The Internet of Things and its related big data explosion are here for supply chain and warehousing operations - or they are coming soon. Just think: IDC predicts IoT-enabled manufacturing operations spend will hit $105 billion by year's end - and the IoT-based freight monitoring apps market alone will reach $50 billion.
Supply chain management systems are becoming more flexible, mobile and granular. Clearly, there have been great advances in a variety of areas, such as the portable and mobile label and receipt printing segments. These systems are all creating data. This information is worth its weight in gold for you to improve your supply chain operations. As our recent blog on big data has noted, now, more than ever before, warehousing managers can extract, store and slice and dice data to gain insights.
You can find ever-new ways to feed your product ID and legal and financial data into your enterprise resource planning, fulfillment, logistics and other solutions. Actionable data from the floor can enable you to change your processes, reduce shrinkage, make sure replacement parts are delivered on time and the like.
It's an established fact that the supply chain can be become super responsive fast via digitization and data harvesting. And what quicker way to digitize than by turning to modern digital technologies? In fact, Gartner has an interesting prediction: By 2021, the Software-as-a-Service supply chain management market segment will account for more than 35 percent of all supply chain solution spending.
This trend will encompass how you deal with the big data deluge which is coming. With every tech innovation on the floor (through the IoT and other enabling edge technologies), there is a corresponding new layer of complexity. Coping with the new data types available will be overwhelming unless you already can access an existing robust data storage infrastructure. Also, you need to worry about storing all that data in one place — such as your own current IT facility. Disaster could strike and all the information be lost.
So, how can organizations set themselves up to leverage today's data-driven technologies without setting themselves up for risk as they transition to new tools? Supply chain modernization is a promising idea. As you start to investigate solutions, here are five things to consider right up-front:
With that, good luck with digital transformation - and get ready to do great new things on the floor of your warehouse.
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