More than half of new business processes will incorporate some element of the internet of things (IoT) this year, Gartner predicts — with a thirty-fold increase in internet-connected physical devices, which will “significantly alter how the supply chain operates.”
This is hardly surprising, given that IoT has long been an area of focus for organizations looking to reap more value from their supply chains. Global corporations recognize the transformational role of IoT, and many deployments are focusing on identifying, locating and tracking the status of assets.
The market for global asset-tracking and inventory-management solutions will continue to climb steadily over the next five years. Data Bridge Market Research predicts that it will reach $31.9 billion by 2025, up from $11.8 billion in 2017.
What’s causing this growth? Here are some key trends that are impacting the supply-chain industry today:
Notwithstanding the continued growth of asset-tracking technology, the highly technical nature of IoT can serve as a barrier to entry for many businesses. In addition to being cost-prohibitive, many solutions are impractical to implement.
The main difficulty has been linking remote sensors wirelessly to the internet across multiple sites or countries, with indoor and outdoor locations, in a seamless manner that follows all steps of the supply chain.
The ideal wireless technology should be inexpensive and secure, work over long distances, and have a substantial battery life. Emerging technology offers companies low-cost solutions that provide low bandwidth, long-range communication, and low power consumption. These types of solutions provide companies with the flexibility to deploy sensors, and leverage private and public networks in a cost-efficient manner.
Asset tracking has proven to be essential in gathering data across a variety of applications and verticals. Implementing IoT solutions has been a game changer. Some examples:
As companies move towards greater efficiency, supply-chain and logistics tracking technologies can provide new solutions for smarter and improved operations management. A scalable and low cost IoT network is the foundation for improving a supply chain.
Marc Pégulu is vice president of Semtech's Wireless and Sensing Product Group.
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