Mayuri Patel

Mayuri Patel

Mayuri Patel is a Marketing Associate at eInfochips. Prior to joining Einfochips, Mayuri has completed her B.E. in Electronics & Communication from Gujarat Technological University, Mehsana. In her spare time, Mayuri is interested in Drawing, Travelling and studying new technologies.

Website URL:

IoT in Logistics: Optimize Fleet and Warehouse Management

Logistics service providers (LSPs) are witnessing a drastic transformation in their business operations due to the advent of Internet of Things. This is impacting their entire value chain from raw materials to inbound and outbound transportation, production workflows, warehousing and distribution. In this blog, we will discuss the impact of IoT in two areas of logistics: 1) fleet management and 2) warehouse management.

 

IoT in Logistics Optimize Fleet and Warehouse Management

 

IoT in Fleet Management

 

Fleet companies operate with strict margins due to ever-increasing fuel and maintenance costs of the vehicle. IoT in fleet management can help reduce and manage overall costs through effective utilization of resources such as vehicles, fuel, spare parts, etc. The supply chains have to be optimized for fuel efficiency, driver productivity, and minimizing in-transit damage to transported goods.

 

IoT in Fleet Management

 

Let’s start with how to optimize fuel supplies and transport loads. Sensors can measure the capacity of loads to provide additional insights concerning spare capacities in vehicles on certain routes. By using a dashboard, the space capacity along a fixed route can be identified. This will improve fleet efficiency, improve fuel economy, and reduce deadhead miles. A connected fleet could also pave the way for predictive asset lifecycle management, which leverages analytics to predict asset failures and automatically schedule maintenance checks.

 

Real-time driver monitoring is essential to  optimize the fleet runtime. IoT can play a key role in health and safety for drivers, by alerting them for fatigue during long distance driving. Using fleet telematics, it is possible to monitor the location, movement, status and behavior of a vehicle within a fleet by combining sensors with IoT. It has to be ensured that drivers are not too tired to operate the trucks safely. Further, in order to make sure that the trucks run 24×7, it is possible to track a number of hours a driver has spent behind the wheel along with fuel usage, through a smartphone app on the operator’s phones.

 

Connected logistics companies can save huge bucks on their overall expenditure, as congested routes can be altogether avoided by tracking devices and sensors leading to reduced fuel costs while reducing the costs of damaged items due to delays in delivery.

 

IoT in Warehouse Management Systems

 

Connected devices and sensors can help manage the right quantity of products, at the right price, time and place. The objective is to manage the route (journey) of merchandise from pick-up point to end point, including pick-ups, reception, quality control, reporting and forecasting etc. Across Warehouse Management Systems, there is a need to allocate every square meter effectively to ensure easy retrieval of specific goods followed by processing, and speedy delivery. Integration of IoT with Warehouse Management System (WMS) leads to the true development of pull-based supply chains (rather than push-based).

 

IoT in Warehouse Management Systems1

 

Take the example of perishable food products. As of 2017, the U.S. and Europe accounted for approximately 60 percent of all food wasted with an average 21 percent of this waste happening due to spoilage. Some of the spoilage in the Warehouse can be prevented by using sensors to capture the data transmitted by each pallet as it arrives from the inbound gateways and record parameters like dimensions, volume capacity and sending the whole data to WMS for processing.

 

How? It can be achieved by moving pallets to the right location more successfully, tag transmit signals to WMS and provide real time visibility for inventory controls. If the goods are temperature-sensitive, then sensors can be used to measure humidity threshold and in case of location mismatch, the warehouse manager can be sent alerts to track its exact location.

 

During outbound deliveries, outbound gateway can be used to track the right order; stock levels can also be automatically updated in WMS for accurate inventory control. Cameras can be connected with gateways, and pallets scanned for damage detection. We can also monitor the health and fatigue of workers, track the fixed process paths of workers, and analyze where warehouse managers can improve walkways or change a process to make the lives of workers easier and safer.

