In market sectors running the gamut from agriculture to manufacturing, every step in the production and transit process presents challenges that can make or break a supply chain. Transportation delays, lax monitoring of cargo, theft, operator errors, outdated IT failures: All these factors and more can jeopardize profits and ratchet up cost pressure, which remains unrelenting, no matter the business.
Especially when it comes to perishables, the consequences extend beyond the bottom line. A full 30% of all perishable produce and products never make it all the way from the farm to the table, according to a recent IoT@Intel column. It’s a disheartening case of waste and yet an opportunity to apply high tech to a pain point that impacts growing populations and areas where food insecurity runs high.
Given all that’s at stake, the value of a connected logistics platform is beyond question. And the next generation of successful supply chain management—known as logistics 4.0—will leverage edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) to yield real-time automated, sense-and-respond feedback mechanisms. It will also place cybersecurity and the safe handling of data at a premium, as the EU’s 28 member countries adapt to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Effective May 25, businesses must report security breaches the EU’s Information Commissioner’s Office, a voluntary action prior to the GDPR.
Here are three examples of how the IoT is transforming supply chains today.
Big Steps To Fresh Hops
Rogue Ale, based in Newport, Oregon, is putting more efficient supply chain tracking tools and management to work in managing an especially tricky perishable. Rogue produces hops meant to be used in brewing “fresh hop” or “wet hop” beers. In other words, the hops are not dried in the field but are shipped quickly for immediate use in breweries. But they’re also a volatile crop that must land in a beer vat within 12 hours of harvest, or else they start to go bad. Too much heat and they start to smell like compost—not exactly your bartender’s brew of choice.
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Article Credit: Forbes