IOT, or the Internet of Things, is changing the way that modern logistics are being managed. The IOT is the inter-networking of physical devices, connected devices, mobile "smart” devices, buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
The transparency and end-to-end visibility, afforded by the IOT, creates new opportunities that businesses can leverage in order to optimize supply chains and generate value.
Here are the 3 ways that IOT will benefit the nature of logistics:
Generation of new supply chain data
Sensors are tagging and connecting factories, ships, and machines, even down to cartons and items. Sensors provide awareness of real-time conditions, and connectivity allows for instant communicate conditions by way of the internet. In this way, these objects essentially become smart. They transmit signals and data that are captured to provide a closer picture of the true state of business. Managers can make decisions and take action based on that data.
The supply network involves multiple touchpoints. Each of these touchpoints, such as manufacturers, suppliers, and customers need visibility and access to accurate and up-to-date information at every point along the way in the process. An IOT application can provide the data they require to optimize logistics and transportation processes.
The IOT will improve visibility of products in the supply chain. This will allow for supply chain managers to see data for packages, materials handling equipment, vehicles, and warehouses from any device, such as GPS and RFID readers.
Strengthened by advanced technologies, sensors, and a strong informed supply network, businesses will be able to predict, correct, and even prevent problems before they can occur. Such problems could include inventory outages, failed equipment, poor environmental conditions, and safety hazards. Thus, their supply chains can continue running at optimal efficiency.
Advanced tracking capabilities
IOT platforms can merge GPS-based tracking with other transactional data to provide logistics and supply chain managers with a clear overview and insights that support tactical decisions. In addition, IOT can integrate forecasted weather changes with route schedules at hyper-localized levels. This will allow for more responsive and granular scheduling and routing decisions. IOT also can help avoid losses while transporting perishables by continuously monitoring the health of the inventory and enabling precautionary steps.