Internet of things: sensors and the supply chain

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. The benefits of sensors
  4. Measurement categories
  5. Benefits by organizational department
  6. Challenges to overcome
  7. Case studies
  8. The future
  9. Checklist
  10. About Mike Dover

1. Summary

Collecting information is no longer the most pressing concern for today’s organizations. Now the challenge is turning the data into useful information that can be acted on by all members of the organization. When equipped with powerful smartphones, employees, suppliers, and customers can constantly collect and share information. Additionally, billions of sensors, a part of what we call the “internet of things,” collect massive amounts of data. The impact of these sensors affects all parts of the organization, but this research report will focus on their direct impact on the supply chain. Innovative companies that respond to data in real time will enjoy improved throughput times, will be able to better meet customer demand, and can reduce stockouts and maximize revenue. Exceptions, delays, and discounts will be reduced, but when they occur the details will immediately be shared with other departments to minimize the overall impact.

This study is targeted at IT buyers as well as strategic leaders throughout the company. The implications are relevant for all industries that physically transport goods, including delicate, perishable, and refrigerated products. The information that sensors can collect, however, is useful throughout the entire organization.

Some key findings in this report include:

  • Sensors will provide details about how goods are affected during transport. This information will help companies reduce damage and shrinkage.
  • In addition, firms will be able to plan routes more effectively from a macro level and not just based on temporal factors. The most efficient route is not the best if a rough road or city traffic damage cargo.
  • Sensors will continue to become more advanced. No longer limited to just location, sensors can measure humidity, temperature, angle of inclination, and much more. The more types of metrics that sensors can collect, the greater the impact on the supply chain.

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