IoT technology is gradually developing and finding its own areas of application. In this article, we will consider the use of IoT in logistics and warehouse automation. In particular, we will look at how this affects the supply chain of goods and whether your business needs this technology.
IoT (Internet of Things) are physical devices that are connected to the Internet to collect information and control the devices themselves. The advent and proliferation of cheaper computer chips and wireless networks have made the technology more widespread.
Connecting all these independent objects, as well as equipping them with sensors, increases the level of digital intelligence of devices. Thus, the task of IoT is to make the world around us responsive and intelligent by merging the digital and physical worlds.
Almost any object can become part of the IoT if it can be connected to the Internet to control or transmit information. At the same time, some large objects may consist of smaller IoT components.
Important! IoT does not include devices that require an Internet connection, such as a PC, but a smartwatch does include an IoT device.
IoT is in principle one of the best solutions for logistics, both in warehouses and throughout the entire delivery chain. According to rough estimates, the global market for IoT in logistics will reach over $100 billion by 2030.
So, IoT helps to work with such problems:
1. Improve safety and avoid shortages
You can always opt to not visit but to check the warehouse and the availability of goods in it, as well as the reliability of the availability of goods.
2. Improving employee safety
Tracking the state of the equipment occurs in real-time, which means that the detection of even a slight hint of a technical malfunction will be immediately identified. This also includes data coming from sensors that collect data on the condition of patients.
3. End-to-end product tracking
This greatly increases the transparency of processes. Supply chains are fully traceable at all stages and this allows you to give guarantees and increase loyalty and trust.
4. Providing business managers with advanced analytics
Any analytics is the ground for process improvement. With IoT, all this is much easier and more efficient. Plus, you get process automation.
The use of IoT technologies in logistics can significantly save costs and optimize processes. We will look at specific aspects that can be controlled with this type of software.
1. Planning and route management through GPS trackers
Obtaining up-to-date information from sensors helps to collect traffic statistics, monitor the state of transport and improve your level of customer service. Logistics and fleet companies benefit from the use of tracking systems and can make predictions and streamline business processes.
2. Inventory tracking system
Automating inventory and tracking the current state of the warehouse is the transparency and clarity of planning that any company needs. The use of RFID tags and sensors facilitates the development of an intelligent warehouse system. It also leads to modernization and reduction of risks due to the human factor.
3. CBM and accident prevention
IoT applications in the logistics segment are not limited solely to asset monitoring and management. Thus, this technology is actively used for diagnostic purposes of the fleet, which allows solving problems quickly and without downtime.
4. IoT and blockchain technologies for digital BOLs
The combination of IoT and Blockchain allows you to create a digital bill of lading (BOL) and track the transport cycle of shipped products. Thanks to sensors and smart contracts, both parties can clearly understand the compliance with the terms of transportation and agreements. As for the blockchain, the transparency of the technology reduces the risk of cyber-attacks and allows you to track all transactions.
5. Autonomous and unmanned vehicles
Driver safety and cargo safety are two more important tasks that IoT can solve. We are talking about the use of autonomous and unmanned vehicles and the analysis of their work. All this leads to a significant reduction in operating costs and increased security.
6. Drons for cargo delivery
The introduction of drones in logistics is the acceleration of delivery processes and the full automation of processes. It is also an opportunity to cover remote areas where other delivery formats are not available.
The implementation of IoT technology has some application culture for the greatest success. The main purpose of using such technology is to collect data, but it does not end there.
Context can only be built from a large amount of data, which also leads to a deeper understanding of the business and the processes that support it. Another aspect is the quick response in case of problems.
It is not enough to collect data once, it is important to constantly update it and receive it in real-time. The IoT is capable of delivering updates continuously and seamlessly.
In addition to collecting data, it is important to use it. Define a specific problem, analyze the data and use it to solve the problem. IoT technologies must constantly be close to business goals and work for their benefit.
Our experience in IoT doesn't really fit with logistics, but it demonstrates the essence of the technology well. We have developed the Pet Monitoring System for the constant monitoring of pets.
This iOS app is a video streaming service with the ability to interact with your pets using voice and a laser pointer. For certain actions, the pet can receive treats that are stored in a special box.
You can read more about this case and its technical stack in our case study.
The use of IoT technology is an addition to your future and competitiveness. The market share of such devices will increase, and the sooner your supply chain adopts such a tool, the more effective your business will be.
IoT will greatly reduce operating costs and help you increase your workload with less strain on your resources. Digital innovation is the future you can step into today.