How The Internet of Things Enables Global Industrial Supply Chains

Interconnected Technologies

May 7, 2018

The Internet of  Things has enabled global industrial supply chains with a data-rich framework from which strong cultures have emerged. Distribution networks that are supported by IoT have access to contextual intelligence that gains in strength every day by virtue of analytics gleaned through every process from floor to door.

IoT delivers business intelligence about supply chains

Having access to every detail of supply chain data allows companies great transparency into their daily processes, highlighting what is working and what simply does not. The more insight a company has into its supply chain processes, the easier it is for them to make decisions that will improve the economy and efficiency of what they do every day.

Using IoT to track product quality and performance

One of the most exciting ways that data is being put to good use is in improving customer satisfaction. IoT data provides a foundation for trackability and traceability, which inevitably results in a more efficient supply chain. More efficient processes result in fewer missed connections and greatly improved customer service, leading to improved customer loyalty, trust, and long-term profitability.

Operations optimization in the connected factory

Key to supply chain success is the ability to reliably produce a consistent product. IoT strengthens this mandate by providing insights into machine performance as well as overall product quality.

Predictive machine maintenance has successfully reduced a great deal of costs in the factory by remotely anticipating repairs and maintenance needs. This takes the onus of monitoring machine function away from operations management, who can then dedicate their valuable time to other tasks.

IoT resonates through supply, demand, and quality

Since IoT resonates through the supply chain from the consumer straight through back to the factory floor, data collected from purchasing trends and product demand can be used to adjust production, eliminating over-production and waste when demand is low and signaling the need to ramp up when demand swings the other way.

IoT data collected from both store and consumer response can be leveraged towards product improvements and functionality, helping to correct flaws in manufacturing, and ensuring companies are better able to tailor their offerings to their intended audience.

Plants that are connected to suppliers through IoT can further streamline their operations by being able to trace and connect interdependent processes. This can enable a more efficient flow of raw materials and allow for remote tracking of disparate inventory as it moves through the supply chain. This data can then be connected to ERPs and other enterprise systems, eliminating data silos and paving the ground for transparency through every department and process.

IoT: making system breakdowns a thing of the past

With wider IoT adoption in the industrial sector, machine failure, systems breakdown, communications errors, and inefficient use of resources will become a thing of the past. IoT delivers data that allows companies to take action before problems happen, saving them money as well as today’s most precious commodity – time.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT and IIoT can improve how you manage your industrial supply chain, get in touch today.

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