How IoT innovation is helping supply chains during COVID-19
Managing a business during a global pandemic isn't easy. Handling an entire supply chain during a global pandemic is an even greater challenge. For many businesses, internet of things devices have been godsend, helping to monitor inventory and track assets. Two of the industries leading the way are health care and the food goods sectors. Both fields require shipments be held under consistent environmental conditions throughout shipping and meet very strict timelines. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to redefine daily life as we know it, both sectors find themselves at the forefront. And IoT innovation is helping them stay there.
Assisting the supply chain
For both the health care and food and beverage industries, specifics matter. Medical devices and samples, as well as perishable foods, must kept under strict conditions at all times. Companies in both industries have turned to IoT devices like GPS and asset tracking to collect data and mitigate risk, according to the technology news website IoT for All.
Asset trackers can measure variables such as temperature, moisture, orientation and vibration, ensuring inventory is kept in an ideal setting. If mistakes in setting are continually occurring, IoT data can be used to look for patterns and, hopefully, solutions.
GPS trackers, meanwhile, help companies gather data about its shipping routes, and use it to maximize efficiency. The trackers show were inventory is in real time, allowing supply chain managers to make adjustments. According to IoT for All, several major food goods companies, including Kraft-Heinz and Mondelez, have begun utilizing these devices throughout their supply chains.
Building consumer confidence
Not only do IoT devices allow for inventory to move through the supply chain smoothly, they also allow businesses to thoroughly audit the process and ensure quality. This in turn can be used to build consumer confidence. In the food and beverage industry, consumer confidence in the safety and quality of food lags far behind views within the industry. According to a recent study reported by FutureIOT, only 35% of consumers agree that the sector is prepared to manage food traceability and transparency, compared 69% of industry insiders.
In order to close the gap, companies are deploying IoT devices throughout their supply chain. Specifically, the industry is using track-and-trace solutions, which allow them to cite the sources of their food confidently. Track and trace also allows companies to bring a safer product to market. By knowing exactly how long products have to get from production sites to sales counters, companies can better prevent expiration and contamination, the top safety concerns of consumers, according to Zebra Technologies.
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