Embedded IoT sensors give suppliers and customers a complete end-to-end view of the supply chain
A secure and efficient supply chain is the backbone of any manufacturing operation, and with so many moving parts, knowing just where everything is located is critical in saving costs and maximizing profit. In recent years, ensuring that the long road from factory floor to store shelf runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible has increasingly become the role of sophisticated sensors embedded into products. By utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT), shipments can be tracked at every step of the supply chain—from raw materials acquisition to manufacturing to inbound delivery.
“52% of executives at large companies expect the IoT to have a “significant or major” impact on their industry within three years. Moreover, 55% of those polled said the IoT is already gaining adoption within their industries, either in pilot programs or larger-scale deployments,” found a 2018 report by the BPI & CMO Council.
Hoping to better understand the ways in which IoT is increasing supply chain transparency, PSFK researchers looked into the trend of “transparent sourcing,” illustrated below with these three examples:
Nevada-based blockchain startup Filament developed a microchip designed to give shipping containers and other industrial tools the ability to communicate and complete transactions through software called Blocklet. The Blocklet microchip enables everyone involved in the transaction to freely track the container’s travel progress on the blockchain.
Honeywell × Intel
Honeywell and Intel’s IoT platform helps manufacturers track, monitor and assess the condition of goods throughout the supply chain. The collaboration will utilize sensors, handheld computers, processors, bar code scanners, RFID tags and cloud-based software to connect physical and digital environments.
IBM × Maersk
IBM and Danish transport conglomerate Maersk launched a joint venture that will simplify the complex process of moving goods across different trade zones using IBM Blockchain. The shipping information pipeline will provide a real-time, transparent view of merchandise movement and smart contracts to replace what is today a slow and paperwork-heavy process.