Optimizing the Supply Chain from A to Z using IoT

Expert opinion

Patrick Cason, Managing Director, Sigfox France
Published on:
Updated on:

In the digital age, consumption habits have greatly evolved and given rise to an almost immediate need for satisfaction among consumers. So, in normal times, buyers expect that the products they want will always be available and delivered in record time. According to a study conducted by OpinionWay, delivery time is one of the most important factors in the eyes of French consumers. In addition, 79 % customers want to benefit from real-time tracking of the delivery of their parcel. A percentage which is not surprising when we read that 62% of respondents testify to having encountered a delivery, logistics or product problem in recent months.

Such expectations are very difficult for sellers to meet. This is why supply chain players must 100% commit in order to guarantee fast and reliable delivery. Fortunately, they can count on the Internet of Things (IoT) to facilitate their work and ensure the tracking of goods throughout their journey, in order to guarantee optimal availability and delivery as quickly as possible.

Indeed, IoT can help improve visibility and maximize supply chain efficiency, from the warehouse to the final destination.

 

Inventory Overview

To remain competitive, resellers must be able to meet the growing demand for immediate product availability and reliable, rapid delivery directly to consumers. Stores, both physical and online, must therefore stock their stocks, both within their brands and in warehouses, in order not to lose customers. What may seem obvious, however, is much easier said than done.

To address this issue, retailers can now equip themselves with IoT sensors capable of providing valuable information on the status of stocks in stores and warehouses. These sensors detect the weight on the shelves and can therefore inform store managers about the popularity of certain items. This also helps alert teams when items need to be restocked in warehouses and reordered in stores. Similarly, managers can use data collected by sensors to analyze item traffic to create an accurate inventory of which products will be sold and avoid over-ordering, such as out-of-stocks.

This application of IoT technology is already in place at stores like Amazon Go. When customers remove items from the shelf, a weight sensor can determine which item was removed, allowing the store to identify the items popular, but also to know what the customer has to pay.

 

 Accurate tracking and monitoring of conditions

When packages leave the warehouse, consumers expect them to arrive in the conditions promised upon purchase. It goes without saying that delivering damaged goods is never a good thing. Products are expected within a specific time and in good condition, whether for resellers or for end customers.

Normally, however, when a container leaves the warehouse, it is extremely difficult to know where it is and whether it is being handled correctly. Again, IoT devices provide tracking and valuable data such as location, temperature, humidity, shock and tilt, providing insights into quality control and traceability. This data can be useful not only in identifying shipping errors, but also in giving sellers the opportunity to correct them by ordering new inventory, thereby avoiding or limiting unpleasant surprises for customers.

In the industrial world, this IoT technology is already deployed by companies around the world and allows them to have a precise vision of the journey and condition of their goods. Michelin and Airbus are two examples. The first improves the management of its intercontinental flows, particularly in maritime transport, the second, for its part, uses a tracking solution for the transport of aeronautical spare parts and other components from one factory to another, everywhere in the world.

 

Route optimization

Getting items to their final destination in perfect condition is only half the battle – they also need to be delivered on time. With many cities already congested with traffic, delivering packages on time can be difficult.

By placing IoT sensors on key infrastructure in cities, such as traffic lights or technical premises, delivery drivers can have access to data on traffic conditions and thus avoid the most congested streets and therefore save precious time. The data collected also makes it possible to better plan deliveries of several packages to the same person or to a central collection point, thus reducing the number of trips.

In conclusion, by implementing IoT solutions at different levels, sellers, shippers, suppliers and warehouse staff can gain access to valuable data that can help them better meet their customers' growing expectations.

 

About Sigfox

Sigfox is the initiator of the 0G network and the world's leading provider of connectivity solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT). Its international network makes it easy to connect billions of objects to the Internet, while reducing energy consumption. Sigfox's unique approach to enabling devices to communicate with the Cloud addresses the three main barriers to IoT adoption which are cost, power consumption and scalability.

Today, Sigfox's network is available in more than 70 countries and covers 1 billion people. ISO 9001 certified and relying on a vast ecosystem of partners and major IoT players, Sigfox allows companies to evolve their business model towards new digital services, in key areas such as Asset Tracking and the Supply Chain. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is based in France and also has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, San Jose, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.

 

To know more : https://www.sigfox.com/

 


 

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