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26/03/2023
15 mins read

Internet of Things in Logistics and Supply Chain

We are becoming a smart world where everything "connects" to a network thanks to the superb Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

These "connected devices" collect and share information to help make a digital supply network that works better, finds problems faster, and reacts automatically to lessen their effects in a data-driven modern world with growing logistics volumes.

This blog post will walk you through the many opportunities, risks, and use cases associated with deploying IoT technology in the logistics and supply chain.

1. Internet of Things as it relates to the logistics and supply chain

The Internet of Things is gaining popularity. In 2019, roughly The survey found that 50% of industrial manufacturers had used IoT in logistics, and another 18% planned to do so within the next two years.

But first, let's talk about why the Internet of Things is becoming so popular in these industries.

Through real-time monitoring of fleet operations, route management, and letting customers know the status of their deliveries, the IoT increases efficiency and transparency.

To make things clear, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of physical devices that are connected to each other and can monitor, store, send, and exchange data. Data and Wi-Fi networks typically connect them to computer systems.

IoT devices can measure things like location, temperature, humidity, movement, handling, and speed of motion with the help of sensors.

They can authenticate shipments and track products along the supply chain. They can also keep an eye on how products are stored, which makes quality management even better.

2. Benefits of IoT in Logistics and Supply Chain

2.1 Increased Visibility

IoT provides real-time visibility into the movement of goods and assets. This lets businesses have a better handle on their supply chain, speed up delivery times, and find the best routes. IoT devices like sensors, RFID tags, and GPS trackers help businesses keep track of the location, temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions of goods in transit. This lets them deal with any problems before they happen.

2.2 Inventory Management Improvement

Inventory management in the supply chain is about ensuring you have enough materials to deliver orders and placing them tactically for their timely delivery.

The traditional supply chain is not designed to handle large volumes of small orders. Moreover, there is no way you can quickly predict future business requirements.

With an IoT-enabled inventory system, you can get insight into inventory status, monitor supply levels in real-time, make informed business decisions, and prevent product shortages. The data from these systems can be used to predict the business’s future inventory needs.

You can also monitor physical factors affecting your product, such as leakage, damage, and broken packaging. IoT makes it easy to update asset information without any manual intervention. You can get instant access to essential insights on every delivery - parcel contents, storage manuals, etc.

2.3 Automation

IoT-enabled automation helps businesses streamline their supply chain processes and reduce manual labor. For instance, automated conveyor belts, sorting systems, and robotic arms can be used to move goods within a warehouse or loading dock, while autonomous vehicles can be used to transport goods across longer distances.

2.4 Regulatory Conformity

IoT can help businesses meet legal requirements like temperature monitoring, quality control, and being able to track where something came from. IoT sensors can help make sure that goods are transported and stored according to industry standards and rules by giving real-time information about the environment.

2.5 Better Segmentation

Businesses can segment their customers and understand their preferences and needs better. By tracking customer behavior and preferences, businesses can personalize their services and optimize their supply chains to meet the unique needs of each customer segment.

2.6 Increased Team Collaboration

IoT helps improve collaboration between teams involved in the supply chain. By providing real-time data on the movement of goods and assets, the IoT can help teams work together more efficiently and make faster decisions.

2.7 Improved CRM

IoT can also help businesses improve their customer relationship management (CRM) by providing real-time data on customer behavior and preferences. This lets businesses tailor their services and marketing messages to each customer, making them happier and more loyal.

3. The IoT poses difficulties in logistics and supply chain management

3.1 Sustainable Connection

The IoT requires reliable and sustainable connectivity to function effectively. However, in many parts of the world, there is a lack of infrastructure and connectivity issues that pose challenges for logistics and supply chain management. This can result in delays, increased costs, and decreased efficiency.

3.2 Data Security

With the proliferation of IoT devices, there is a risk of sensitive data being compromised. This poses a significant challenge in logistics and supply chain management, where data privacy and security are critical. Ensuring that the data is secure and only accessible to authorized personnel is essential to preventing data breaches.

3.3 Lack of Relevant Skill

The implementation of IoT in logistics and supply chain management requires specialized skills and expertise. However, the shortage of skilled workers in this field poses a challenge to the successful implementation of IoT technology. Companies may need to invest in training and upskilling their workforce to bridge the skills gap.

3.4 Data Storage

The sheer volume of data generated by IoT devices can be overwhelming, and storing this data is a challenge. The storage infrastructure needs to be robust enough to handle the large amounts of data generated by IoT devices while ensuring that the data is easily accessible and secure.

3.5 Energy Consumption

IoT devices require energy to function, and their energy consumption can be significant. This poses a challenge in logistics and supply chain management, where many devices may be used in remote or off-grid locations, making it difficult to ensure that they have access to the required power supply.

3.6 Costly Implementation

The implementation of IoT technology in logistics and supply chain management can be costly. This can pose a challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises that may not have the financial resources to invest in the necessary hardware and software.

As a result, the adoption of IoT technology in logistics and supply chain management may be limited to larger enterprises with more significant financial resources.

4. Conclusion

The Internet of Things (IoT) presents significant challenges to logistics and supply chain management. From sustainable connectivity to data security, lack of relevant skills, data storage, energy consumption, and costly implementation, the adoption of IoT technology requires careful consideration and planning.

As a leading technology company, MLTech Soft has a critical role to play in helping businesses overcome these challenges and embrace the benefits of IoT technology in logistics and supply chain management. By offering innovative solutions, training and upskilling opportunities, and robust data security measures, MLTech Soft can help businesses unlock the full potential of IoT technology to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience.

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