Modern supply chains are under tremendous pressure to quickly adapt to the changing conditions of today’s post-pandemic markets. The only real answer to overcome this challenge is through global visibility networks operating in real time. Supply chain resilience begins with the ability to track products at all stages of the supply chain with mechanisms that enable end-to-end visibility. This means the integration of technologies that support uninterrupted monitoring and the detection of potential problems all the way from procurement of raw materials to manufacturing of products down to last-mile deliveries to retailers and end-consumers.
Especially for companies tied to the global transportation and logistics market, an industry where supply and demand are in a constant state of change, real-time data is the missing ingredient that has the ability to bring consistency across multiple processes of the supply chain. The integration of live tracking data allows all parties involved in the shipping process to access and exchange data in real time. This data then becomes a key element when managing time and costs as well as quickly detecting problems within an industry well-known for its high levels of unpredictability.
Throughout the pandemic, the causes for global supply chain disruptions ranged from COVID-19 outbreaks to container shortages, not to mention a major deficit in the semiconductor industry related to a sudden change in consumer behavior, and most recently the stranding of a cargo vessel in the Suez Canal during the month of March.
Without end-to-end visibility, global supply chains are unable to control and manage the risks and imbalances of potential disruptions in a post-pandemic market
Access to centralized data concerning the handling and transportation of goods, coupled with a proactive communication between suppliers and producers leads to smoother operations, greater flexibility and more efficiency along the supply chain. Today, end-to-end supply chain visibility translates not only into cost reduction and process optimization but also contributes significantly to bringing new opportunities for added-value services within the transportation industry. According to research by the MIT Sloan School of Management, consumers may be willing to pay up to 10% more for products from companies that offer more visibility across their supply chain.
This trend is driven by an awareness of understanding the origin and traceability of consumer goods. When it comes down to it, the first step towards visibility across multiple industries is through the integration of data collection systems that result in a clearer and more efficient exchange of information along the supply chain.
Building bridges through continuous information exchange
In any supply chain, inaccurate information can lead to serious disruptions such as excessive inventory levels, poor customer service, revenues losses, incorrect planning strategies, delays in transportation and production timelines. So, what causes large disruptions within supply chains? What can companies do to mitigate them?
Sudden changes in consumer behavior or capacity shortages are some of the typical challenges that supply chain managers must keep in sight to ensure the continuity of their operations. There are several strategies that supply chain managers can employ in order to reduce the impact of these variations. One is by sharing valuable information with key partners, like changes on customer demands or special promotions for certain products. Information exchange is a two-way street, so suppliers should communicate their current capability situation or shortage issues to higher levels of the supply chain so that all parties involved can truly synchronize their actions.
Therefore, the consolidation of relevant data regarding supply and demand is critical to navigating disruptions without jeopardizing business continuity. How can IoT technologies help to close the information gap? The great thing about IoT, and why it can be used to solve this problem, is that it is extremely flexible. No matter what the application, if relaying and analyzing data is the end goal, IoT probably has an answer.
Disconnected systems and manual processes keep reaction times slow
Avoiding spoilage of temperature-sensitive products with IoT sensors
Data collected from IoT devices can be used to identify temperature deviations during transportation. For instance, when transporting food products, real-time temperature monitoring can be a source of information to ensure compliance requirements have been met across the transportation chain. This way, carriers and manufacturers can avoid dealing with liability issues as a result of inaccurate data.
Improving customer experience with live tracking data
The world is moving from physical to digital, wasteful to sustainable, delayed to instantaneous, and from manual to automated. Besides profiting from end-to-end visibility, your customers can benefit from valuable information about the whereabouts of products in real time. This customer-centric approach is extremely important in providing optimal customer experiences and establishing customer trust as well as being a source for added-value services within your organization.
Driving performance through visibility in your supply chain operations
Data-driven decisions can help all parties involved in the supply chain process to emerge stronger, more agile, and more resilient than ever before. Tracking the whereabouts and conditions of shipments up and down the supply chain with IoT devices allows supply chain managers to put their risk management protocols to test and to evaluate their preparedness when facing unexpected disruptions.
If you could see in real time what is happening with your cargo, wouldn’t it be easier to run a better supply chain?
Visibility is basically like bringing a flashlight into a dark room and realizing the different processes and exchanges your shipments go through along your supply chain. One of the fundamental challenges in supply chain management has been a lack of visibility, which leads to inaccurate forecasts, high transportation costs, manufacturing problems, theft and other security issues.
In the era of digitization, real-time data is here to stay to help your business navigate the complexities of supply and demand. End-to-end supply chain visibility is a major operational benefit that enables constant monitoring and quick identification of anomalies during the shipping process. IoT-enabled devices provide crucial information that helps logistics and supply chain managers to prioritize and address the most pressing issues currently disrupting their operations. This data can later be integrated to build exception-based alerts into existing TMS or ERP systems that will notify personnel via text, email, or computer messages when certain events happen, such as temperature or route deviations.
Increasing visibility across key business functions enables supply chain managers to work more efficiently and to know exactly who is accountable when issues occur. More importantly, it enables them to quickly identify high-priority issues and establish better delivery expectations to customers.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can embrace new technologies within your supply chain operations:
Understand that technology is your best friend
IoT sensors placed inside containers, pallets or even parcels during the loading process allow real-time geo-localization from the initial departure warehouse to its final destination. This enables real-time error detection to keep the flow of materials in your supply chain moving.
Invest without having to call it spending
It’s normally a lot easier for executives to justify spending money to improve planning and execution capabilities than it is for them to put money into supply chain visibility. IoT tracking devices are simply the most cost-efficient solution on the market to achieve visibility within your supply chain.
Use IoT to identify the gaps in your supply chain
Identifying which data needs to be available at all times across multiple supply chain partners is crucial to establish consistency across several operations. Through IoT- based technologies, supply chain managers can be immediately alerted about issues and reconcile them before they become catastrophic.
Modern technologies such as IoT have become increasingly important in the logistics industry: Meet Kizy Tracking
At Kizy Tracking, we offer the necessary tools for supply chain managers to make better decisions and manage risks effectively based on real-time information about the condition and whereabouts of goods as they move along the supply chain process.
IoT-based trackers such as the ones provided by Kizy Tracking are designed to send data on geo-location, light and temperature changes to cloud platforms, enabling supply chain and logistics managers to make data-driven decisions, identify abnormal shipping behaviors or spot gaps across their shipping processes.