The Internet of Things is a revolutionary technological phenomenon that is changing many aspects of our lives. It is the idea that computers and devices can communicate with one another and make life easier. We are starting to see these applications everywhere. IoT in supply chain management makes the process easier, safer, and more efficient.

These are just a few of the many benefits that IoT offers. Many other IoT benefits are not as well-known to the public. The impact of IoT in supply chain management is a fascinating example.

Although this may not be the most glamorous application of IoT, it has significant potential to transform the retail landscape and lower consumer prices. This is how it works:

IoT Supply Chain in Production Plants

IoT in supply chain management use sensors that allows manufacturers to collect key data from various physical spaces within production plants and manufacturing facilities.

Sensors can monitor temperature and send out alerts when there is a problem. They can also:

  • Monitor safety equipment.
  • Determinate the condition of the equipment automatically.
  • Track and control factory conditions, like temperature and humidity.
  • Identify each piece of the inventory since its creation so the company can track it in the future. 
  • Use security and communication features that are more common in office environments.

It is easy to see that basic IoT sensors can automate some of those more difficult aspects of production, which kick off the supply chain.

IoT on the Road

The most interesting impact of the IoT supply chain is happening on the roads: in shipping vehicles.

Companies can track individual inventory pieces and packages to monitor their movements until they reach retail outlets or other points for sale by placing sensors on each piece.

There are IoT measures that can be taken to ensure fleet vehicles run safely and on time.

By outfitting fleet vehicles with high-end GPS and WiFi, companies can provide managers with important data, such as:

  • Real-time sharing information
  • Vehicle diagnostics
  • Driver activity
  • Vehicle performance
  • Routing information
  • And-so-on.

IoT in supply chain management automates the scheduling and management process which was previously a painstaking task for all involved.

You can repair vehicles exactly when they are needed and send them on the most efficient routes. Drivers can be held responsible for their actions on the roads and kept to a reasonable time.

IoT Supply Chain In Stores

Once the product is shipped to retail locations there is IoT-related technology in place that monitors the selection to ensure stock replenishment if necessary.

The IoT has the potential to drastically alter numerous aspects of the retail experience. Smart shelves are the most important thing in the supply chain.

These shelves can detect when inventory is low and send alerts to store managers or directly to production facilities. They communicate orders and keep the store in stock.


This is a brief overview of the benefits of IoT in supply chain management. The business side of things is where the IoT can make a huge impact on production speed and accuracy, as well as cutting costs.

Consumers should also see the same benefits, which could translate into fair prices and consistent stock levels in their stores. It could be one of the most important mainstream IoT developments.

About the Author

Cesar Agostino

Hardware and Software Design Leader in 4i Platform.

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