The internet-of-things (IoT) is one of the most game-changing innovations for inventory management we’ve seen in our time. From a programmer’s perspective, it’s like turning every single crate or box into an object that knows where it is, where it’s going, and its condition. With the use of a function, a tracking dashboard can get up-to-the-minute information from any one of these categories. IoT implementation isn’t seeing as much widespread adoption as it should, unfortunately. Their most recent usage supported by SAP is by creating a digital twin architecture. Using this architecture, supply chain management planning becomes much more manageable. Using this basis, businesses can leverage their IoT for advanced inventory tasks.
Supply Chain Tracking
Many shipping companies have already leveraged IoT tech alongside their containers to determine their progress and estimate arrival times. The sophistication of their IoT rollout varies, however. Some companies log data for retrieval later, but a few invest in real-time data transmission, allowing them to see containers move on the ground. When we extrapolate the data that we can get from these sources, it’s apparent the use this could have in inventory management. Combining an inventory management system with real-time visibility can create a more robust time estimation on shipping and deliveries. Issues with transportation lead times may be flagged as they appear, making it easier to deal with them.
Shelf Inventory Details
In-store shelf management already relies on a complex system of restocking. However, if shelves are aware of how much of an item is out for sale, what the buffer amount is, and how much is the minimum accepted value, it could automatically order stock to stave off a shortage. Through a dynamic system with a central source of truth, all inventory systems in each branch could be seen simultaneously by querying the store shelves from a distribution center. This infrastructure allows for on-the-fly re-routing of stock to deal with increased demand. The automatic nature of the system cuts down lag-time on ordering to a bare minimum.
Optimized Inventory Parameters
IoT can help an organization keep up with parameters that allow them to optimize its inventory distribution model. SAP’s centralized database creates an exciting paradigm that an intelligent company can exploit. With the correct algorithm, a business can automatically place stock orders to minimize counts at distribution locations. As demand surges, the algorithm would adapt, performing just-in-time orders that would fill the demand gap. Ideally, this would rely on a system that can develop real-time feedback. Luckily, systems like SAP are perfect for those types of algorithms.
Inventory Planning with Complete Data
The most insurmountable problem inventory planning encounters is lacking enough information. In the past, information lag meant that problems had already progressed before the company could respond to them. IoT systems combined with an SAP central database provide a unique approach to inventory planning that gives the planner complete information. With a robust IoT infrastructure in place, there wouldn’t be a need to compare couriers to find the fastest way to deal with the supply problem. A well-prepared business would never let the problem occur in the first place.