You probably understood that the Covid is touching every industry. This pandemic is leading all the actors of the supply chain to review their priorities. But this landmark of our century is evolving along with a positive transformation, the digital.
Digital innovations such as IoT can therefore respond to a need, or rather an urgency for the supply chain, which is to be more and more resilient. But how? Resilience is about visibility, reliable data and anticipation of risks. Let’s see how IoT deals with all this.
Allows continuous visibility, no matter what information is provided by the carriers
First and foremost, IoT Solution for the supply chain is a tracking solution using IoT to capture heterogeneous data to track your flows and make actionable insight with it.
Continuous visibility helps to detect any disruption of transportation flows quickly and to anticipate events. As this real-time information is already being analyzed, it is no longer raw material but actionable insights. This saves time on data analysis allows you to make smart decisions more quickly.
This time saving is also related to more regular information sharing and better coordination. Data capture and transmission is automated with minimal latency. Real-time alerts allow corrective actions to be taken as soon as possible.
This independent data capture allows you to have your own information with a high degree of reliability. This enables mitigating any risk in the event of a breakdown in the data transmission with the carrier. The example of the CMA CGM carrier hacked last October is significant. Hit by ransomware, much of its IT infrastructure was paralyzed, which leads to a loss of visibility on its flows for many companies.
Provides quality data for objective and reliable visibility
Beyond the « real-time » and continuous aspect of the information transmitted by the IoT, what makes a supply chain resilient is the reliability of its data. This reliability provides greater security, reduces the risk of mistakes and promotes effective collaboration between the actors.
What makes information reliable?
First of all, how it will be extracted: The IoT solution allows the aggregation of a huge amount of data. This raw material is processed into actionable information. And then, provide higher reliability in the interpretation of this data.
Then, where will it be extracted: The tracker system enables data to be captured at the core of the flow. It can therefore generate data directly at the transported goods level, and then, minimize the risk of error. Specific parameters such as location, temperature, humidity, speed, pressure, movements, shocks are directly accessible.
And finally, on which route it will be extracted: The trackers will follow the containers from start to end. Because the tracking devices are with the goods, the visibility is door-to-door and not just between ports as in most data-only tracking solution.
Better risk assessment with more reliable prediction
The third essential point for resilience is the anticipation of risks. The covid context will multiply the risks, the uncertainty, and the lack of control. Diversification of suppliers, the bankruptcy of partners, new collaborations, new uncontrolled trade routes, many changes participates in the increase of the risks on the flows.
How can these risks be assessed and controlled? Thanks to real-time visibility, an automatic alert system, but also with prediction and anticipation for better flow management.
An IoT solution can be a real answer by allowing:
– A better control of lead times, allowing reductions in transit stocks.
– Reliable arrival dates for better synchronization of operations.
– Control of additional costs, such as detention costs and demurrage.
Sigfox technology, an answer to supply chain need with IoT
The first step towards a reliable IoT solution is to choose the right communication network. Safecube uses the Sigfox network for its monitoring solutions.
The Sigfox network is an LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) network.
It offers several advantages. For instance, trackers using the Sigfox network is low energy consumption. They, therefore, have autonomy for several years. Finally, it is now possible to use them on long flows such as intercontinental flows by sea freight, for example.
Also, thanks to their high autonomy, trackers can be reused many times. This offers the following advantages:
– A more sustainable and eco-responsible solution (compared to single-use),
– Longer amortization of tracker costs (economic optimization, faster returns on investment), – Lighter operational implementation (no recharging or maintenance operations).
Finally, the global coverage offered by the Sigfox network makes it possible to monitor flows throughout the world, providing end-to-end visibility on global supply chains.
To conclude, this pandemic is leading all the actors of the supply chain to review their priorities. However, there are many ways to do so.
Cost cutting is a short-term solution. Improving operational efficiency is a more sustainable solution. Increased automation in the management of flows allows for reductions in operating costs and productivity gains: operators spend less time on flow monitoring actions. They are able to make faster decisions by being alerted in real time and benefiting from decision support provided by IoT monitoring.
The IoT solutions are therefore part of a longer-term vision, but in fact, more durable to ensure better resilience.