Practical uses of the Internet of Things in logistics

By 2020 nearly 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet, according to SAS Institute. Can you imagine the possibilities for your industry and business?

In a previous blog we mentioned the importance of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a crucial technology trend that is impacting in almost every aspect of modern life, and economic development as well. In fact, industrial machinery, telecom, high tech and automotive represents 52% of IoT early adopter industries, SAS say.

Let’s dig into how logistics can be improved by some IoT practical solutions.

End-to-End Visibility

Supply chain efficiency is the main objective of logistics, and it efforts aim to maximize profitability and viability. In order to achieve that it is necessary to make end-to-end improvements, because “complete visibility facilitates more effective, timely decisions and reduces delays through quicker detection of issues”, Supply Chain 247 online business resource explain.

“Mobile devices –they add– such as radio frequency identification (RFID), barcode scanners and mobile computers, have become a major influence in supply chain visibility and operations. Many transportation and logistics companies using RFID today are reaching nearly 100 percent shipping and receiving accuracy, 99.5 percent inventory accuracy, 30 percent faster order processing and 30 percent reduction in labor costs.”

In this way, the source stands that this kind of logistics intelligence contributes to increase efficiency through real-time data across their entire supply chain, and also allows them to make more informed decisions about fleet management.

Warehouse Management

The way the warehouse and yard are managed impacts directly on logistic goals. Thanks to mobile devices that run inventory and deliver present data 24/7, managers, executives, teams and vehicles can follow the process with more accuracy, knowing exactly ‘how much do we have in stock’, ‘where is it’, ‘when is going to be delivered’ etc.

“By converting the physical to digital –Supply Chain 24/7 say–  transportation and logistics warehouses can capture and share their mission-critical data across the cloud, ensuring they have the right products in the right place at the right time.”

Spare Parts Supply Chain

Sometimes spare parts are stored and managed centrally. “This stocking location send inventory to a network of depots that can provide a quick response to customers needs,” Logistic View Points explains.

Now, for critical spare parts, “customers pay more if they require very quick service within a few hours of a part failure. The customer may also pay to install the spare part. If Installation services are required, the local depot serving that customer is more likely to be run by the manufacturer, rather than a 3PL,” they add.

Fleet Management

In order to maximize productivity, experts say that fleet management is critical. How IoT helps to achieve this? “With mobile scanners, computers and RFID systems alone, enterprises can gain visibility into their assets and better streamline operations to keep their fleet moving.” Supply Chain 24/7 explains.

“By replacing manual and hard-copy work orders with mobile devices, technicians save time and increase data accuracy. Furthermore, with real time, accurate insight into maintenance history, parts availability and inventory records, technicians can relay information back to their central database.”

Monitoring to Predict Failure

To prevent unplanned downtime in logistics and supply chain management means a significant business value, Logistic View Points say. “IoT connected devices enable end users and companies to remotely monitor sensor data. In this manner, the IoT improves product and equipment uptime through remote diagnostics, troubleshooting and predictive maintenance.”

Have your company already adopted a software solution based on the Internet of Things? Please, share your opinion.

Francisca is the Business Development Director of Drivin, a SaaS transportation management solution that generates an optimized delivery plan, improves customer service, and reduces transportation costs by up to 30% from day one.