Each industry relies on supply chain management (SCM) to contribute to its success and customer satisfaction. Supply chain management has been disrupted by international trade disputes and natural disasters in the past. There is a substantial impact from these disruptions – at the best, it is costly, and at the worst, it can be disastrous. Companies can suffer from them if they fail to deliver products and generate revenue, and they can tarnish brand reputations for years to come.
As the number of devices connected to the internet continues to grow, IoT and Big Data are becoming more and more integral to our daily lives. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a global network of physical devices that share plenty of data.
To gain insights from the data produced by the connected sensors, any organization working with them must learn to harness the data. IoT-enabled products and services are expected to generate revenues exceeding $300 billion by 2020, according to a Gartner study. The above is only a small fraction of what is available. As the Internet of Things generates vast amounts of data, it is extremely valuable, especially when it can be analyzed.
IoT devices generate large volumes of data that can be handled by big data analytics tools. Sensor data is collected from IoT devices, and big data analytics tools enable the storage and analysis of this data. Niche opportunities for customer value creation are created by unique IoT services. Sensor data, for example, can be analyzed in real-time to generate useful insights that can help inform decisions regarding continuous improvements within operations.
With data-based learning, several machine-learning algorithms can analyze massive amounts of data and identify patterns and trends.
IoT and Big Data analytics help businesses to go from being reactive to being proactive
By predicting problems before they happen, big data analytics helps solve them. Businesses can become proactive by taking advantage of IoT and big data analytics. Additionally, the prescriptive insights that big data enables lead to less waste and damage, which leads to more effective operational results. In our everyday lives, IoT and big data are becoming more and more evident and revolutionary:
- There will be 1.7 MB of data created every second by every person by 2020.
- Every minute, YouTube adds 400 hours of new videos to the library. * Google performs 3.5 billion searches per day.
- Up to 30 billion IoT devices will be connected by 2020, according to forecasts.
- Within 15 years, IoT investments will reach $58.14 trillion.
“Big data and Internet of Things are entwined. Several different sources of information can be collected in real-time from the IoT, allowing us to gain a whole new perspective on our surroundings.”
Almost all industries are impacted by the Internet of Things, big data, and offer massive opportunities for transformation. Education, Healthcare, Retail, Banking, and Insurance, Transport, Supply chain management, and Logistics are a few of the many that could be transformed by big data and IoT.
IoT & Big Data in the Supply Chain
An industry report published by Transparency Market Research estimated that the global supply chain and logistics market is expected to exceed $15 trillion by 2023. There have not been many groundbreaking innovations in the supply chain despite its rapid growth, and the companies are still facing issues with inefficiencies.
It takes a lot of effort to manage the supply chain. In addition to point-to-point communication, outdated processes reliant on the phone and email communication are involved in the process. In this process, raw materials are procured, raw materials are processed, and raw materials are distributed to the end-user.
To ensure efficient planning and production processes, product monitoring and control are vital during the transit of the product between various locations. Although many technological solutions are available, many organizations still lack visibility across the whole supply chain. The problem is caused by the separation of people, processes, and technology. Because communication is spread among so many points in the supply chain, inefficiencies result.
According to IoT, the supply chain is currently being restructured as a whole.Internet of Things is reshaping supply chains and reshaping the entire industry. IoT connects people, processes, data, and things intelligently via devices and sensors, enabling a continuous flow of ‘live’ data measurement, collection, and exchange.
Live data is a benefit to supply chains since it provides unprecedented visibility into every transaction and process.Supply chain leaders can gain better access to real-time data using IoT-enabled sensor devices that feed into supply chain analytics dashboards and transform today’s outdated supply chain structures to create the supply chains of the future that are hyperconnected, innovative, transparent, and intelligent.
By eliminating logistics blind spots, IoT and big data reveal inefficiencies in the supply chain
In the supply chain, IoT-enabled cargo monitoring is one of the many ways it can be used.
As of today, tracking goods movement is largely done by phone calls, paperwork, and email communication. Traditionally, shippers lack visibility into the supply chain due to the milestone-based concept. It is not possible to record data on assets until they have reached certain milestones. In the gaps between checkpoints, companies lack visibility into their inventory locations, carrier service levels, and the location of the supply chain’s bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
Companies can benefit from real-time monitoring and tracking of their cargo with IoT-enabled real-time monitoring, replacing old milestone-based tracking solutions and providing visibility across the entire supply chain from the point of manufacture to the point of delivery. Services that help exporters and importers track cargo in real-time using telematics and big data analytics can provide a competitive advantage over their competitors.
Sensors, GPS, mobile networks, and a cloud-based platform are used to connect intermodal shipping containers, cargo, vessels, and trailers with enterprise IT systems. By sending signals and data, the sensors can gather a closer picture of goods in transit – their condition, their location, and the environment they are in. Supply chain leaders are empowered to make smart decisions and take proactive actions when dealing with the unplanned events and delays that arise in the supply chain thanks to the ability to access data from anywhere at any time.
Observing the environment and condition of a shipment in real-time enables clients to monitor it throughout its journey; predict, correct, and even prevent problems with the help of a quicker response. Customers know whether their cargo has been tampered with, whether it has been subjected to significant shocks or temperature fluctuations that may have negatively impacted its quality.
Companies that maintain fully transparent supply chains are better able to detect and respond to disruptions in their supply chains.
By defining safe and optimal routes, measuring carrier performance in comparison to benchmarks, analyzing logistics carbon footprint, reducing business risk, enables logistics and supply chain professionals to optimize their shipping routes.
Blockchain for SCM
Companies can comply with applicable laws by tracking products through the supply chain. These traceability requirements may also be met by Blockchain solutions for manufacturers.
A Blockchain Solution to Track and Trace Challenges
- A legacy digital system that is unintegrated: While more than one company may use digital systems for product tracking, these systems may not integrate with each other. Additionally, these enterprise applications can be connected via Blockchain, which can consist of a layer over them. To increase transparency of the supply chain and reduce costs of tracking products and running reports, Blockchain can integrate enterprise resource planning systems, customer relationship management systems, warehouse management systems, and manufacturing execution systems.
- Records that are inconsistent and duplicated: Due to the fact that companies in a supply chain generally use centralized databases to keep their records, these companies commonly maintain duplicate copies or inconsistent records of the same transaction. Block chains are decentralized ledgers that are immutable and can be accessed by all actors in a supply chain. By having the same data accessible to everyone in the supply chain, all members can have confidence that the data is accurate. A Blockchain-based approach to reconciling records across the supply chain could reduce costs for companies.
- Determining the root cause of a problem: Companies typically audit their supply chain partners to identify product shortages and defects. The audit process can help determine whether a problem exists, but is ineffective in determining how to fix it. A warehouse inventory audit may reveal missing product, but it may not reveal the reason why it went missing. Has a stocker misplaced the product once it reached the warehouse? Did a warehouse employee make a mistake in tracking the number of products?
By implementing a Blockchain solution, all supply chain participants would be able to determine root cause easier. This is because the Blockchain process affixes a timestamp to every transaction, and the transaction history is immutable. By providing visibility into all stages of the supply chain, Blockchain technology can reduce costs associated with labor-intensive in-person audits.
In summary, IoT technology, big data analytics and Blockchain are well on their way to transforming supply chain management. Profits can be realized by companies who take advantage of these advantages in the near term.