How Industrial IoT Can Benefit Your Supply Chain
If you ask five different people what IoT means to them, chances are you will get a different response each time. To some, IoT is the technology in a self-driving car. To others, the engine of a manufacturing machine—maybe even the office Alexa. But what does it mean to professionals in the supply chain industry?
IoT has become a prominent tool in supply chain, and more specifically, industrial IoT. According to Statista, discrete manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and the utilities industries are projected to each spend $40 billion on IoT platforms, systems, and services by 2020.
The supply chain industry is familiar with radio-frequency identification (RFID), but through IoT, the technology is optimized for greater track-and-trace visibility. Organizations can place RFID tags, or smart labels, on each individual item in their operations and identify key areas in the process to place RFID readers. The tags on each item transmit data to RFID readers for operators to gather information available for each specific tag.
As a passive tracking technology, RFID provides insight and reads tags through the specified choke points in a supply chain, without batteries inside the tags. The RFID tags have a short transmission range from 10 to 20 feet to generate radio frequency and transmit data. By connecting RFID to IoT, you can track and monitor your RFID-tagged items automatically and in real-time within the cloud. With the integration of IoT, you can better leverage RFID within your organization for greater insight and “big picture” visibility to fundamental material movements in your supply chain.
IoT is improving the supply chain industry and enhancing previously leveraged technologies. From basic asset movement within your warehouse to in-transit items across the country, integrating industrial IoT into your operations can increase your visibility, efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity.