The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a comprehensive solution for managing goods at every step along its logistics networks for the logistics and transportation industry. Smart logistics solutions have the power to transform the modern supply chain. Combining real-time sensor data, GPS & RFID information with environmental data, can provide efficient decision-making, by tapping the data gathered by IoT devices and providing detailed visibility of goods, all the way from the manufacturer to retailer.
Digital Technology in Supply chain Management
Digital tools are changing the way we do business. These technologies have improved performances throughout every layer of service delivery. Enterprises should collect the vast amounts of data from sensors to utilize the full capabilities that IoT offers. So sensor data should be paired with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) components.
Cloud: Gives all time access
IoT: Changed the manufacturing and logistics
Omnichannel: Breaks down data silos and provides better customer service delivery
Big Data: Provides real-time data to decision makers
AI: Streamlines all the events in the chain
Blockchain increasing transactional transparency
Blockchain is a database that has all transactional data. It is not controlled by any one entity as it exists as a distributed ledger. To ensure that transactional data is accurate and true it can be accessed at any time. Blockchain eliminates deception and ambiguity, whether by human error or deliberate fraud because the data it holds can’t be changed, at least not without the consensus of each individual stakeholder in the chain. Blockchain eliminates third-party processors as there is no need for an entity to manage the flow of data. So it provides transparency from end-to-end and reduces costs as fewer hands are involved in the transactional process.
IoT reinventing Supply Chain Management
Predictive Maintenance: Machines on which supply chain relies are equipped with smart sensors to provide better maintenance and prevent failures. Data collected from the sensor is is analyzed to predict issues and not let it go undetected. Thus, predictive maintenance is the key to keep the supply chain running smoothly, and help enterprises by preventing expensive equipment failures.
Smart asset tracking: Smart sensors placed in the asset can help enterprises to track them to their exact location, provide status updates and alerts for items that may have been damaged in transit. The status of assets can be tracked as they move through the supply chain and forward this data to a blockchain-based framework that can ensure access to the data in real time. Enterprises can become more responsive to unexpected supply disruption or a low demand which is achieved through a combination of IoT-based statuses shared with a secure distributed blockchain.
Better inventory management: Inventory having IoT sensors inventory levels can be checked and alerts can be triggered in case of low stock. IoT systems can analyze the data related to inventory and the usage of different products and materials.
Global Supply chain financing: Global supply chain requires a lot of time due to various paperwork and banking regulations. Using blockchain and IoT can speed up the movement of goods which can be done in blockchain using smart contracts that is computer programs where the terms of an agreement between two parties can be preprogrammed and automatically executed. IoT devices can monitor the status of the goods and execute the payment terms of the contract on delivery, the banks have visibility into the original contract, the sales order, and the delivery status. So this eliminates the need to reconcile documents and thus speed up the payment process.
Supply chain reliability: For the pharmaceuticals industry, goods have to be transported under strictly controlled temperature. The temperature data captured from sensor is transmitted online to an IoT platform which further can be made tamperproof, reliable and secure through a blockchain framework. This would enable to capture compliance conditions in a smart contract by comparing the defined conditions in the contract to demonstrate compliance.