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How the IoT Is Providing Lessons for Supply Chain Innovation
Let your Internet of Things devices connect more than just your internal systems.
Oct 14, 2018—
We're in the middle of a massive shift in supply chain management. According to a 2017 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, the Internet of Things (IoT) technology market within discrete manufacturing, worth $10 billion in 2015, will be worth $40 billion in 2020. BCG also names automated inventory management as one of the 10 most important use cases driving IoT adoption.
Another interesting statistic from BCG's study: automated inventory management is one of only three major IoT use cases that touch multiple industries (predictive maintenance and self-optimizing production are the others). While the consultancy views discrete manufacturing as the use case's predominant industry, process and retail also see benefits.
IoT-enabled sensors are providing data that unlocks a level of productivity never before seen in the supply chain, promoting rapid growth. So just how broad is the IoT's impact on logistics? Consider how the IoT affects people and processes across warehouses and factories—and how technology powers deeper insights and continuous improvement, no matter the industry.
People: Building the Warehouse Superman
Enter Amazon. The retail giant recently patented IoT-connected warehouse wearables, devices employees can place around their arms to track their movements and help guide them on the most efficient paths through facilities. Although some supply chain professionals have expressed privacy concerns, the message is clear: the IoT can help us collect more granular data than ever before. If Amazon produces these devices, look for manufacturers to employ similar technology soon thereafter—especially in high-risk environments, where they could have a positive impact on employee safety.
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