DCPOS solution providers focused on AIDC (automatic identification and data capture) technologies have long sought ways of helping their customers garner additional insight into their data. Enter IoT. It’s no secret that IoT is a significant opportunity for solution providers. What might surprise you, however, is the size of the opportunity. A Transforma Insights report states there were 7.6 billion active IoT devices in 2019, a number expected to climb to 24.1 billion by 2030. From a revenue and opportunity standpoint, Transforma Insights valued the IoT market at $465 billion in 2019 and believes it will reach a whopping $1.5 trillion by 2030.
Growth numbers like this make sense when you consider the broad appeal of IoT. Any of your customers, regardless of their vertical, can most likely benefit in some way from IoT solutions, especially when tied to your already powerful AIDC solutions. That said, supply chains are currently reaping most of the benefits, which should place this category at the top of your list of opportunities in the near term.
Here are some examples of how IoT is being used to reinvent the supply chain with truck, pallet and package-level tracking.
- Vehicle and fleet monitoring—Regardless of fleet size, IoT provides real-time location and condition tracking and sends automated alerts if unexpected events occur. In addition, IoT data can be analyzed and integrated into an organization’s ERP, WMS or TMS to ensure goals are being met. For example, Unilever relies on both a dedicated fleet and leased third-party vehicles to handle transport and distribution between manufacturing facilities, warehouses and dealers. The organization’s shipment tracking solution and dedicated portal offers live visibility and real-time alerts for route deviations or unscheduled stops, reducing delays and creating more reliable restocking schedules.
- Cold chain monitoring—Many items can be damaged by transportation or storage at improper temperatures. IoT sensors can alert organizations before this happens. For example, Nafta Frigo wanted to ensure that customer shipments made it to their destination without spoilage or damage by tracking the temperature of long-distance cold chain shipments in real time. The solution included end-to-end shipment tracking in both fleet vehicles and third-party transporters, with real-time temperature data and temperature alerts that allowed them to monitor between multiple facilities and counter issues while in transit.
Healthcare supply chains have unique needs
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Ensuring hospital staff have access to equipment when they need it has been the primary driver of healthcare asset tracking solutions for some time. In the face of a pandemic and overburdened hospitals, the need is even greater. When lives are at stake, knowing where critical care equipment is being used and stored can significantly affect outcomes.
IoT used for safety during and post-pandemic
Tracking and tracing are typically implemented to increase efficiencies. However, with the spread of COVID-19, there’s new interest in monitoring items from a health and safety perspective. IoT tagging, scanning and tracking can give organizations and consumers insights into who handled what objects and when. Minimally, this gives organizations and consumers additional peace of mind, but also provides critical data if traceability is required.
These are just a few ways IoT is impacting supply chains and helping DCPOS solution providers deliver additional data insights to their customers. To learn how your DCPOS customers might benefit from an IoT solution, contact Jonno Wells, Ingram Micro’s IoT expert.