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4 innovations in theft and loss prevention

How IoT is transforming asset tracking

July 29, 2019

From keeping abreast of the exact whereabouts of equipment to safeguarding medication in hospitals, IoT-driven sensor technology placed on products has substantially improved asset tracking, providing real-time data that allows companies to continually monitor products and deliveries to cut down on theft and product damage.
 
IoT not only allows companies to track the location of the sensing device and communicate usage information but also provides valuable feedback about conditions surrounding the product (temperate, humidity, etc.) that could cause harm or damage to it. Then, through cloud-based predictive analytics of this data, company personnel can take proactive measures to prevent problems resulting in loss of inventory.
 
IoT-driven asset tracking is particularly important for the retail industry. Statistics show that retail crime is still a serious and costly problem for superstores, chains and groceries. Inventory shrinkage due to internal theft, shoplifting, fraud and organized retail crime costs the U.S. retail industry more than $45 billion a year. And the problem seems to be growing, with robberies and burglaries up more than 8% since 2016. It’s no wonder that major retailers like Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Rite Aid and Urban Outfitters have embraced IoT-driven asset tracking in their store operations.
 

Here are 4 recent improvements in theft and loss prevention made possible by IoT:

  1. Beacons—These small Bluetooth devices, powered by technology from companies like Advantech Wireless, have multiple uses that benefit retailers and shoppers alike. Beacons send alerts in the event that anyone attempts to remove them from items to which they’re attached, warning of potential theft. These devices can also be used to send location-based promotional messages from retailers to shoppers’ smartphones while they’re in-store, offering discounts, announcements of special events and other reminders for a more personalized shopping experience.
  2. Sensor-enabled smart tags—These battery-powered Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-enabled wireless sensor devices are also used to keep track of the whereabouts of merchandise.
  3. Geofencing—A geofence is a geographical fence or barrier that mobile app developers use to target customers in various locations of a building and notify store or factory security personnel when assets are taken out of a specific area. Geofencing is also used in logistics to help fleet managers quickly identify if a vehicle is in use when it shouldn’t be.
  4. Open notification—With e-commerce growing in popularity and more goods being shipped than ever before, IoT-driven devices that notify a shipper when a package is received and opened are particularly valuable assets. These tracking devices, embedded into products and/or shipping containers, take the guesswork out of the delivery process.
Want to learn more?
If you have a customer you believe could benefit from asset tracking innovations like these, contact us today. And be sure to visit https://iot.ingrammicro.com/marketplace/solutions to learn more about the various IoT solutions Ingram Micro has to offer.