Logistics visibility enabled with IoT
Supply Chain Management – Digital Transformation Use case.
The key to success for any supply chain is an efficient exchange of information. The traditional supply chain is fraught with friction, caused primarily by lack of complete and timely information. The potential for disruption is high; sudden shifts in demand, lack of raw materials, and natural disasters can wreak havoc on the best-laid supply chain plans. And the outsourcing of many necessary elements only makes it harder to understand the supply chain in full, fogging visibility into the transportation network and making it difficult to mitigate problems as they occur.
That’s why the overarching goal of the digital supply chain is to open the supply network for all to see. B2C markets are pulling companies along to provide this level of visibility, demanding more information about shipment arrivals with real-time updates. In B2B networks, producers expect timely status information on their supply shipments, which are typically linked to production plans. Constantly updated and reliable transportation information can significantly improve the producer’s customer satisfaction as well.
Gaining a high degree of transparency into the system is no easy task, requiring both technical sophistication and a fair degree of intelligent human intervention. But once it is achieved, the benefits are significant, and not limited to inventory savings and planning improvements.
Data from internal and external sources, such as transport tracking devices and social listening, is brought into a single platform.
The data is consolidated and enriched with cross-referenced information, such as supply chain events impacting supply shipments. Relevant information is scoured from weather, traffic, and news feeds. Even social media networks are monitored — companies that paid attention to Social Media activity, for example, could have anticipated the recent workers’ strike before it happened.
This enriched information is then linked within the platform and put through additional analytics and simulation runs, allowing various levels of strategic optimization such as route network improvements and carrier performance reviews. If all this information is to be really useful, it must feed into a control center that monitors and manages logistics activities and applies advanced analytics and prescriptive algorithms to the equation.
The resulting “single source of truth” lets companies optimize their choices under different conditions, using the information to alert factories, warehouses, and customers to endangered arrival times and engage in mitigation actions. Visibility into both transport status and expected external impacts on lead time, and the ability to change plans accordingly will be instrumental for companies looking to use their supply chains to competitive advantage, and to manage more carefully the many risks associated with supply chain activities.
Chain visibility depends on the creation of an effective “track and trace” (T&T) system that allows players to determine the status of any given shipment of goods at any point in its travels, by any transport mode. Transport data and status information will be captured from enterprise resource planning systems as well as from carriers, either through direct connections or via third-party portals. GPS technology will enable companies to check exact shipment locations, while field sensors monitor environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and even provide remote theft protection. But because data is arriving from many different sources — suppliers, transporters, warehouses, distributors — quality and interoperability of the data is critical, and still a significant technological barrier that a wide range of companies are working on.
The ability to track and trace movements of supplies and products through the transportation system has evolved significantly in recent years, thanks to new technologies, their increasing reach across the globe, and falling prices. Radio frequency identification (RFID) and Bluetooth technologies are being used to inventory and track movement of items indoors, such as inside factories and warehouses. 3D printers generate readable sensor tags that can be attached to cargo and capture temperature and humidity conditions. Global system for mobile communication (GSM) and satellite tracking are used in maritime transport, and ship sensors monitor engine performance. Much of this is due to increases in the battery life of small tracking devices, which can now retain power for as long as five years through intelligent algorithms that shut down the device when the sensor is idle.
The command center for these remote-sensing activities is the control room or logistics visibility platform, akin to a traffic control tower. The great virtue of the control room is that it can provide executives and senior managers with a fully transparent view of the company’s supply chain, and thus support the many decisions that have to be made to keep the flow of parts and products going.
- Carrier performance to provide transparent feedback & Real time loading delays/loading time
- WMS integration with Transportation Management – Report that indicates proactively any order that will miss a delivery
- Proactive tracking of order that will miss a delivery, what is recovery? Run hourly/Daily by customer
- Facility loading report with visual data view from “site connection”
- Plant adherence attainment forecast accurately to predictive service challenges
- Logistics failure in future at risk due to weather, Supply, Inventory, demand/promos
- Mode Execution by optimizing cost , smoothing across rail, intermodal, LTL.
- Real time loading delays/loading time- need real time