With the Internet of Things (IoT), we now have smart thermostats, appliances that connect to the Internet, and a whole host of other physical objects that are online and communicating with each other.
While IoT programming is starting to have a very noticeable impact on the everyday lives of consumers through processes like on-demand app development, what many people are not seeing is how it is also changing the world of business.
One of the most significant changes for companies will be how IoT tech affects supply chain management. In this post, we will take a look at four ways the Internet of Things is expected to improve supply chain management solutions.
1. Better Maintenance Practices
Every supply chain relies on the health of machines. When a machine like factory equipment or a delivery truck breaks down, it can potentially create inefficiencies. Well, thanks to the Internet of Things, smart sensors can now be installed in these tools to provide better maintenance and prevent failures.
Instead of having a standard preventative maintenance schedule that is based on the average machine of its kind, the sensors collect data that is then analyzed to predict issues that would otherwise go undetected. This predictive maintenance can be the key to keeping the supply chain running smoothly, and help companies save money by preventing expensive equipment failures.
2. Accurate Asset Tracking
Supply chain efficiency depends on asset tracking solutions. While asset tracking is not a new practice for supply chain management, IoT technology has the potential to increase the amount and quality of information available.
By placing sensors in with the assets, a company can now track them to their exact location. Sensors can even be used to provide status updates and alerts for items that may have been damaged in transit. With the information that is available through IoT asset tracking, businesses will be able to discover inefficiencies that would have remained hidden. This will also help them to improve their quality control practices.
3. Improved Inventory Practices
The Internet of Things will also allow businesses to monitor inventory in ways that are much more efficient. When important inventory has IoT sensors, managers can check inventory levels at any time and receive alerts when stock gets low.
Beyond monitoring and alerts, the additional information can be used to improve inventory management. IoT systems can be designed to analyze the information concerning inventory levels and the usage of different products and materials. With this information, businesses can identify trends that will help them to manage their inventory more efficiently.
4. Transparent Marketing
Consumers of the past rarely thought about where their products came from or how they made it to the store. However, this is starting to change. IoT tech can be one of the answers for brands that want to show their customers that they are sourcing their products ethically and acting responsibly.
With the Internet of Things, companies can bring supply chain transparency to new levels. This not only helps the company run a more efficient supply chain, but it can also be used to show customers the various processes that helped that product make it to them. For a company that wants to appeal to socially conscious consumers, a transparent supply chain provides an opportunity to demonstrate brand values that align with those of their customers.
Businesses that want to take advantage of IoT supply chain solutions should start now. By adopting this technology early, a company will not only benefit from a more efficient supply chain, but they will also position themselves ahead of competitors that choose to wait.