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IoT Adding Intelligence to Supply Chain Management

Joshua Hoffman
August 7, 2015

Organizations are noticing more opportunities to use information to improve profit margins, a trend that is particularly notable when it comes to managing the supply chain. Maintaining inventories and staff members that mange those supplies can prove expensive when those resources are not used efficiently, and the right information can play an instrumental role in helping companies maximize those human and supply resources.

The Internet of Things is transforming how businesses generate data, particularly in areas like the supply chain. Business process management software can help companies customize applications and streamline data transmission to end users to ensure supply chain assets create optimal value.

The IoT can fuel supply chain ROI. The IoT can fuel supply chain ROI.

Data transforming supply chain management

A recent Forbes report explained that the increasingly digital nature of the economy is creating an environment in which businesses can create new value opportunities when it comes to managing their supply chains. The relationships and technological developments here are fairly straightforward, but the implications are incredible. Historically, organizations have had to track their inventories manually, hire specialists to handle this work and maintain large surpluses of supplies to prepare for unexpected shortages. Throw the IoT and its ability to gather, track and report data automatically into the supply chain mix and all of those longstanding practices disappear.

The news source explained that easy access to information created by solutions like the IoT is creating huge value potential. Over time, businesses have made it clear that they can use data to reduce excess inventory, make more efficient use of their human resources and drive ROI. Finding ways to get more information and use it more effectively allows organizations to take these practices to another level, and the IoT can drive huge changes to how companies manage supplies.

"You can use BPM to customize apps to use IoT data."

Using BPM tools to maximize supply chain value

The IoT uses a variety of connected devices to gather information and share it between software systems and other hardware to accelerate decision making within organizations. This can include environmental sensors, asset tracking solutions and similar technologies that, when combined, can give organizations a detailed look at the status of their supply chain.

BPM software lets you automate processes between stakeholders within your supply chain to optimize how your people work. At the same time, you can use BPM as an application development platform to customize your apps and services to integrate data gathered by IoT devices into end-user tools. All told, the flexibility offered by BPM enables organizations to take full advantage of the information created by the IoT within their supply chain.