Everything is connected, or it will be soon. The Internet of Things (IoT) is making sure of that. Emerging technologies mean that sensors connected to the internet can be detect almost anything. The IoT is no longer an idea of the future, but a current phenomenon. And it’s one that will drastically affect people’s lives and their work.
Imagine your car is coming up on its regularly scheduled maintenance. A reminder email is sent to you, and at the same time an email is sent to the car’s manufacturer. Before you have even had a chance to check your email, there’s a coupon in your inbox for an oil change at the dealership.
The IoT is also making its way into the supply chain and the manufacturing industry is leading the way for this technology. It’s being used to automate processes, increase productivity, heighten safety protocols, and make countless other improvements. And manufacturing is not the only aspect of the supply chain that can benefit from the IoT.
Most people are pretty familiar with the advantages of using a GPS. Tracking your own location on a map to navigate around unfamiliar streets has become commonplace for many. Attach a GPS to a delivery truck and suddenly you have real time visibility. As GPS becomes more sophisticated and technology advances, the possibilities will keep growing. GPS technology will reroute carriers around traffic and accidents and it will become more accurate in predicting delivery times. At the same time, this data will be collected and analyzed to create further efficiencies along the delivery route.
GPS tracking is only the beginning when it comes to the real time visibility of a shipment. Adding sensors to individual palettes can also help with more in depth tracking. The palette can be tracked from vendor to customer, regardless of how many distribution centres it passes through. Sensors on pallets could also keep track of the internal temperature of refrigerated trucks to ensure that the goods being transported are kept at a safe temperature. The IoT continues to increase the possibilities for a completely transparent supply chain.
The power of the IoT stretches beyond what is easily imaginable. With the internet continually growing it is creating a new kind of industrial revolution. Realizing the power of the IoT and embracing it early can give you a step above the competition.
This doesn’t mean that tomorrow your washing machine will send you a text message indicating that it needs service. It does mean that fully integrating the IoT into our lives is a very real possibility in the not-so-distant, ever-connected world we live in.