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What Will The Internet of Things (IOT) Do To Supply Chain Management?

Michael Wilson | Aug 18, 2014

The Internet of Things (IOT) is a name given to the connectivity between many unique devices, especially those outside of traditional tools used to access the Internet like ...

supply chain management iot
The Internet of Things (IOT) is a name given to the connectivity between many unique devices, especially those outside of traditional tools used to access the Internet like computers and tablets. The Internet of Things can include small sensors placed on animals, monitors that track patient vitals, and any other device that can be used to send data across a network. The Internet of Things is poised to revolutionize the way several commercial processes get executed, especially when it comes to supply chain management. There are two main elements to keep in mind when thinking about how the Internet of Things affects supply chain management.

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The IOT’s Impact On Logistics Professionals

One example of how the Internet of Things affects supply chain management can be found in the impact it will have on the way that professionals work in this field. Warehouse workers can wear sensors that will be detected by doors, which can then open automatically to allow someone that is carrying a heavy box to pass through freely. When devices in the IOT are connected to the vital readings of warehouse workers, they can make sure they are staying safe by analyzing the atmosphere around them and testing it for any hazardous substances.

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The IOT’s Affect On Logistics Equipment

Another factor that shows how the Internet of Things affects supply chain management is its impact on equipment and technology that is already used in the supply chain. Tony Kontzer at TechTarget asks readers to imagine a world where a manufacturing facility can turn off lights in vacant areas and adjust climate settings depending on the number of people that it detects. Supply chain vehicles like forklifts and trucks can use the Internet of Things to automatically detect when something is wrong with one of their components, and in some cases, fix the error without any kind of human involvement. According to Kontzer, Caterpillar Inc. is already applying the IOT in this way through a new system called Product Link, which allows their customers to monitor the health of their Caterpillar vehicles in real-time thanks to the transmission of data over satellite and cellular networks.

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Above all, it is clear that there are several factors to be discussed when considering how the Internet of Things affects supply chain management. As time passes and creative hardware and software engineers come up with ways to advance the Internet of Things, supply chain professionals will receive even more benefits thanks to the improved synchronization of people, equipment, and facilities.

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