Give businesses what consumers expect
Have you ever ordered a ride-share service and obsessively tracked where the driver is in relation to your pickup location? Now imagine if you had to order the ride from one device, check to see its location via a different device and mobile app, and finally pay with yet another service. You wouldn’t order many rides!
Of course, ride share is an uncomplicated, get-from-point-A-to-point-B type of industry, but why shouldn’t businesses across the global supply chain expect the same level of simplicity with a unified solution that provides highly accurate, real-time tracking, monitoring, and control?
A case for better asset visibility & management
In 2022, the worldwide cost of inventory distortion – that is, lost sales when a retailer doesn’t have a product a consumer wants to buy, when they want to buy it – is an estimated $1.9 trillion dollars. (Source: IHL Group) Of course, there are many reasons a retailer might not have a product, including just-in-time inventory, delayed shipments, a shortage of raw materials, spoiled goods, not knowing where items are or even if they’re in stock, and more.
It's clear having greater visibility about your assets leads to insights that reduce inventory loss, prevent bottlenecks, delays, and interruptions, improve transit times, increase safety, and save costs, to name a few benefits. The need has never been greater as witnessed by the massive issues experienced during the pandemic. Whether facing a major challenge or not, an efficient supply chain is an effective supply chain.
So how do you achieve this level of real-time monitoring, highly accurate awareness, and intelligence?
Digital transformation is disrupting asset monitoring (in a good way)
The rise of connectivity and smart technology brings the advantages of improved visibility throughout an asset’s lifecycle in its supply chain journey. Instead of only being able to track when something leaves a warehouse, ends up at a destination, or is sold, it can be followed at every stage.
Just about anything can be wirelessly connected, from individual packages and palettes to forklifts, trucks, and even drivers. Hybrid connectivity allows devices and packaging to be connected via Wi-Fi, GPS, or cellular networks for tracking indoors, outdoors, and in transit. And advancements like Wi-Fi 7 and 5G coupled with unified solutions, like Qualcomm® IoT platforms, create seamless handoffs when transferring from one type of network to another. So, whether something is inside a building, traveling via a highway, railway, ocean, or in the air, it becomes possible to know its location.
Once connected, the next step is to maximize the power and intelligence of how data is collected and analyzed. The “Connected Intelligent Edge” combines advanced wireless connectivity, efficient computing, and on-device AI so devices can make quick, smart decisions about how and when data is processed in relationship to the cloud. This allows massive amounts of data to be gathered, processed at the “device edge” or sent over the air to the cloud, and analyzed in near real-time, while ensuring devices preserve their battery life.
Additionally, asset management solutions enable you to go beyond just location tracking to monitor conditions like temperature or exact time in transit. This is especially critical for goods with a shelf life including food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
Imagine all this technology collectively working together and you start to see what’s possible for asset tracking in the digital age. From warehouse management to transportation and logistics, having access to this information in a single source empowers data-driven decision-making that can dramatically improve operations and reap the benefits previously discussed.
Customer example: Honeywell Track & Trace helps increase product traceability
A leading U.S. pharmaceutical company needed to adhere to regulations in different countries around the world which required products to be traceable throughout the supply chain. From changing warehouse processes and equipping staff with wireless devices to efficiently monitor the movement of products to providing inspectors and sales reps with the ability to confirm the status of products in the field, a centralized, highly accurate solution was needed.
Honeywell provided a solution for easy scanning; Photo courtesy of Honeywell.
Honeywell’s Track & Trace solution was selected due to its intuitive interface, ability to track and process data offline, and its integration capabilities with existing SAP systems. Using Qualcomm IoT platforms, the system worked with multiple mobile scanning devices including smartphones, forklifts, picking tables, and more. It also ran on different platforms for secure support with minimal training since the app was simple to use.
The pharmaceutical giant implemented the Track & Trace program successfully and rolled it out across three-fourths of their global network. They were able to meet compliance deadlines in several countries and were set up to meet future legislation requirements.
How can I improve my asset management starting today?
There’s no doubt awareness and intelligence throughout the supply chain helps everyone win, from manufacturers and warehouses to transportation/logistics companies, retailers, and finally end consumers.
Using comprehensive IoT solutions to solve for the fragmented nature of the supply chain is the main way businesses can gain this much-needed visibility plus insights. Qualcomm Technologies leverages 35 of industry-leading wireless connectivity and computing platforms to help customers solve complex problems including asset tracking, monitoring, and control. We provide end-to-end solutions that integrate with existing programs so you can start digitally transforming your business as soon as possible.
Learn how we can help at Qualcomm.com/supplychain.
Qualcomm IoT Platforms are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.