Rebuild Your Supply Chain With the IoT

Guest Post by Blue Label Labs

This is a guest post from Catherine Metcalf with Blue Label Labs, a mobile, tablet, watch, TV and AR/VR app design, development and marketing agency. Over the past 6 years BLL has partnered with entrepreneurs, enterprises and digital agencies to build over 100 iOS and Android-based apps.

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By now, you may be familiar with how the Internet of Things, or IoT, makes daily life much more convenient for the average consumer. The IoT refers to devices that connect to a network; wearable fitness trackers, smart thermostats, and voice-activated home assistants all qualify as IoT products.

However, these items by no means represent the full scope of benefits that IoT programming has to offer. Businesses can also take advantage of this technology to optimize their global supply chains.

A supply chain simply refers to the steps an item takes to reach a customer. Manufacturing, inspection, and shipping are all key elements of the process. The more efficient the process, the more resources and money a company will save.

It’s worth noting that efficiency is no longer the only major factor a business must account for when determining how to enhance their supply chains. In recent years, customers have made it clear that sustainability is important to them. For instance, the rise in popularity of the farm-to-table movement indicates a growing interest among consumers to learn more about where their products come from.

The IoT can help businesses boost the efficiency of this process while also meeting the demands of  socially-conscious consumers. Companies that take advantage of these developments will enjoy the following key benefits.

Better Quality Control

Companies must ensure their products are in good condition when they reach store shelves. Customer loyalty declines when a brand frequently delivers products that have been damaged somewhere along the supply chain.

Luckily, thanks to the IoT, maintaining a high level of quality control is easier than ever. Businesses can now install sensors in their products that will let them know the exact location of a given item as it’s shipped from one place to another. The sensors also monitor the condition of the items, so products that become damaged can be intercepted before they reach customers.

By tracking the position of an item, businesses can also alert customers if a shipment may arrive late. All of this helps to boost brand loyalty.

Expanded Branding Opportunities

Again, customers appear to be more socially-conscious than ever. They want to give their money to companies that have sustainable supply chains.

This actually presents a unique branding opportunity for businesses. Those that do adopt sustainable practices can promote themselves as responsible companies. Through the IoT, they can let customers monitor every step of their supply chain. Consumers will be able to confirm on their own that a supply chain meets their high standards.

Avoiding Equipment Breakdown

Many things contribute to supply chain inefficiencies, but poor equipment maintenance is a major factor. If a key piece of manufacturing equipment breaks down, the factory manager will have to repair it before the manufacturing process can fully resume.

That’s why major companies enforce strict maintenance schedules. However, there’s always room for human error; it’s not easy to constantly monitor the condition of a factory’s machinery.

With the IoT, that won’t be a problem. Special sensors will keep track of the condition of each major piece of equipment, alerting factory managers when maintenance is needed. This allows companies to avoid the inefficiencies that breakdowns often cause.

Implementing IoT solutions could produce a major return on investment. Experts predict that the IoT may soon be responsible for savings and earnings worth as much as $11.9 trillion within the supply chain sector alone.

No matter what industry you work in, you could benefit from this. Get a competitive edge, and start researching IoT solutions now.