 

Summary

 

This growth of IoT in logistics industry has been made possible due to the emergence of technologies like Radio-frequency identification (RFID), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), barcoding, wireless LAN, AVL, Automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) Technologies, etc.

 

eInfochips has been helping many clients with smart sensors and universal gateways solutions for complex Industrial IoT deployments.

 

About Author

Ankit Narang
Mayuri Patel
Marketing Associate

Mayuri Patel is a Marketing Associate at eInfochips. Prior to joining Einfochips, Mayuri has completed her B.E. in Electronics & Communication from Gujarat Technological University, Mehsana. In her spare time, Mayuri is interested in Drawing, Travelling and studying new technologies.

 

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) – The Future of Retail Technologies

Before the onset of the smartphone era, Bluetooth used to be the de facto connectivity standard in transferring data from one phone to another; usually, audio, videos and picture files. Now in its latest avatar, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), or Bluetooth Smart, the technology is making a full-fledged return because of its ease of use in connecting devices for the Internet-of-Things It is a light weighted subset of classic Bluetooth that supports Bluetooth 4.0 Core specification. As per ABI Research forecasts, there will be a flood of new Bluetooth-enabled devices with a total shipment of 5 billion such devices, and BLE alone constituting 27% of all shipments.

Low power wireless personal area network technologies are intended to replace the cables being used in devices connection, from mobile phones and headsets to heart monitors and in medical device gadgets. The retail sector will particularly be a keen adopter of BLE technology, especially “beacons” which are the transmitters that relay the device’s location to nearby portable gadgets. The market for this is expected to grow to 60 million Beacon devices by 2019. Apart from retail, according to ABI Research, the market is huge for connected homes and access devices.

BLE can bring several advantages to the retail sector, including faster communication, safety, security with added benefits of low power consumption.

 

How it works?

BLE devices send out continuous radio signals to nearby smart devices (Android/IOS) within a specified range. Smart devices/Smartphones which are in that range can listen and be triggered. The smart device then sends a UUID (Universally Unique Identifier) number to the cloud server. The server checks what action is assigned to that ID number & responds quickly. The signal tells the smart device “Here I am” by giving its ID number. Mobile operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, Windows 8 and Windows 10 are compatible with BLE.

 

For retail industry players, the biggest challenge is to plan on how to maximize margins in a highly competitive market. To do that, everyone has to anticipate what the market changes are and quickly brace themselves to attract customers in providing a seamless, consistent shopping experience. Data based on product features, such as, visible attributes (colors, sizes), pricing information, availability of stock, etc. can be better consumerized by BLE technology. Almost all customers nowadays that enter a store are carrying some kind of smart device on them. If BLE is used, then customers can be alerted with personalized coupons and deals as soon as they enter a store.

 

Benefits of BLE for Retail:

Device monitoring and Real time positioning Services: BLE devices have the capacity for location intelligence and real-time tracking of whether an asset in within the premises, which can be tracked using a smartphone.

 

Proximity Marketing: BLE devices are helpful in driving promotion for traditional off line retailers to better engage with customers, convert prospects, and send special offer advertisements based on in-store behavior.

 

Need-based Alerts and Notification: BLE can help detect the presence of the customer closer to the store, even before they care to enter the premises. Receiving personalized and relevant information and a customized experience goes a long way in converting sales.

It’s an undeniable reality for a retailer that Bluetooth Low Energy can be a positive way to engage with customers in their store and to know how they interact in their shopping journey.

 

eInfochips has extensive experience in designing Smart IoT solutions for Retail Industries. Click here to read more on one of our success stories in BLE product development. 

 

About Author

Ankit Narang
Mayuri Patel
Marketing Associate

Mayuri Patel is a Marketing Associate at eInfochips. Prior to joining Einfochips, Mayuri has completed her B.E. in Electronics & Communication from Gujarat Technological University, Mehsana. In her spare time, Mayuri is interested in Drawing, Travelling and studying new technologies.

Subscribe to this RSS feed