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Supply Chain 4.0: the role of IoT

25/04/2022

The supply chain and logistics are constantly changing. Globalisation and COVID-19 are just two of the major challenges facing the supply chain in recent years. What's more, e-commerce makes it easier than ever to buy products from all corners of the world and receive them quickly, but the supply chain must be able to keep up. The solution to make processes more efficient? Technology, specifically the IoT (Internet of Things).

TECHNOLOGY AND THE SUPPLY CHAIN: A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

Let's start at the beginning. Supply chain 4.0 refers to the use of Industry 4.0 technologies. This includes sensors, networks, tools for automating processes and dashboards. The purpose of these technologies is to gather more information to improve the supply chain. From customs obligations and national regulations to transport planning, there is a lot involved in the supply chain. The better the various elements are integrated with each other, the more efficient the supply chain will be.

Automation has long been a part of the supply chain, but there is always room for improvement. With the right technology, companies can get the most out of their supply chain. It is not easy to discover where there may be bottlenecks and how processes can be optimised. IoT devices can bring clarity. They allow companies to analyse their supply chain and redesign it if necessary.

SUPPLY CHAIN 4.0 IN PRACTICE

Whether it's food, electronics or building materials, the supply chain looks different everywhere. However, the IoT can be used in any environment to increase efficiency. Take the food industry, for example. Food waste is one of the biggest challenges facing this sector. Moreover, the UN has set the goal of halving food waste by 2030. A great ambition, but how do we make it happen? Technology will undoubtedly play a major role in achieving this goal. IoT devices can ensure that food reaches the consumer as quickly as possible and that any problems in the supply chain are identified more quickly.

Another example is e-commerce. One of the main reasons people buy online is because they have a wider range to choose from and receive the products relatively quickly. It is therefore important that companies make their supply chains as efficient as possible. By collecting data, analysing it and taking targeted action, products reach their destination faster. It is not only the customer who benefits: the company saves costs, can offer better customer service and emits less CO2.

LOGISTICS 4.0

The transport of goods from point A to B is one of the important processes in the supply chain. In logistics, the IoT in particular can bring about major changes. Today, the transport of goods is largely monitored using scanning. When goods arrive at a certain destination, such as customs facilities or sorting centres, they are scanned using a barcode. In this way, an overview of the goods' journey can be made.

However, if something goes wrong during transport, it can be difficult to determine the exact location of the goods at any given time. The last scan is then the only certainty there is. What has happened since this scan is difficult to determine. Small trackers, which use IoT technology to keep track of the location of the goods, can offer a solution in this case. With these trackers it is also possible to follow how fast the goods are transported and how long they remain in warehouses or storage areas.

DISCOVER WHAT CITYMESH CAN DO FOR YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN AND LOGISTICS

Citymesh offers track&trace solutions based on IoT sensors. This way you map out your supply chain and logistics, gain new insights to implement further process optimisations and tackle previously unknown bottlenecks. Such IoT sensors are used to give 'unpowered assets' (such as containers and pallets) a voice and make them smart. These IoT sensors are battery powered and can therefore be placed anywhere to collect more information about, for example, location and/or temperature. By sending a few messages per day, you can collect data for several years in a very energy-efficient way, across borders and at no extra cost.

Want to know how you can optimise your supply chain and logistics processes? Contact us and together we will find the most suitable solution for your challenges.

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