The Internet of Things (IoT) may have started small, but it’s becoming a major factor in the world economy. In fact, IoT-related spending is expected to grow nearly 15% from 2017 to 2018 alone, and that trend is showing no signs of slowing down.
Although most people associate the IoT with consumer products and on-demand app development, it may be having an equal or even greater impact on supply chains.
The supply chain involves the process each product goes through on its way to an end user, including things like shipping, manufacturing, retail, and more. Supply chain inefficiencies are responsible for substantial economic losses around the world. The Internet of Things is already beginning to improve many aspects of the supply chain and has the potential to increase revenue in a number of exciting ways.
Using the IoT to Accurately Monitor Inventory
Inventory is the source for a large percentage of inefficiencies in the supply chain. Surprisingly, though, it’s still being overlooked by many businesses. Close to half of all small and medium-sized businesses don’t use a manual method or track inventory, and those that do use significant time and resources to do so.
The Internet of Things offers unique, cutting-edge solutions to these issues that allow employees to focus on different aspects of the supply chain by automating the process of taking inventory. Doing so will streamline inventory, and companies will be able to address related issues much more easily using IoT solutions.
Applying IoT Solutions to Quality Control
Another important area of the supply chain that’s already being affected by the growth of the IoT is quality control. Businesses can now install sensors in products allowing both their condition and location to be monitored through IoT infrastructure. This allows them to quickly and accurately let customers know of any issues with their shipments.
Similarly to inventory, leveraging the IoT for quality control allows businesses to automate many aspects of the process while streamlining others. This helps to improve the overall flow of the supply chain. Having the ability to monitor the progress of an item and be instantly aware of damage helps companies reduce the frequency of delayed or damaged shipments without devoting additional resources.
The Internet of Things is still in its early stages, and new applications are being discovered every day. These are just a few of many examples of its use. Businesses are already implementing the technology in a variety of ways and finding innovative solutions to difficult issues. The IoT is effecting change in how a range of industries approach their supply chain and improve efficiency for both companies and consumers.