Benefits of IoT in Supply Chain!

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Benefits of IoT article written for Supply Chain Game Changer by, and permission to publish here provided by, Michael Dehoyos.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices and objects that are connected to the Internet and sometimes each other. This is a network that’s getting bigger and bigger every day.

They are connected via sensors and they can collect and exchange information about how they’re used and what’s around them. IoT is poised to have a big impact economically and socially, so this article will outline the benefits it has on supply chain management. 

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Virtual Reality (VR) is Enhancing E-Commerce Shopping! (Infographic)

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Virtual Reality article provided by Jake Rheude at https://redstagfulfillment.com/

Virtual reality (VR) is something we’ve been hearing a lot about recently, but did you know your shopping experience could be influenced by this in the not too distant future? Or perhaps it already has?

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The Control Tower – Is Yours Real or Smoke and Mirrors?

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The advancement of digital technology enables the real-time, intelligent management of the Supply Chain.  This now means you need a Control Tower.

But any company’s Supply Chain can still involve tens of thousands of skus, thousands of bills of material, thousands of suppliers, hundreds of transportation vendors, dozens of manufacturing facilities and distribution centres, and numerous customers.

So even if you have a Digital Supply Chain how do you manage this complexity?  The answer is that you need a Control Tower!

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Industry 4.0 – Smart Manufacturing of the Future! (Infographic)

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Industry 4.0 article provided by Rob Memery at http://www.2flow.ie

Since the term Industry 4.0 was first coined by the German government in 2011 it has steadily gathered pace and interest from companies across all industries.  This infographic from 2Flow takes you through how much it has grown and how much it is expected to grow in the years to come.

Industry 4.0 is a far cry from what has come before it and data analytics is at the heart of it.  In all supply chains, companies are always looking for ways to make it more efficient and digitization is more often than not the answer – which makes Industry 4.0 the answer.

So what can Industry 4.0 accomplish?

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Blockchain in the Supply Chain is a Game Changer!

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Blockchain in the Supply Chain article originally published on https://cerasis.com.  Permission to publish here provided by Adam Robinson.

The application of blockchain in the supply chain is among the greatest innovations to take root in the shipping industry.

The application of blockchain holds promises to increase visibility, renew viability, reduce inconsistency, increase payment processing accuracy, and eliminate compliance problems.

Even though the technology is still new, its potential cannot be ignored, and supply chain executives need to know why.

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Rise of the Warehouse Robots!

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Warehouse robots article provided by Mike Futch of Tompkins International at https://www.tompkinsinc.com/en-us/ 

Customer expectations are changing as new sales outlets are being used. With the application of social media, omni-channel and e-commerce customers now have more price options, selections, delivery methods and shopping experiences. The ability of a business to keep the customer satisfied greatly depends on fulfillment capabilities.

Progressive businesses have realized the critical nature an operations strategy has on designing a working supply chain. Combining distribution and fulfillment operations into a single facility has become the base of the supply chain network, as they allow a single location to stock a vast number of products and service multiple channels.

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Blockchain Technology Reshaping SCM!

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Blockchain technology reshaping SCM article originally created and published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Sam Jenks at http://www.kodiakrating.com  

Growing global complexity in supply chain management has forced organizations to look towards technology as their silver bullet; serving as the missing link between people (supply chain actors) and the ability to collaborate at scale.

Blockchain technology is one of the most hyped amongst the currently developing technologies, hypothesized to make one of the greatest impacts in supply chain management — especially procurement and logistics — in the coming years. If SCM tech were a summer reading list, Blockchain would be the Twilight trilogy.

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4 Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting Supply Chain Technology!

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Supply Chain technology article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Jason Rosing and Veridian .

There are thousands of supply chain technology vendors in the market today, and many companies claim their system is the best-of-the-best.

How do you truly know which systems are the best, and what can you do to ensure the selected supply chain technology does not become a money pit for your organization?

The answers to these questions lie in understanding the top pitfalls to avoid when selecting systems and new technologies for use in your organization.

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How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Change Decision Making!

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) article originally published at https://www.tenfold.com . Permission to publish provided by Abigail Rabi.

