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IoT for Supply Chain Management: How to Use IoT for Enhanced Business Operations

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the world we live in. Every global industry has the impact of IoT on it that only aims to increase the efficiency of business operations and provide better user experience ultimately. Apart from automated cars and retail stores interconnected over a global network, IoT has the potential of affecting the global supply chain and the management in a way that only causes an increase in the efficiency and delivers better results.

Supply Chain Management With IoT

According to Gartner, by 2021, one million IoT devices are going to be purchased and installed each hour. The concepts of IoT are able to change common user perceptions and it can deliver excellent results for businesses willing to upgrade their operations with the technological changes. Supply chain management needs excellent supervision and complete monitoring over each operation performed throughout the time and IoT can help with that.

Apart from monitoring the progress, IoT can also redefine the revenue streams and increase profits by offering various solutions and applications that deliver excellent results for businesses willing to step forward and upgrade their approaches.

IoT in Supply Chain Operations

IoT offers to deliver excellent support for enhancing usability and increased efficiency in operations and tasks.

Tracking and Monitoring

A 2019 report by Gartner states that IoT will bring out the newer invention in sensor technology that is used right now. Therefore, technological changes of today brings out the best of every other concept being implemented in the business. With IoT enabled sensors and devices put into place, tracking of the goods being delivered is made easier than ever. A single shipped item can be tracked from any corner of the world with the bar code and tags included on it, all thanks to IoT. 

Using the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags and chips assigned and tagged on each item, they can be added in the system where tracking is possible throughout the time as each item is associated with a particular id and hence it becomes easier to identify them at each delivery hub they reach. Also, this helps in forecasting the delivery time efficiently and preserve the quality of goods efficiently.

Inventory Management

Managing items in the inventory can be made easier with IoT enabled devices and Wi-Fi robots in place using which one can get the task done with a single tap of a button. Managing items available in the store is now made easier with the sensors and RFID tags associated with each item that AI-enabled robots can scan and the task gets completed easily without needing any human intervention. 

Moreover, the collected and stored data can be put to good use as a business can analyze and conduct thorough research to understand the market scenario and know the supply-demand ratio of each and how it can affect their business in the near future. And it can support efficiently scheduling manufacturing tasks also. 

Vendor Management

Vendors are an essential part of the entire supply chain. As IBM states, 65% of the company value is derived from the suppliers themselves. Therefore, managing vendors and keeping relationships tight with them becomes important which can only be done if they are provided with ordered goods and items of intact quality and on time to manage the relationship well. It ultimately leads to building excellent customer experience and relations- and impacts the customer retention rate too.

As IoT enables efficient tracking of ordered goods and packages in transit, it helps in providing real-time information to the vendors and keeps the contact with them alive throughout the time. Building up an efficient and excellent system for asset tracking turns out to be beneficial in many ways including helping out with vendor management too.

Efficient Deliveries

IoT enables extensive tracking and monitoring facility for the business of every scale. Therefore, ensuring all the vehicles used by any means of transportation must be connected to gather and check on the data being collected. While it helps in providing live order details to customers, data being collected by devices can be used for other means which include traffic analysis, product upgrades according to popular areas and more.

The marketplace of today has become more challenging than ever which also raises the requirement for good tracking and monitoring solutions put into place and IoT fulfills the requirements through enabling efficient supply chain management.

Many marketplace solutions enable users to hire handyman according to demand, they are called uber for handyman as customers can find handyman whenever they require services. These solutions also provide a live-tracking facility where GPS (Global Positioning System) is used to track the hired provider in real-time and similarly, it can be implemented in the supply chain management too.

Maintenance

Maintenance needs are required to be taken into consideration when it comes to quality control and efficient operations by reducing the expenses. IoT caters to the maintenance needs efficiently by collecting the data of each item and notify the down-time of each before it costs much to businesses. Also, it helps in efficiently aligning the items and provide a thorough maintenance guide using smart sensors.

IoT empowers growth and efficient tracking in the supply chain which introduces efficiency and excellent control over business operations. And this ultimately helps in increasing the revenues by efficient control over total expenditure and provides an increase in profits.

IoT for Increased Revenue Generation

Apart from streamlining essential supply chain operations, IoT also plays a vital role in redefining the revenue generation and obtain efficient results. Allowing businesses to build and maintain customer relations through effective quality control, enabling on-time delivery, accurate delivery forecasting and more, IoT leads a supply chain to perform its best and helps increase productivity to a great extent.

Also, understanding customers becomes easier with IoT as it helps in deriving buying patterns and understanding a particular customer well to enable services planned accordingly that increase customer satisfaction and enable productive services to be provided. Also, businesses can offer supply chain transparency by enabling customers to track their goods in real-time which helps in enduring more trust among customers.

What More Technological Changes Does IoT Provide?

The continuous research in the field of IoT and other technology trends promises to provide results that can turn out to be beneficial for businesses. According to research, it is forecasted that 5.4 billion B2B IoT devices will be in use by the end of 2020. 

While the supply chain can be made completely transparent by implementing IoT devices and chips on work, the future guarantees a user-friendly interface where customers can view the entire process starting from the product construction until it reaches their doors. 

IoT has truly impacted the ways businesses used to proceed with their work along with enabling more efficient and easier tracking facilities and matching the quality standards as well. IoT in the supply chain holds the potential of completely redefining the ways a business proceeds ahead and it can introduce newer and better changes in the market.

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Tags: internet-of-things, iot, supply-chain-management

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