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Blog January 26, 2022 Where Does IoT Fit in to Your Logistics Operation? , Tele2IOT

Where Does IoT Fit in to Your Logistics Operation?

Logistics companies, particularly CEPs (Courier Express Parcels), have been at the forefront of IoT adoption, and this has only accelerated during the global pandemic. But while logistics companies have clearly seen the benefits IoT brings adoption of digitalization in companies where logistics or fleets play a supporting role – any kind of business operation with an existing warehouse or logistics operation internally to support their main operations – is all over the map.  Looking at companies like Budbee or other CEPs, I can see they are more used to working with real-time information and data collection, because it has been crucial to them solving their customer needs and challenges. Logistics that are part of a larger operation, such as a production facility, may have even more to gain with IoT technology

Adding more data points to any production plant brings many of the same benefits as it would to a purely logistics operation, although many warehouses or production plans do need a larger amount of digitalization, because with more data collections points, the more insights you’re going to get. So, not only will you be able track vehicles, you will also be able to track movement in your warehouse, which in turn can reduce injuries, increase efficiencies, and more precisely predict where things could go wrong in advance. Additionally, IoT can also act as a foundation for building out IoT solutions – AI, robots, cobots, droids, etc. – when the time is right.

So, why aren’t more production plants and manufacturers moving full steam ahead with digitalization?

Pontus Nordin Senior Sales Manager Tele2 IoT

Often, manufacturers see connecting logistics in their warehouse purely from a cost point of view. The technology is there, but sometimes management isn’t giving support to digitalization and may not understand that the startup costs are outweighed by the long-term benefits, or that data gives them predictivity, real-time monitoring, tracking possibilities, risk mitigation, etc. – all of which again outweighs the initial costs. In other words, there is a cost at the beginning, but the long-term benefits, such as better efficiencies, predictive maintenance, worker safety, etc. will more than pay for themselves. They will save money in the long run.

Let’s look at some examples: if you’re in logistics, the big question is ‘where is my parcel’. As an end customer, if I reach out to find out where my stuff is I’m causing costs. And this isn’t just for online shoppers. This could be a grocery store waiting for food deliveries or a company waiting for parts – any delays mean lost sales and/or lost revenue. And delays can have a domino effect. If we look at the construction industry, waiting for walls to be delivered or tools or machinery will cause stress not just for you, but also for others both up and down the line. You’re calling for your stuff, while maybe the plumbers and electricians are waiting for you to finish your work so they can get started. And the people waiting to move in? Their big move will surely be delayed, causing them unneeded stress. Connectivity and digitalization help streamline these processes – and can easily be applied to your production plant.

I think we’re just at the beginning of the technology shift from 4G to 5G and one must consider all kinds of technologies in these environments, such as steering towards a private network, because you won’t know how much data gathering, you’re going to be doing in the next two or five or even ten years. So, when you make the investment to digitalize logistics and warehouses, the investment you take is expected to last for a long time, especially if you’re adding robots, cobots, droids, AR, real time information gathering. You will need sufficient capacity to cater to not just your current needs but coming needs as well. The bottom line is that with the data you gather and collect you can enhance your whole operation and align with every stakeholder in the value chain in both directions.

You can serve both your suppliers and customers in a better way through digitalization – and you can improve your internal processes in ways you can’t imagine.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please feel free to reach out to me.

Pontus Nordin
Senior Sales Manager
Tele2 IoT