The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining momentum with businesses and individuals around the globe. It has the potential to be big – it has the power to transform how we interact as a society and the fundamentals of how businesses run. One of the biggest waves of change we are expecting to see is in inventory management.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s slow it down and get a good understanding of IoT. Then we’ll look at how it’s going to change the supply chain and inventory software on a global scale.
What is the IoT?
Basically, the IoT provides a global network of interconnected devices. These devices can transmit data and supply data from many locations and systems. It delivers this data to a central server or user in the real world. From there the data can be interpreted and used to create deep situational awareness. This provides an invaluable opportunity for automation, connectivity, and data sharing. It’s a very intelligent system that can provide us with a level of global traceability like never before.
Benefits to the supply chain
The IoT encompasses technology that can be functional in a variety of ways. One of the biggest benefits may be to the supply chain. The IoT has the potential to shift the operations of supply chains globally. The more people in a supply chain who take part in using the IoT, the more efficient it can be. This means that the more information is out there, the more intelligently the IoT can transmit and share it with others.
Two of the key benefits the IoT can bring to a supply chain is transparency and traceability. With constant data from the IoT, business owners will be able to look at the entire supply chain of the product, with ease. The more businesses in a single supply chain that are connected, the easier it will be to have information on shipments and delivery times.
The IoT allows supply chains to have more certainty on what’s going on, where and when. If problems arise, it will be very clear what part of the supply chain is causing the holdup. As a result, this will allow businesses to get in touch with the customers proactively, rather than reactively. With visibility over the entire supply chain, they can mitigate problems and come up with creative solutions to appease their customers. If they know a product will be delayed, they might put other products on sale to change the focus of their customers and keep them satisfied.
IoT’s impact on online inventory management software
Online inventory management software will reap the benefits of the IoT with its immense data capacity and ability to streamline traceability. One of the key features of online inventory management is that it can provide up-to-date inventory stock levels in real time. With the IoT, location intelligence will be able to pin down exactly where inventory stock is, whether it be in transit or its exact coordinates in a warehouse. The locate intelligence will make online inventory management more accurate and user-friendly in the future.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.