By Morgan International Staff Writers
I suspect you have heard the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ or IoT. It refers to the connection of devices to the internet which up until recently have not been connected – cars, fridges, freezers, heart monitors, and so on. The list of connectable objects is growing all the time. At a more holistic level, the IoT enables integration of the physical and digital supply chain which provides great opportunities for businesses. This trend is revolutionising the supply chain in a number of exciting ways.
Rather than using barcode scanners to track and manage inventory, cargos will have a microchip and antenna. The microchip will store data about the cargo and the antenna will provide the connectivity. These tags are referred to as RFID. Another kind of technology in this space are internet connected trackers which make use of low power wide area networks, allowing companies to track items. This makes use of satellite trackers, meaning that an item can be tracked anywhere on the planet, even where there is no cellular coverage. There are also near field communication (NFC) tags.
Businesses that operate a large number of vehicles are using technology to connect their fleet and make the process more efficient. The solutions use GPS and other real time tracking technologies. This allows businesses to ascertain where their vehicles are and when. These solutions are deployed in a number of ways. An example in a consumer setting is bus fleets with GPS so that bus wait times can be displayed at bus stops.
The internet of things will transform the supply chain by providing connectivity and real time updates to where vehicles and/or products are. This allows businesses to react to external events such as traffic and make their supply chain more efficient and effective.