and disturbs production as well.

To run a successful business, one should have efficient supply chains and be able to identify emerging issues. The incorporation of trending technology, such as IoT, with the supply chain, will provide the best possible solutions to overcome production and asset tracking hurdles.

The integration of the supply chain with the Internet of Things can streamline the supply chains and dissolve inefficiencies without complicated and stressful process.

The Main Reason Problems Keep Emerging in the Supply Chain

The most common and primary reason behind the supply chain issues in the past was the difficulty in managing the sudden change in demand and margin erosion, and it was because of the lack of advanced tools.

Even today, the supply chain still lacks visibility, digitalization, and traceability. The addition of new technology in the supply chain would enable us to track and trace supply chains holistically. The adoption of IoT would help in identifying inefficiencies and allow us to deal with it promptly.

It is impossible to detect and resolve the emerging supply chain hurdles without cross-supply-chain visibility. Thanks to IoT for being a savior in critical situations.

Vanishing Supply Chain Problems with the Inclusion of IoT

Either you are in the manufacturing industry, farming business, or dairy industry, the inclusion of IoT would surely help you in different ways. With the on-time supply of goods to retailers or the submission of perishable products like milk to the production unit, IoT is going to guarantee no compromise with quality and save time.

Improved Visibility

IoT enables supply chain managers to connect the vehicles, equipment, and devices to get the real-time status of the trucks. The integration gives the real-picture of the processes going on in the supply chain, from a warehouse to different stakeholders and customers.

For example, managers can trace the exact location of the vehicle instead of depending on job status. This visibility empowers managers to make a smart and timely decision for the smooth transportation of goods. Improved visibility also offers other benefits like reduced transportation costs and less product spoilage.

Fostering Collaboration

The adoption of IoT helps organizations in getting the 360-degree view of the supply chains, their importance and their impact on the businesses. Keeping a track over complex supply chains where different components are sourced across different suppliers and locations is essential. In such situations dividing centres into silos and then getting the real-time details of the entire chain through the help of Iot would ease the work.

The increase in collaboration across the business area would help in identifying the possible issues and help in making smarter strategic decisions to boost productivity. For example, in the dairy business, manufacturing units or milk union collects milk from different milk societies. So, it is mandatory to get the milk before it gets spoiled. Thus, tracking the milk-carrying trucks and monitoring the route adopted by them, which can cover the maximum milk societies for milk collection would aid in saving time, transportation cost and milk quality

Optimal Utilisation of Assets

Fleet optimization is one of the most crucial parts of the supply chain. A proper strategized and smooth connectivity in the supply chain offers a lot in terms of cost reduction and product transition. Proper connectivity allows managers to make smart route planning and identify assets that get stuck in traffic issues or were late in the previous job. Managers can track and analyze the utilization rates to check the efficiency of assets and to schedule the maximum number of jobs for each asset in the future.  

Depending on the assets utilization and its performance, business operations can be designed. Proper assets utilization improves productivity and helps supply managers in scheduling more deliveries or dispatches per day. When calculated and measured across a fleet and the entire supply chain, this useful step concludes by bringing a massive boost to a business’ bottom line.

Strong Customer Service

A well-connected supply chain boosts efficiency and strengthens customer service. Managers can access the information anytime on a mobile app and know the real-time location of an item. Real-time information on product location helps in making accurate forecasting of product delivery. Supply chain managers can detect the upcoming possible issues and inform customers about a late delivery, or they can make alternative arrangements to meet the Service Level Agreements. A connected fleet even enables automation of status updates for customers to help them to stay informed about the product delivery status and reduces inbound inquiries to customer support centers.

IoT offers a lot of assistance and promises which can upheave businesses, but its adoption is still slowly rolling out. In the supply chain, managers can adopt IoT based technologies for smooth connectivity and a better tracking system.

Author
Ritesh Sutaria
Ritesh Sutaria - Director, Prompt Softech
Over 18 years of experience in Product Engineering and Leading an Organization. Demonstrable organizational skills in putting together customer-focused teams of high calibre achievers who have delivered remarkable performances.
Over 18 years of experience in Product Engineering and Leading an Organization. Demonstrable organizational skills in putting together customer-focused teams of high calibre achievers who have delivered remarkable performances.