Integration with Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices holds the potential to revolutionize supply chain optimization. Yet, for most companies that promise is far from being fulfilled. In fact, multiplying new data streams from IoT devices may become more of a threat to manage than a promise.
The IoT Supply Chain
In the past, database information was really a supply chain’s only record. The problem with databases is that they’re only reports; they can’t tell you for sure what’s actually happening at any given moment.
That’s where the Internet of Things (IoT) can change the quality of your supply chain information. Imagine devices on the freight itself, attached to transportation assets or at warehouse docks. For the first time, it could give your freight to tell you about its journey in real time:
GPS trackers to report when goods leave their assigned routes or to let you know when they’re not actually moving—even if the ERP database says otherwise.
Condition monitors to let you know when freight is bumped, tipped, or exceeds environmental parameters for temperature or humidity.
Inside-the-box light sensors to let you know if a box has been opened en route.
Even pervasive video to provide proof-positive of accurate fulfillment
Each of these use cases improves the supply chain operator’s ability to plan production, optimize warehousing space, and generally gain better control over his/her supply chain through more informed decision-making. This is the benefit of IoT integration—operators gain insight into supply chain processes by way of intelligent sensors and management systems that connect suppliers to processes and processes to data. This visibility is crucial to an optimized supply chain, and it’s impossible to find without considering the IoT.
Incorporating Visibility Solutions
The concepts driving supply chain optimization aren’t just about reducing costs; the true goal of optimization is to turn the supply chain into a streamlined area of competitive advantage that helps businesses set themselves apart from the competition.
But with each new sensor, there’s the potential for a new data stream that needs to be monitored, integrated and understood. As IoT devices multiply, so does the data challenge.
This lack of coordination is one of the biggest challenges facing supply chain executives, and it’s the driving force behind ChronosCloud’s creation. The platform was developed by a team of supply chain executives and logistics experts who realized that their enterprise clients were exhausted trying to manage their supply chain infrastructure through traditional means. With ChronosCloud, businesses gain complete end-to-end visibility of their supply chains. Each supplier touchpoint is added to the platform through a series of one-time data integrations. All supplier data is accounted for, from manufacturing to final delivery.
By laying out the entire supply chain end-to-end, executives gain a chronological view of each product’s supply chain lifecycle. This makes performance monitoring a simple task, no matter how many touchpoints are involved. And as the IoT and “smart” technology continues to develop supply chain workflows, data management will play an increasingly large role in supply chain optimization.
ChronosCloud and the IoT
While different on the surface, visibility solutions like ChronosCloud and value-driving IoT integrations go hand-in-hand. The IoT allows businesses to build smart supply chains wherein operational data can be assessed in real time and uploaded to the cloud for review and security; ChronosCloud provides a complete end-to-end solution for monitoring and managing supply chain information. Both of these logistics tools work to bridge the gap between supplier touchpoints by synchronizing the supply chain from end-to-end, but the full potential of each can only be found when both systems are coordinated to support supply chain visibility.
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Coordinating visibility solutions and the fast-growing IoT can pose significant challenges to supply chain operators. Is your supply chain smart enough to keep up?
See how you can benefit from an end-to-end cloud based platform for multi-party supply chain visibility across companies and time zones – click to learn more and schedule a free consultation.