Innovative and reliable technology partners boost success rates in iLogistics projects: Part 2

October 22, 2019

Posted by: Anasia D'mello

Smooth business processes are often the key to success. It’s a philosophy that has got everyone thinking about how Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can be leveraged in the pursuit of this goal.

First and foremost, says Michael Kreft, executive sales director Europe SIoT iLogistics & iRetail Europe, Advantech, supply chain visibility and integrity control are paramount: the right product, at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity, in the right condition. And at the right cost, of course. (Also see, Part One)

We can provide the technology to track all goods, whether they are on a truck, a forklift, a pallet, in the production or in a cold chain. The cold chain is a good example, as this type of supply chain solution spans temperature and humidity sensors, gateways, apps for configuring the sensors and a backend dashboard.

Monitor cold-chain logistics

Dashboards can be used to display data collected along the cold chain and present a map indicating where the temperature is poorly controlled, leaving stock at risk of being damaged. Temperature and humidity sensors pass information to a gateway, which uploads the data to the cloud. A management platform can then be used to monitor cold-chain logistics in different locations simultaneously, in real time.

The new challenge with any type of data collection is that you need to increase the decision-making quality for operators with regard to big data analytics and AI. Here, Advantech works together with business partners, start-ups and university spin-outs on a co-creation basis to facilitate this need.

Advantech is working closely with business partners to co-create business ecosystems that accelerate the goal of artificial intelligence (AI). Working with SRP (solution-ready platform) software partners and system integrators, it is possible to build a complete industrial IoT supply chain and accelerate the realisation of related applications.

On the brink

Michael Kreft

It is fair to say that IoT applications are on the brink of wide-scale adoption in the logistics sector. However, their success rests with platform technology suppliers who can liaise closely with industry specialists to integrate and form standardised and easily duplicated SRPs based on a combination of software and hardware products.

For instance, we’re working with a company which offers leading network-based video technology combined with an AI analytics suite that is unique in the market but not originally made for the transportation and logistics sectors.

However, it’s a technology that perfectly fits for damage and loss prevention within the entire logistics process at Advantech we claim to bring the dots together to adopt technologies from the IoT space or other industries into a new field such as logistics. Our co-creation strategy is a big differentiator in the market.

Ultimately, IoT technology will see complete end-to-end connected supply chains, from raw material suppliers and manufacturers, through to stockists and wholesalers/retailers. For logistics operations a number of advantages are available, from reduced damage and errors, to increased productivity and profitability. After all, what price can be placed on faster, more reliable deliveries, and a more streamlined service?

Looking ahead there is no end of possibilities for the logistics sector. Using a smart container is obviously a step in the right direction; but being able to truly track the container’s contents, origin and condition will usher an era where companies can really enjoy the advantages of a strategic and holistic approach that is delivering value and meeting customer demand.

This isn’t a description of a faraway future fantasy; it is an entirely realistic approach that is achievable right now.

The author is Michael Kreft, executive sales director Europe SIoT iLogistics & iRetail Europe, Advantech.

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