How IoT transforms Supply Chain and Logistics operations with smart solutions?

Driving Innovation with IoT in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Role of IoT in Modern Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Logistics supply chains are experiencing inefficiencies due to error-prone processes, limited real-time visibility, lack of collaboration, automation and data sharing, and more. All of these challenges are better addressed with IoT technology implementation. The growing number of IoT devices and different types of IoT sensors improve supply chain management in the logistics industry with enhanced tracking, inventory control, diminished delays, proactive maintenance scheduling, and reduced downtime.

All these IoT-fueled sensing technology features are leveraged in supply chain operations in the logistics industry. It’s confirmed by the research that the supply chain IoT market size is projected to grow to $49.32 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 12.7% between 2024-2030.

It indicates logistics businesses increasingly consider opting for Internet of Things apps to get the best IoT-powered logistics solution. Popular brands such as Amazon, Volvo, Nissan, and New Mareks Line are integrating IoT in supply chain management to reap different benefits. As an entrepreneur, if you want to prevent bottlenecks and unlock opportunities with supply chain management in logistics operations, see how IoT solutions will help you.

Advantages of IoT-powered solutions in Supply Chain Management and Logistics business

Benefits of using IoT in Supply Chain and Logistics Operations

Various use cases or applications of IoT bring many advantages to the supply chain and logistics ecosystem. We have discussed some of the top benefits of IoT in logistics and supply chain management here.

Real-time tracking

From large warehouses to distribution, it takes a lot of work to track the position of products. Transparency in the supply chain with the IoT solution helps personnel track the product’s location and temperature in real-time. IoT sensors attached to shipments allow businesses to map if the load is moving through the provided route. If not, an alert is immediately sent to fix the issue using GPS tracking. GPS tracking is revolutionizing logistics businesses in different ways.

IoT solutions instantly notify if the product is in an unsafe zone for temperature-sensitive or pressure-sensitive products to ship. Say groceries or medicines get spoiled when defined temperature and pressure are not maintained during transportation.

Improved transparency

Lack of stellar communication among all the stakeholders in supply chain and logistics makes it impossible to deliver the shipment timely or keep the client informed during unexpected delays. IoT in logistics streamlines the communication between everyone involved in the supply chain, from managers and drivers to end customers.

Improved communication notifies the managers of unfortunate circumstances, and they can even directly connect with customers to apologize for the delays. Thereby, improved communication brings transparency into logistics operations and keeps everyone on the same page.

Excellent resource management

One of the widely known benefits of IoT in logistics is blending artificial intelligence technology for resource management. AI for supply chain management helps identify resource leakages, understand inefficiencies, and spot machine failures. This information is proactively transmitted using IoT sensors to the business personnel so that they can take the right actions at the right time. It improves productivity and reduces downtime.

Storage Monitoring

Some product shipment quality deteriorates or is spoiled when not kept under defined conditions such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and heat. That’s where storage monitoring- one of the benefits of IoT in logistics and supply chain eliminates the problem.

IoT sensors automatically collect warehouse or truck environment data and inform the personnel to adjust the temperature or other environmental factors to ensure shipment is delivered to the customers in as-is condition.

Contingency planning

Logistics businesses should be ready for unforeseen situations, such as traffic jams, weather changes, landslides, or other calamities that break the supply chain, and timely shipment delivery becomes implausible. In such events, IoT in logistics and transportation allows businesses to handle emergencies reasonably with contingency plans. Say the route of the shipment truck is changing ahead of time, or truckers are notified of possible actions that keep them safe.

Greater control over inventory

When employees take care of inventory traditionally, it requires manual labour, and the possibility of errors exists. Advanced IoT solution helps businesses eliminate these concerns with accurate stock level tracking and analysis using asset-tracking capabilities such as Bluetooth or RFID. Hence, controlling inventory movement improves logistics business operational efficiency. Know how much you must invest for on-demand logistics app development with built-in RFID tags.

Demand forecasting

Human errors in data collection and implausible, manual data collation make it difficult for businesses to identify the demands and supply needs for product shipments in the future. IoT software improves data accuracy in supply chain management, which further helps in precisely determining markets. Thereby, businesses can proactively mitigate delay risks using data-driven strategies.

Manage paperwork digitally

Logistics and supply chain management involves a lot of paperwork, from processing bills of lading and warehouse documents to customer invoices in different data formats, which is challenging. IoT logistics solutions facilitate digitizing all documents in standard data format, ensuring seamless data exchange among various stakeholders. Accessing and processing digital documents is hassle-free and allows employees to focus on meaningful activities.

