Supply Chain Transformed: The Role of IoT and Analytics

Supply Chain Executive Luncheon in Hong Kong

Computerworld Hong Kong recently organized a luncheon for supply chain executives on September 6, 2017. Executives from GE, TIBCO, and CargoSmart spoke on the panel discussion, From Good to Great: Transforming your business for the Digital Supply Chain. The panelists noted that the biggest agents of disruption as a result of data availability were the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics.

Lionel Louie, CargoSmart’s chief commercial officer, discussed specifically how the IoT is enabling supply chain visibility to be better than previously possible.

Here is an excerpt from Computerworld Hong Kong’s article summarizing the event:

“IoT is already helping to shape our daily lives. Today when we drive, we rely on traffic maps that use this data. We also have smart devices that tell you the condition of goods inside a container, and without this data, a lot of perishable produce, life science and biomedical equipment will turn bad. So IoT is already helping and enabling the supply chain to be better than previously possible,” Lionel Louie, Chief Commercial Officer, CargoSmart Limited said.

He explained that IoT offers three distinct benefits: better monitoring, improve control over data and accurate forecasting. “At a retail shop, you can already gauge the demand in real time right down to a specific SKU. This helps you to feed that information to distribution centers and manufacturers and manufacture to order,” Louie said, adding that these are only a few of the many applications of IoT.

CargoSmart looks at IoT in four dimensions. The first is demand sensing where firms can use IoT sensor data to understand actual demand and fine tune inventory levels in near real time. “When you can make a very thin inventory investment, you gain a finer grain of visibility, helping you to find the best routes and alternatives for replenishing inventory,” Louie said.

Optimization, the second dimension, allows firms to ensure that the right stock is available from the right warehouse. It can potentially change the way you plan and build warehouses, while helping you to develop alternative routes to each distribution center. “It is all about minimizing risk and saving time. It is moving from a stock driven model to a real-time stream based model,” Louie said.

Monitoring is the third dimension allowing you to see what is really happening across the supply chain, at any moment in time. Louie noted that IoT sensor data can allow all the people involved in your supply chain to use that information to monitor the “health of the supply chain.”

Lastly, customer services will benefit from IoT data. It allows customers to get the right information about the products proactively.

Read the full article on Computerworld Hong Kong’s website.

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