July 2019 | How-To | Ten Tips

Leveraging IoT in the Supply Chain

Tags: Technology , Supply Chain

The Internet of Things (IoT) captures location, temperature, moisture, pressure, and other data that can be crucial to properly managing your supply chain.

1. Uncover roadblocks in your supply chain. Review the data collected to gain visibility into operations, processes, and schedules. You'll uncover barriers and inefficiencies that can lead to missed deadlines, cost overruns, and delayed project starts.

2. Improve customer expectations with real-time shipment updates. Integrate IoT devices such as electronic logging devices (ELDs), GPS, and telematics into your logistics processes. This equipment helps you track the status of trucks in the delivery cycle so you can easily update clients if a delivery will be delayed.

3. Analyze data continuously. Regularly analyzing the data collected from IoT devices helps you gain insights into carrier performance, lead times, and other key performance indicators that enable continuous improvement activities.

4. Integrate information to optimize routes and consolidate loads. Streamline logistics from dispatch through delivery by sending driver dispatch information directly to the truck. Drivers will know what their next assignment is without having to return to their office or home.

5. Ensure product quality. Use temperature gauges, moisture probes, and other IoT devices to reduce spoilage and ensure that products arrive at their location in the best possible condition and quality.

6. Monitor and track supplies accurately in real time. Monitoring supplies throughout the product or project life cycle can help you better meet customer service levels, quality goals, and compliance regulations. Visibility from end to end across your supply chain means things get done right the first time—and on time.

7. Minimize cargo theft. Implementing tracking sensors on pallets, cartons, and trucks lets you know where items are at all times. If a truck goes missing carrying your cargo, you can track its location and hopefully recover the items or deter the theft. Protecting the integrity of your supply chain is paramount to keeping costs contained.

8. Streamline workflows and billing/payment cycles. IoT devices can improve workflows by sending information directly to clients or management, shortening the billing cycles and improving cash flow. You can do it all digitally—generate quotes, pay drivers, invoice customers, and even pay for materials.

9. Reduce human error. IoT lets you bypass manual entry, which is often fraught with human error. Fewer errors also means a reduction in wasted time and effort, which leads to cost savings.

10. Reach your company's sustainability goals. IoT can help reduce idling in the yard. Schedule arrival and departure appointments so that drivers can go immediately to load or unload and not sit at the dock or job site waiting for a slot to open up.

SOURCE: Ed Rusch, Vice President of Marketing, Command Alkon






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