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June 22, 2018updated 25 Jul 2022 6:50am

Q&A: IoT Data in the Supply Chain

Data from the IoT can be a powerful tool

By CBR Staff Writer

As Head of Consultancy for New Signature UK, Sean Morris has over eighteen years of experience in IT. He has a particular interest in the use of IoT data across supply chains and joined Computer Business Review for a quick Q&A. 

How can supply chains take action based on live data?

Much like a manufacturing process, a supply chain can be a complex series of interactions and activities. Heavily automated supply chains can bring vast benefits to all involved driving efficiency, reducing waste and maximising responsiveness.

New Signature

For automation to be successful, however, it needs access to good, reliable data in near real time.

IoT provides a powerful mechanism for data to be gathered from sources traditionally difficult to get data from. Data on where vehicles are and their ETA at a given place can be mixed with manifest data, for example, to show when a given component will be available; that’s just a small example.

Are there any case studies you’ve worked on that stand out?

There is a large life science company using data sourced from sensors in the fields on farms. They have built algorithms to detect and respond to specific triggers to drive downstream activity. This activity can be alert-based; that drives a customer contact point to offer advice, right through to the automated dispatch of product when certain conditions are met.

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You use Azure’s IoT suite. What do you like about it?

The Microsoft Azure IOT suite is a turnkey IoT set of services and tooling to allow organisations to quickly prototype services then scale into production. It provides all the components required to connect devices, process and transform data, analyse data and provide reporting services. It’s powerful and comparatively user-friendly too.  

Is there the possibility of growing new revenue streams through the adoption of IoT?

Data can have intrinsic value and when blended with other data can provide significant insights; this applies fully to IoT data as well. If this data is of value to others this could be monetised and these insights sold to the market. In other examples, companies can use the insights themselves to provide value add services to their customers.

What kind of industries can do this?

These services can be leveraged by any number of industries from manufacturing automation through financial services like insurance and banking. The Advertising industry is also a key industry for consuming this technology stack.

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