Role of IoT in Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency

February 28, 2024

The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining great momentum and becoming a groundbreaking technology for transforming supply chain management and logistics operations. The market for IoT in supply chain management is expected to reach US$ 41.8 billion globally by 2033.

Out of this, $ 8.4 billion will be the size of the US market alone. Between 2018 and 2022, this global market grew at a CAGR of 15.5%. IoT devices are helping develop smarter, more effective supply chain operations by linking to one another and helping with real-time insights.

Here, we will look at the areas where IoT boosts supply chain efficiency, from tracking to simplifying operations, and why companies need IoT to remain competitive in their supply chains.

Many industries, such as electricity, gas, retail & wholesale, transportation & storage, and more, currently have over 100 million IoT devices. This number across industries like connected (autonomous) vehicles, IT infrastructure, asset tracking & monitoring, and smart grid is forecasted to grow to more than eight billion by 2030

How does IoT improve Supply Chain Management?

The IoT technology embeds devices and sensors throughout the supply chain, from raw materials to the final product. This extensive network of connected devices offers unparalleled visibility, control, and supply chain analytics, enabling companies to evaluate, optimize, and monitor their supply chains in real-time.

For example, IoT sensors monitor a product as it moves out of the manufacturing plant till it reaches the buyer's door, offering real-time data on the location, temperature, and handling conditions.

This particular attention to detail enables the supply chain managers to anticipate delays, avoid spoilage, and ensure the products are in excellent condition - thus improving productivity and customer satisfaction. 

5 ways IoT Solutions Help Improve Supply Chain Performance

More and more businesses constantly seek ways to improve their supply chain efficiency. IoT devices make the seamless integration of logistics and supply chain processes possible and offer real-time information. Here are five ways in which IoT devices can help take the entire supply chain management to the next level:

1. Improving Visibility and Real-Time Tracking in Supply Chains

The capability to keep track of goods in real time is among the most crucial contributions of IoT devices to supply chain management. IoT sensors can help supply chain partners monitor a product while it travels worldwide and give valuable insights into its location, condition, and estimated delivery time to the logistics company. This visibility is vital for global supply chains to control just-in-time inventory, lower the chances of overstocking or stockouts, and improve customer satisfaction with correct delivery estimates.

2. Streamlining Inventory Management

By implementing IoT in supply chain operations, businesses can automate tracking and monitoring while reducing manual efforts and errors. Smart shelves with weight sensors will instantly upgrade the inventory, and Scanners and RFID tags permit the simple tracking of items through the supply chain. This improves availability and demand forecasting, reduces costs, and improves inventory levels, transforming inventory control for the company.

3. Optimizing Logistics and Lowering Maintenance Costs 

Using route optimization and vehicle tracking, IoT in supply chain enables a more effective logistics industry. The connected devices monitor vehicle condition, road conditions, and driver performance, allowing robust routing, which decreases delivery times and gas use. Similarly, IoT also allows predictive maintenance to identify possible machinery problems before they happen, minimizing downtime and supply chain costs.

4. Enhancing Customer Satisfaction

IoT in supply chain planning can enhance the efficiency of operations, resulting in improved customer outcomes. Real-time tracking lets customers understand precisely where their orders are and when they can count on delivery, boosting transparency and trust. Efficiency improvements in IOT devices can also lead to better quality management and quicker delivery times, which are crucial for a happy customer.

5. Adding Security in the Supply Chain Processes

Implementing IoT technology increases supply chain security and helps with risk management. Tracking products can help logistics managers identify unauthorized entry and product tampers, and GPS tracking guarantees that the items are usually accounted for. IoT in supply chain also helps monitor temperature and humidity to help ensure compliance with legal requirements for food and pharmaceutical products.

IoT in Supply Chain Management: The Future of Supply Chain and Logistics Processes

As complex supply chains and logistics processes become common, IOT solution will be critical in simplifying and managing them. As technology gets more accessible and more popular, adoption in different industries will continue to grow. 

IoT technologies are turning out to be excellent assets for supply chain, logistics, and warehouse management simply by providing real-time visibility, productivity, and safety. IoT emerges as a crucial driver for innovation and competitiveness as companies deal with the complexity of digital transformation. Businesses adopting IoT will reap greater flexibility, efficiency, and better customer care.

Holocene emerges as a strategic partner in this transformational journey, providing the expertise and technology necessary to utilize any IoT technology efficiently. Companies could tap into the full potential of the supply chains, improving customer satisfaction, agility, and efficiency with Holocene's solutions.

Find out how IoT could transform your supply chain with Holocene right now.