How Does the Internet of Things (IoT) Impact Manufacturing Supply Chains?

February 24, 2016 Gary Neights

Connected Technology Bringing You A More Connected Day-to-Day

Think about a loaf of bread in your kitchen or a bottle of pills in your medicine cabinet. Do you know what raw materials went into them? How many applications of pesticides or fertilizer were applied to the bread? During shipping, what was the maximum temperature of the drug and for how long?  

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a broad term applied to various hardware devices such as sensors that historically have not been inter-connected. Now with pervasive internet connectivity and the rise of Supply Chain Operating Networks, the data from these devices can be used in planning, execution, and visibility applications.

For example modern farm equipment supports precision farming which can track the location where specific seed batches are planted and later the specific applications applied to those same plots of land. The harvested grain can be similarly tracked providing a passport or pedigree that can flow through to the end product such as a loaf of bread.

Similarly when a food or drug is shipped, sensors can track data like minimum and maximum temperatures, location, etc. – allowing not only location tracking but also monitoring of quality and shelf life issues.

Elemica's Next Generation Supply Chain Operating Network was architected to process these data streams. This can range from inventory measurement and rail car location monitoring devices feeding data to replenishment algorithms to Mobile visibility into the actual location and temperature of critical food and drug shipments.

The value of this is that supply chain planner has the information to make better decisions, and this results in less waste and more efficiency while delivering higher service levels to the customer.

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