Study: is the Internet of Things disrupting the supply chain world as we know it?
Technology is evolving, and it’s bringing every other industry it touches along for the ride. According to a new study from market research firm Research and Markets, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is poised to disrupt supply chain operations in some major ways in the near future.
The study, titled “Tectonic Shifts in the Value Chain,” was released this month and purports to examine several themes that have risen in the supply chain operations of key industrial sectors since the introduction of IoT technology. Some of these themes include more cost-effective monitoring through smart devices, and the ability to be more agile and improve operations through access to data on demand.
“The influx of Big Data across the supply chain, in particular unstructured data, has resulted in key value chain participants looking for state-of-the-art analytical platforms to convert raw data into actionable insights that improve the overall operational efficiency,” states the report.
Track-and-trace solutions for increased product traceability are also on the rise, especially given the growing consumer interest in where their products come from and how they’re made.
“Compliance with regulatory mandates across vertical markets and geographies has paved the way for wide-scale acceptance of track and trace solutions that allow key stakeholders to authenticate product at various transit points across the supply chain,” the report continues.
Research and Markets claims to answer a multitude of key questions within its report including the opportunities for traceability software, the pros and cons of using commercial smartphones versus tailored industrial devices, and how a business can best put the insights gained from its data collection to good use. Check out the report here.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.