The supply chain is a complex, multi-faceted ecosystem that needs to work smoothly from the production line on the manufacturing floor, along the delivery chain, and onto trucks that deliver goods. As the adage goes, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The pandemic has revealed that labour shortages and lack of logistical agility can spell long-lasting issues across the entire supply chain.
Fortunately, the issues have provided the opportunity for changemakers to evaluate systems and processes and move further along in the digital transformation. The Internet of Things (IoT) can help make significant strides in shoring up the supply chain from end to end.
Starting on the production or manufacturing floor, equipping machines and processes with Industrial IoT (IIoT) tackles some of the largest issues within this vertical. IIoT can integrate into existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems or be built from the ground up and securely connect to the internet to support process optimisation and drive proactive decisions through data intelligence. Some of the main benefits of IIoT are:
Equipment health: IoT sensors within machinery can give insight into production performance, which can help detect delays in advance and provide greater agility to processes. Predictive maintenance can also be performed, so machine downtime can be planned to lessen production interruptions, instead of reacting to unplanned downtime.
Process insights: Through the secure capture and analysis of business-critical data, manufacturers can make more informed decisions to help reduce costs, improve quality, and increase production output.
Resource management: Visibility into machine performance can trickle down for managers can create actions to improve workforce productivity, reduce facilities costs and material waste, and even reduce energy consumption.
The overall goal with IIoT is to create a seamless process with minimal lag time so that goods are produced and moving along the supply chain with greater ease and processes can be pivoted if needed.
Moving goods along the supply chain can be difficult because there are so many elements and components to implement in the strategy. Warehouse optimisation, container tracking, and making sure goods arrive on time and in acceptable condition, as well as the upholding regulatory compliance, is certainly challenging. With IoT sensors and resilient, multi-technology connectivity, IoT smart logistics is an accessible way to clear these major hurdles in the industry. With IoT for logistics, the benefits are:
Transit control: With granular visibility and control, losses can be reduced through container identification, global location information, cargo monitoring and feedback, and security alerts.
“Anywhere” visibility: With the ability to see real-time GPS location information as well as data on temperature, physical impacts, or tampering attempts, tracking is improved, and compliance is supported. Supply chain managers are provided with insight into where and how assets are moving and can act accordingly with this information.
Inventory management: The balance between stocking, supplying, and moving goods is delicate, and having data-driven insight helps managers make the most informed decisions and can help create agility within the industry.
In this portion of the supply chain, goods can be delivered to the destination smoothly, and warehouses can be stocked and emptied by data-driven analysis.
The fleet industry is the final key step in the supply chain and is one which is also experiencing challenges with workforce and efficiency, as well as the difficulty in upholding regulatory compliance and mitigating safety and rising costs in fuel and insurance. IoT for fleet can provide the following benefits, among others:
Optimisation: By using fleet telematics, routes can be optimised so fleets are completing trips faster. Intelligent data drives informed decisions on scheduling and routing, with GPS location tracking for routing agility and geofencing so fleet managers know when vehicles enter or exit a digitally defined area.
Vehicle health: Vehicle sensors provide insight into health and performance so proactive decisions can be made to avoid unplanned downtime or mid-route breakdowns.
Video telematics: With in-vehicle video, fleet managers can monitor unsafe behaviour, and playback historical video in the event of a collision. With advanced, artificial-intelligence video, drivers get real-time feedback during unsafe behaviour (such as cell phone use or drowsiness) to help prevent issues.
With greater insight into where and how goods move with fleets, the ability to make deliveries on time and in good condition is increased.
KORE is a global, industry leader in IoT for industrial, assets, and fleet. We build customised, strategic solutions with hardware; resilient, multi-technology connectivity; and managed services to make sure you’re getting the best IoT solution to deploy, manage, and scale. Want to learn more about KORE vertical solutions? Reach out! We’d love to talk.
Learn more about how KORE helped a major developer of medical devices and instrumentation mitigate supply chain challenges.
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