IoT stands for the Internet of Things and refers to a network of billions of devices interconnected by the internet and capable of sharing data among themselves. The technology plays a significant role in revolutionizing major industries and practices, and Inventory management is one of them.
Managing and tracking inventory has always been a tedious task,plus it’s prone to errors when done manually. But, the integration of IoT in inventory management software has automated and simplified the inventory management process to a great extent. IoT has proven itself effective in simplifying inventory tracking, enhancing visibility in the supply chain, and generating more profits. Let’s look into details of how IoT is impacting the inventory management.
#1 IoT in Asset Tracking
Ordinary inventory management software usually requires manual inputs and sometimes physical counts for accounting inventory. This partial automation system with manual handling necessity is prone to inaccuracies in inventory numbers, plus it’s time-consuming and less effective. But, once this software is integrated with IoT, the inventory control becomes more productive and less time-consuming.
To make your inventory and asset tracking IoT enabled, you can place Bluetooth trackers, GPS sensors, or RFID tags on the packaging or attach it to the items. You can then connect these devices wirelessly to the inventory management software and access the real-time location of all the things on which these devices are placed. You can quickly locate the items irrespective of the inventory size, small or big, sorted, or messy.
#2 Enhances Transparency in Supply Chains
Visibility in the supply chain is an important parameter; higher the visibility more secure the system is. IoT devices used for asset tracking purposes provide real-time information about the inventory and purchases in the supply chain. Using special IoT devices, you can even measure parameters like temperature, moisture, motion, speed of motion, and much more.
By employing such devices, you can’t only track your purchases but also monitor if they are being shipped with incorrect storage conditions. Using GPS technology in the IoT devices placed on products, you can follow your purchases and ensure that you get the delivery on time. This monitoring of parameters will help improve productivity and transit time and ensure that the inventory’s quality is optimal. In this way, IoT technology makes your supply chain more transparent.
#3 Reduces the Possibility of Inventory Shrinkage
Inventory shrinkage is defined as the excess stock, which is listed in records but stands missing from the inventory. Usually, the reason behind this shrinkage is theft, product damage, product expiry, inaccurate accounting, and vendor fraud. This results in loss to the business, and therefore the situation must be avoided at all costs. Most of these situations leading to inventory loss can be avoided by using IoT technology.
As already discussed, IoT devices can sense and monitor various parameters related to inventory management, along with tracking the items. These devices have proven to be useful in eliminating theft as well as shoplifting in stores. If a possible thief tries to escape with a product from your store, the RFID or other relevant IoT devices can trigger an alarm indicating that an unsold product is being moved out of the store. Thus followed by appropriate measures and action, the losses associated with theft and shoplifting can be avoided.
Another challenge for inventory management is to avoid losses due to incorrect product handling and damage during the shipment. Using IoT devices, the relevant manager can track if their purchases or deliveries are being shipped in proper conditions or not. You can then notify the concerned vendor against any mishandling of the product or also can reject the order. Suppose you’re the one delivering the end product to the customers. In that case, you can use appropriate IoT devices to track and control the temperature, moisture level, and other parameters for the items in your deliveries from anywhere in the world. This ensures that you and your customers are getting the right products with the optimum quality delivered at doorstep.
#4 Improves Customer Experience and helps in Customer Retention
By using IoT devices, you can ensure timely deliveries through continuous tracking and monitoring of your shipment. You can add a feature to your inventory management software, where it continuously keeps updating customers with the expected arrival or delivery time. Moreover, you can also keep them real-time updated by letting them track their item, the route their shipment is following, and the exact location where it has reached. This reduces the staff’s burden for answering the customer queries regarding their delivery time, as the software, with the help of IoT devices, does it for you.
Additionally, the IoT, in conjunction with inventory management software, helps maintain correct inventory levels by proper accounting of items present in inventory. Thus furnishing the concerned authority with real-time numbers, the technology allows them to make decisions for reordering the items. By maintaining correct stock levels for every item in demand, you can ensure that the customer’s requirements are met, and production never ceases.
IoT is impacting inventory management and making it simpler and more productive day by day. IoT devices help locate and collect real-time info about the inventory items, measure and monitor various parameters like the speed of motion, temperature, etc. Attaching IoT devices with the inventory helps in locating the stock and assists in quality control. By controlling the quality, the business can ensure that all the items in their inventory meet the required standard for better customer service.
Hi There, I am Shaun Williams, a content writer with Goodfirms, a research platform for Cloud Computing, Ecommerce companies, Translation services companies, among many others. I enjoy communicating ideas and knowledge creatively and also ensure that the readers never suffer from boredom while reading my posts.