From The Terminator to Blade Runner, pop culture has always leaned towards a chilling depiction of artificial intelligence (AI) and our future with AI at the helm. Recent headlines about Facebook panicking because their AI bots developed a language of their own have us hitting the alarm button once again. Should we really feel unsettled with an AI future?

News flash: that future is here. If you ask Siri, the helpful assistant who magically lives inside your phone, to read text messages and emails to you, find the nearest pizza place or call your mother for you, then you’ve made AI a part of your everyday life. Even current weather forecasting systems, spam filtering programs, and Google’s search engine – among so many other practical applications – are AI-powered. Now, artificial intelligence doesn’t seem that alarming, right?

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Screen Time! Is That Enough To Be Good In Supply Chain?

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How many screens do you have?  And is your screen time?

You likely have a Cell phone or a Smart phone.  You may have a Desktop computer or a Laptop, or both, between your home and your place of work.  You may have a wearable device like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch.    You may have an iPad or other type of tablet.  And your TV may even have Internet connectivity.

We are surrounded by screens and the amount of time that we spend on them is truly  remarkable.

But for those who are learning about Supply Chain, or any other profession for that matter,  is it best to acquire that learning and gain that experience just by watching screens?  Or is it better in Supply Chain to learn based on actual physical experiences and interactions?

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The 5 Levels of Supply Chain Transparency!

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Supply Chain transparency article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Sam Jenks at http://www.kodiakrating.com  

As the story goes, the meatpacking districts of Chicago were one of the first recorded drivers, towards the need, for supply chain transparency. The Jungle, authored by Upton Sinclair, outraged the American public in 1904, after Sinclair’s depiction of the harsh realities of the meat industry at the turn of the 20th century. The book sparked consumer concern, which prompted the Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act (Linich 2016).

One could even argue transparency — at it’s origin — is a byproduct of consumer concerns, materialized within poor production, social and/or environmental quality.

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The Industry 4.0 Ecosystem!

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The Industry 4.0 Ecosystem involves leveraging the latest technologies, digital capabilities, the unprecedented dissemination of IoT (the Internet of Things) and the incredible ability to tap into data anywhere and everywhere in the Supply Chain.

The level of digital connectivity across the entire End-to-End Supply Chain, from customers through to manufacturers, distributors, logistics companies, and suppliers of all kinds enables this forward leap to an Industry 4.0 world.

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IoT and Manufacturing (Infographic)!

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The Internet of Things (IoT) enables the end to end connectivity of all aspects of our lives in an unprecedented manner.  What happens when IoT and Manufacturing come together?

In the arena of Manufacturing there has always been a reliance on processes, data, sensors, controls, analysis and metrics to allow for monitoring, management and optimization of those Manufacturing processes.  And the ability to leverage historic approaches has varied from company to company and industry to industry.

But now with the advent of IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Industry 4.0 the ability to optimize Manufacturing processes through this incredible digital connectivity is about to take a quantum leap forward.

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The Inevitable Future of the Internet of Things (IoT)!

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IoT article written for Supply Chain Game Changer and permission to publish here provided by Rachel Stinson.

The Internet of Things — IoT, for short — is made up of devices that connect to the internet and share data with each other. IoT devices include computers, laptops, smartphones, and objects that have been equipped with chips to gather and communicate data over a network. 

IoT devices have become a part of the mainstream electronics culture that people have adopted into. It is estimated that there will be up to 21 billion IoT devices by 2020, impacting how we interact with basic everyday objects. 

There are several things to note about the IoT as it becomes more mainstream, as a key element of the Digital Supply Chain.

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How AI and the IoT Can Change Transportation Management!

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Transportation management article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Adam Robinson on  https://cerasis.com. 

Analysts predict that by 2020, 75% of new cars will feature IoT connectivity. The percentage increase describes consumer applications, but the idea of connected vehicles should garner interest from other sectors such as shipping, logistics, and transportation.

Leaders in these industries would be wise to plan for a future where AI and the IoT transform transportation management.

Here are five possible applications to consider.

