The Internet of Things (IoT): Supply Chain Leaders Operating in a Digital World
An idea that once seemed more plausible in a Steven Spielberg movie is rapidly becoming the future of interconnectivity. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to offer advanced connectivity of devices, systems, and services that go beyond machine-to-machine communications and usher in automation in nearly all fields. For manufacturers, the effects on Supply Chain Management are likely to be drastic.
The continued development of IoT may offer seemingly endless applications for industry and consumers alike.
According to a recent report from Research and Markets, "no major industry vertical will be without real-time, edge computing driven data strategy by 2023". The report also estimates the global IoT technology market to reach $869.9B USD by that time, with much of the demand coming from manufacturing companies.
One such area that will directly benefit from the emergence of IoT is Supply Chain Management. In this article Michael Burkett, the Managing Vice President of Gartner stated that, "It's important to put IoT maturity into perspective, because of the fast pace at which it is emerging, so supply chain strategists need to be looking at its potential now."
Potential applications of IoT on supply chain management could include enabling a piece of shop equipment to detect a potentially dangerous malfunction, shut down other equipment that might heighten the risk of incident, and direct maintenance staff to the precise location of the issue. In some cases, it might initiate a fix such as uploading new firmware that solves the problem.
However, in order to make these scenarios a reality for manufacturers Burkett believes that "Supply chain leaders must design their processes to operate in this digital business world. This includes fulfilling the new expectations of customers and the volatile demands that digital marketing will create. A future supply chain will meet those expectations by converging people, business and things in a digital value network, and incorporating fast-emerging capabilities such as IoT and smart machines into this design strategy."###
Andrew Rieser is President and Co-Founder of Mountain Point, a digital transformation consulting firm specializing in the manufacturing sector. He has nearly two decades of experience in designing and implementing digital business processes.