With IoT expected to grow to 1.9 Trillion Dollar industry in 5 years, inventory management holds one of the major portions of that chunk.
Internet of Things (IoT) helps devices around us communicate with each other and obtain important information from the assets on which they are attached like shipments, pallets, boxes etc.. An IoT device can create a digital shelf which allows you to actively locate your assets and not to be dependent on human intervention.
IoT has a vast majority of applications in the supply chain through which we will be able to get alerts and information in real-time. The availability of this data helps in determining the root of problems and delays in supply chain processes.
More than Just Item Location
Today, inventory management system is dependent on barcodes and RFID tags to provide us the necessary but incomplete information like location, inventory and expiry date but IoT is beyond just location tracking.
One of the most imminent threats to warehouse management is managing perishable assets which often gets damaged due to poor tracking. IoT enabled devices, help you not just locate these assets but also monitor their temperature, humidity, damage, tilt, traffic etc which can be adjusted to send push notifications or alerts whenever there’s a change in any of these measures.
The location tracker lets you track the exact location of every asset which can be used to determine traffic patterns and time slots when the shipment gets delayed the most. This will help you plan your shipments accordingly in future to improve delivery time.
For Example – Shipment which was sent between a particular time slot or from particular route gets delayed by a certain amount of time. With today’s inventory management system, you cannot find the cause of delay but with IoT enabled real time trackers, the shipments can be tracked and their locations can be sent through alerts to you whenever they are running behind schedule.
This greatly improves the process of inventory management when you are not dependent on human resources to get updates about your shipments.
Reduce Stock Shortages & Overstocks
Stock shortage and overstocking are two major causes of losses in any inventory based business. Generally, we don’t know how long a particular product has been sitting idle on the shelf until someone manually scans the asset, therefore inventory planning is required.
Today’s inventory management systems can only show you, if, there is an expiration date for an asset but not how long it’s been sitting idle in a warehouse blocking cash flow.
IoT based sensors can help you pinpoint the location of assets inside the facility along with the Idle time of those assets which in return allows you clear the products that are taking up extra space, increasing rent cost and blocking cash flow.
IoT sensors work in real time and communicate constantly to get the status of assets. If the products get shipped or taken out of the facility, the same is updated in the inventory management system which gives peace of mind for inventory managers to order products in case of stock shortage.
Data & Analytics In Inventory Management
IoT enabled devices generates data for assets starting from shelf life to delivery of the product. This opens streams of important data for assets which did not have any relation to IoT earlier.
Inefficiencies in the supply chain are caused when you don’t get that required data on time. IoT provides an ample amount of data based on your assets through which analytics can be implemented.
IoT allows in-depth analysis on your inventory and lets you find what challenges the facility is facing and provide you valuable insights on how these can be solved before they become too major of a problem.
IoT is impacting every industry it touches because the future is about data and IoT bring that data into picture allowing us to take control of things from major to a minor level. Inventory management is also going to experience a major shift in technology soon with IoT becoming more and more implemented.