 

 

1. Streamline Decision-Making

Artificial Intelligence

David Poulsen, CutCableToday’s IT expert, says connected, or autonomous, vehicles, are attractive because of the technologies that undergird them. “The Internet of Things (IoT) is one part of the equation,” Poulsen explains. “The other part is artificial intelligence (AI). It acts as the driver, helping the connected ‘thing,’ which could be a vehicle or inventory system, make smarter decisions.”

As applied to transportation management, that automated decision-making ability is critical. Connected vehicles, shipments, and systems help with tracking and historical reporting. But real-time insights and responses occur through artificial intelligence.

At TOPBOTS, an online, educational resource for all things AI, writer Mariya Yao calls the process “turning supply chain logistics into automated trading.” She gives an example: Amazon’s ability to deliver packages to a person’s door in under two hours. AI and the IoT streamline the entire process, from order to delivery, to save time and money and meet customer demand.

2. Optimize Operations

DHL, the global logistics provider, posits another application of AI and the IoT optimization. Its 2016 Logistics Trend Radar report suggests that big data and automated supply chains could lead to previously unimaginable levels of optimization.

But that optimization isn’t isolated to a single aspect of transportation management. Rather, DHL predicts a world in which manufacturing, logistics, warehousing, and deliveries become increasingly efficient, productive, and profitable. The provider believes the trend will come to life in the next ten years.

DHL could be correct. General Electric, for example, has started integrating AI into its locomotives to enhance safety and speed. Daniel Malak at Motionloft offers another use for AI and the IoT: optimizing traffic. He says transportation management companies benefit from Motionloft by using it to study traffic patterns and “optimize business practices such as sending out police forces only during peak rush hours, having maintenance crews repair roads that get the most travel, and deploying sanitation crews to clean public areas only when needed.”

 

3. Manage Warehouses

Tim Young of Vero Solutions shares another way AI and the IoT Could transform transportation management in his infographic looking at warehouses. He says AI could impact six areas of operations.

“Productivity levels, inventory processes, and employee wages are just three fields,” explains Young, “that are expected to be revolutionized and improved by AI technology in warehouses in just a matter of years.”

The other three areas relate to effective communication, warehouse operations, and robot workers. Young’s example of robot workers involves a company previously mentioned: Amazon. The brand has been testing out robots in its warehouses to increase productivity and, presumably, quality control.

4. Decrease Downtime and Repairs

Transportation companies also use AI and the IoT to mitigate costly repairs and downtime. Internal diagnostics, for example, can alert users to maintenance issues, which keeps passengers safe — no blow-outs while traveling down the road at seventy miles per hour, for example — and increases the lifetime value of the vehicle.

Daniel Dombach at Zebra further illuminates the concept, adding that the Internet of Things delivers remote monitoring capabilities. Companies that employ them can proactively respond to maintenance issues and also assess inventory records and parts availability.

Dombach also proves a valid point, saying that AI and the IoT could “decrease insurance-related costs.” Business Insider’s The Insurance and the IoT Report finds that insurers use vehicle usage data to inform pricing on policies and premiums. The report covers consumer insurance policies specifically, but its findings easily translate to commercial interests.

5. Go Driverless

AI and the IoT could impact more than back-end systems and processes. The two could produce driverless vehicles, a thing seemingly the territory of tech giant Google. But Google isn’t alone in the endeavor. Tesla, Ford, Daimler, and even Uber all claim driverless initiatives.

George Zarkadakis at Willis Towers Watson calls out the Uber story in his article The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Transportation, citing the incident as “a wake-up call.” He continues, “Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could potentially lead to the full automation of truck fleets.”

Of course, Zarkadakis’s remark raises the question of what happens to the truck drivers. Goldman Sachs Economics Research provides an answer. The company tells CNBC that driverless trucks could produce job losses of 25,000 per month in a couple of decades.

Jack Stewart at WIRED offers a more positive perspective; he says traditional driver jobs will change once autonomous vehicles become a reality, but these jobs won’t necessarily disappear. He also adds other positive effects of this change, such as cutting costs and improving road safety.

Conclusion

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are coming to transportation management. The technologies provide too many benefits for them to be ignored.

Businesses that wish to succeed in the future should consider these five examples of how the IoT and AI can impact transportation management and then decide where and when to apply these features to their existing operations.

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on November 16, 2017.