Real-life use cases of IoT in Supply Chain and Logistics

Global businesses using IoT in supply chain and logistics have created many opportunities and removed bottlenecks for excellent results. Some of the real-life applications of IoT are:

Smart Warehouse

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Material Handling

AGVs are popularly known as autonomous vehicles or self-guided vehicles that transport raw materials from warehouses to production lines without human intervention. They are essential work-in-progress applications that continuously move materials from warehouse to production lines throughout manufacturing. It eliminates possible delays caused when human workers handle raw material from storage and transfer it to the production lines.

With a freight management system, raw material is transferred in trucks with optimal truckload capacity to ensure flawless process, cost savings, and other benefits.

Robotic Picking and Packing

Robotics is gaining eminence in the supply chain with picking and packing operations in the warehouse. Order-picking robots fulfil the orders or replenish the orders by moving around product aisles. Also, cartonization software and bagging machines enable robotics packaging that accelerates packing operations. Packaging robots figure out the product’s weight and dimensions to find the right-sized cartoon and pack the product in the same.

For example, Amazon retailer deployed more than 20,000 robots in warehouses for smart picking and packing that carry products’ shelves, scan barcodes, and transfer packed products for shipment.

IoT-enabled Inventory Management

When IoT sensors are enabled for every product in the warehouse, tracking and analyzing inventory locations and stock levels when products enter and leave the warehouse is easier. RFID sensors help track product location and stock levels in real-time. Additionally, when machine learning technology is integrated with IoT-enabled inventory management, recurring patterns in inventory movement are identified that help prevent product shortages.

Automated Labeling and Sorting Systems

Automated labelling gives a leg up to supply chain management by accurately and quickly applying printed labels on shipment packages. An automated labelling system can sense product location with RFID technology integration and identify the right product with a barcode scanning capability that makes inventory management efficient. Mechanical sorting systems built using IoT technology sort the products based on destinations to deliver or other aspects.

Real-time Tracking in Last-Mile Delivery

Last-mile delivery is known for expedited deliveries as a part of an extended ecosystem, fulfilled only when delivery personnel quickly collect products from the warehouse. It’s possible when they precisely identify the product’s location in the warehouse, which IoT-powered RFID tags attached to products make feasible. By looking at inventory, delivery personnel can track the product’s location, allowing them to gather and deliver products to the customers within time.

Remote Container Management

RCM System

The perishable products remain safe when environmental conditions are controlled according to the product’s storage condition requirements. Maintaining the storage conditions with humidity, temperature, or pressure control ensures that an IoT-backed remote container delivers the product safely. When the containers’ storage condition falls beyond the pre-defined level, managers are informed to make adjustments or take necessary actions immediately.

New Maersk logistic company that’s shipping 18% of the containers in the world has built an RCM system that ceaselessly monitors the storage condition of the products in the container. The precise control over temperature and humidity helped the logistics company to provide the required storage conditions and avoid product spoilage. The complete visibility and transparency into remote containers allowed the company to save the time and money spent on container inspection.

Smart Containers

Smart containers have changed the game of supply chain management with sensors attached to the containers, which provide information like- the container’s location, environmental conditions, and others. It provides improved visibility into whether the product is loaded or unloaded aptly during transportation. Additionally, carriers can check what’s inside the containers before loading them and remotely monitor them anytime, anywhere, reducing the chances of product loss or damage.

Intelligent raw material gathering

Raw material suppliers serve as the base for supply chain and logistics because, with sufficient natural resources, the products are manufactured and distributed to the customers optimally. IoT-powered robots are expected to play a vital role in raw material collection for suppliers.

For example, the network of IoT sensors collects data from dam levels, soil moisture, crop health, and others, allowing Aker company to maintain the required conditions and make the right decisions when crop damage from insects is found. It enables Aker company to provide qualitative raw materials while reducing yield losses.

Is it worth using IoT in supply chain and logistics?

IoT solutions drive efficiency, accuracy, speed, flexibility, and customer satisfaction as benefits to the supply chain and logistics businesses. With resource management, asset tracking, inventory management, and optimal storage monitoring 24/7, logistics and supply chains are taking the services to the next level. The use cases of IoT determine that IoT is making supply chain and logistics better with a myriad of opportunities, on another hand. Does it appeal to you?

Do you want to connect the production floor, make the warehouse management intelligent, bring smartness in resource management, or secure the equipment with IoT? If so, opt for the best IoT application development services.

Partnering with Prismetric can optimize your logistics business by integrating customized IoT solutions. Streamline your supply chain and logistics operations with expert advice and tailored services. Connect with our specialists for optimal results.

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