With continuing innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT), more and more organisations are beginning to take advantage of the technology’s benefits. Already, big businesses like Michelin have introduced IoT trackers to monitor their distribution lines, transforming ordinary containers to more modern IoT containers of the future.
But more than container tracking, IoT technology has evolved to allow businesses to track the contents of containers as well. IT and marketing specialist Holly Dempster writes on Verizon Connect that asset tracking is now just as important as tracking a company’s fleet. This is mainly because asset tracking can increase visibility and protection for high-value assets through geofence alerts, as well as monitoring maintenance requirements before accidents or malfunctions occur. These initiatives towards safer shipments show how asset management can help enterprises effectively keep an eye on their physical assets. And with the implementation of IoT technology, asset management can be further enhanced in the following ways:
Supplying Real-Time Data
Last March, sportswear manufacturing giant Adidas announced that it was projecting a slower growth of sales in the first half of 2019 due to supply chain issues. Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted explained that its suppliers couldn’t measure up to the sudden increase of product demand, as the company did not predict nor prepare for such an event.
A supply chain failure such as this one, which can mean millions in opportunity costs, can be averted with the help of IoT-enabled asset management. The real-time visibility that IoT technology provides allows its sensors to accurately control a company’s inventory. This will not only help manufacturers properly schedule their supply production, but it will also estimate the necessary quantity as well.
Moreover, IoT-enabled asset management can optimise a company’s supply chain as a whole with the automatisation of factory management. By using a centralised dashboard, businesses can easily monitor their assets thanks to the real-time updates, performance data, and GPS services that an IoT system provides. These developments are partly why the International Data Corporation reports a staggering $200 billion spend in sensor purchases and $154 billion in IoT software across various sectors this year.
Indeed, both the automotive and construction industries are investing a significant amount of money in IoT technology for tracking their valuable goods. These businesses will integrate IoT-enabled asset tracking solutions by applying sensors in their vehicles and construction equipment, respectively. In turn, the sensors will be able to report to manufacturers how well their products are working automatically — no matter where they may be.
Scheduling Predictive Maintenance
Another key advantage of IoT-enabled asset tracking is in predictive maintenance, as Medivators, a medical equipment manufacturer that recently invested in the IoT, can attest to. By connecting their equipment to the cloud, the company saw a 78% increase in software issue diagnosis and correction without the presence of a field technician. ServiceMax founder Athani Krishna told Forbes that IoT technology empowers companies to look into any issues, and that “they are able to better diagnose issues remotely, and send out a software patch or a fix without having to roll out a truck to fix it.” Given this, it should be no surprise as to why more and more industries believe IoT technology can improve the quality of the overall quality of their assets.
For example, automobile manufacturers would normally perform periodic maintenance once month at least, which is very costly, as it would require the plant to shut down for a day. In contrast, predictive maintenance not only checks the quality of an asset, but also searches for errors it can correct during the production process. The cars themselves can also be configured to be part of the IoT, so that their safety will be thoroughly reviewed both before and after being released into the market.