Inbound Logistics | July 2022

Glendale, Colorado. “They can see all these different data points coming in and run algorithms that show what actions to take to save on production costs by pulling all of this data together.” Say a company wants to tackle rising fuel prices. IoT sensors could provide feedback on fuel wasting activity, such as excessive idling. GeoTab, a telematics provider with ofces in Las Vegas, offers vehicle tracking devices that monitor a driver’s route, speed, and stop times. GeoTab’s telematics system helped Richelieu Hardware’s drivers nd delivery locations and cut the time spent at each stop, increasing the number of deliveries that could be made per week.

be popular, how much product would sell at a prot, and what it would cost to replenish the storeroom during a busy quarter. Companies that took advantage of modern inventory management technology were 74% more likely to accelerate their sales growth following the pandemic, according to Cin7’s 2021 Inventory and Order Management Trends report. London-based Brompton implemented Cin7’s order management tool when demand for its foldable bicycles spiked. Using Cin7, Brompton manages sales across seven different channels, including a brick-and-mortar store that recently opened in the United States. KEEPING AN EYE ON OPERATIONS Forrester Research predicted in 2018 that inventory and supply chain management investment in Internet of Things, or IoT technology, would grow 20.2% between 2017 and 2023. The use of technology to track assets has historically been associated with large companies. For example, international shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd announced in April 2022 that it would equip its entire eet with GPS-enabled and temperature-monitoring sensors by 2023. But IoT technology is steadily becoming more accessible to smaller businesses, too. Much of that has to do with cost. The price of an IoT sensor, for instance, fell from $1.30 per unit in 2004 to 44 cents in 2018, according to Microsoft’s 2019 Manufacturing Trends report. Meanwhile, IoT uses abound. Sensors give feedback, letting shippers know where their raw materials or nished goods are in their supply chain. Beyond that, IoT provides a wealth of data that can tell a business everything from whether it has enough raw materials to signaling that a piece of equipment needs to be replaced. “What companies can measure, they can optimize,” says Steve Higgins, founder and president of MobileWare, an IoT connectivity provider based in

WHAT’S AHEAD? Going forward, fostering agile and responsive supply chains will require businesses of any size to build a “robust digital backbone,” notes a KPMG report. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology, and consumer preferences for a fast, seamless, and digital experience have evolved accordingly. Regardless of size or maturity, KPMG suggests that businesses embrace innovations that will automate low-value tasks, assist in routine activities, and collect data to inform strategic decision making. Businesses must enable a quick response to the next disruption. For small and large companies alike, there’s no turning back now. n

Sometimes pulling everything together can be the hardest part of supply chain management. Supply chain has always been complex, but over the past two years, it has gotten harder to rely on any one partner for sourcing, manufacturing, or transportation, says John Rattay, chief commercial officer at Redwood Logistics, a third-party logistics provider based in Chicago. At the same time, shippers are managing a slew of applications data sources, and visibility platforms. It’s a lot to juggle. Redwood Logistics offers a logistics-platform-as-a-service, or LPaaS. This service utilizes an open platform that connects a shipper’s entire logistics operation with its technical applications. A sub-feature of LPaaS is an integration-platform-as-a- service (iPaaS), called RedwoodConnect. As the name might imply, RedwoodConnect enables shippers to drag and drop all applications and data sources onto a single dashboard. ASPEQ Heating Group, a provider of commercial and industrial heating products, uses RedwoodConnect to improve visibility into its shipments. As a producer of oversize, uniquely shaped equipment, ASPEQ needs a process to streamline booking while also getting insights into freight spend. RedwoodConnect provided ASPEQ with LTL procurement data, brokerage information, cargo claims, and TMS insights. Having its data consolidated into one platform helped ASPEQ identify savings opportunities and reduce LTL costs by 10%. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER

178 Inbound Logistics • July 2022

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