The supply chain may be going global, but for many companies, it remains more opaque than ever. Enter: the Internet of Things.
The potential for IoT technology in supply chain management can be massive, says Haley Garner, head of research at eft.Short for Eye For Transport, U.K.-based eft provides logistics and supply chain solutions for companies that are increasingly challenged to manage their suppliers and materials across borders. Eft has just published new research on the role IoT currently plays in this effort.
Supply chain decision-makers across logistics and manufacturing companies offered their insight into how the Internet of Things is shaping the future of their industries. At present, eft found, 41 percent of supply chain management officials already have some form of an IoT solution in place, while an additional 23 percent said they plan to use IoT technology sometime in the future.
Further, a vast majority (87 percent) said they plan to expand their use of IoT.
Researchers pinpointed where these players want their IoT solutions to bring transparency and efficiency to their operations. Above all, the ability to track the location of materials in the supply chain is their top demand. But security and prevention of theft of those materials, the temperature in which those materials are stored while in transit and the speed with which those materials travel are also at the top of their lists.
Garner told PYMNTS, though, that the potential for IoT in the supply chain can go much further.
Mitigating supplier risk, for instance.
“Fundamentally, IoT is allowing businesses to collect significantly more external and internal data and integrate it into their risk assessment analytics,” he explained. “Companies with effective risk mitigation strategies are generally incorporating more data streams into their risk plans, allowing them to make calculated decisions more effectively.”
That could be huge, considering the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center has just revamped efforts to increase the sharing of data to corporations for the purpose of protecting supply chains and mitigating supplier risk.