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Friday, December 21, 2018

IoT and Your Supply Chain

Useful background data and surveys,  direct recommendations in the continuation at the link.

Is IoT Right for Your Supply Chain?  By Jon Slangerup, SCB Contributor
A technological transformation is taking place in supply chains across the globe today.

As businesses work to build more agile, digitally enabled supply chains, their biggest challenge is determining which tools will drive real business value.

Logistics technology investments are on the rise, with organizations projected to spend nearly $88bn on supply chain tech by 2022. Of those investments, $2.63bn will include so-called “disruptive” technologies, as businesses embrace the latest innovations in an effort to sharpen their competitive edge. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain promise to improve automation and visibility across the supply chain, leaving businesses with a dizzying array of options to consider as they build their supply-chain tech stacks.

The internet of things (IoT) is among the buzziest of these technologies, with billions of connected devices worldwide poised to deliver real-time, highly nuanced insights. But while IoT holds real potential for optimizing supply chain operations, businesses must balance this potential with the costs and risks of implementation. For many organizations, the question remains: Should IoT have a future in my supply chain, and if so, to what extent?

Understanding IoT

The number of devices connected to the internet has proliferated in recent years, with an estimated 8.4 billion in 2017, and growing to a staggering 20.4 billion by 2020, according to Gartner. These smart devices include everything from security cameras to electric meters, with industry-specific applications predicted to represent 3.2 billion devices by 2020.

For supply chain managers, sensor-based logistics offers clear advantages to improve visibility and control, including:

Real-time updates on every shipment. Location tracking is only the beginning, with IoT devices engineered to detect subtle changes in humidity, temperature and other factors. Armed with such information, organizations can carefully monitor perishable shipments or fragile goods, such as electronics, to minimize the chances of damage or spoilage.

More powerful predictive analysis. Connected devices produce a tremendous amount of information that, when harnessed correctly, can enhance business decision-making. By establishing a centralized technology platform that collects and analyzes all relevant supply chain data, businesses can gain insights about carrier performance, average lead times and other key business indicators.
The benefits of IoT could add up to big value for businesses, with Cisco predicting a $1.9tn boost to supply-chain and logistics operations by 2025 through increased revenues as well as reduced costs. Among businesses already implementing IoT in logistics, 74 percent report a related rise in revenue, according to Deloitte.

The truth, however, is that many businesses simply aren’t there yet. One 2018 survey found that 95 percent of business leaders aren’t fully capitalizing on digital technologies in their supply chains, with only 54 percent reporting plans to implement IoT in the future. And in a 2018 study, Gartner noted that the majority of IoT supply chain tech will be proof of concept well into 2021.   ..... " 

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