The Digitalization of the Supply Chain enables companies to address the new requirements of the customer as well as the challenges faced on the Supply side. The concept of a Digital Supply Chain relies heavily on the utilization of real time data that is transmitted from a variety of sources. These technologies are essential in the functioning of the Digital Supply Chain and include the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as a system of physical things embedded with sensors, software, electronics, and connectivity. An end-to –end IoT system typically includes the collection of information through hardware devices such as sensors . These information can then be transmitted to a common data center such as Cloud. The data uploaded is then analyzed and can be accessed by users through an online app or dashboard.
There has been an influx of smart and connected devices in the last 5 years. Based on Gartner’s past prediction, there will be 37 billion connected devises in 2020 which reflects the importance and significance of IoT on a Digital Supply Chain.
IoT for Digital Supply Chains
IoT is an essential technology in a digital supply chain as it is able to increase forecast accuracy, improve inventory control and allows a smarter transport system to be put in place.Forecast accuracy can be increased by adopting IoT in a company’s supply chain. IoT allows data to be collected automatically through different devices at all times. This reduces human error which enables supply chain managers to come up with demand forecasts that are more accurate through improved data accuracy.
Inventory control is an important function of warehouse and supply chain management for which companies can benefit from the utilization of IoT. Advanced IoT sensors such as RFID and Bluetooth trackers can be used to track and analyze inventory positions and stocks levels, allowing warehouse professionals to have an accurate inventory tracking system which reflects real-time changes.