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How IoT Gives Supply Chains an Intelligent Edge

By Jeff Schmitz | 10/30/2017 | 7:19 AM

In today’s connected world, organizations have access to millions of data points, and soon it will be even more. It’s estimated by 2020 there will be as many pieces of data available as there are stars in the universe. Every two years, the amount of data we create is doubling in size – in just a few years we will hit 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes.

With all the data available, it’s challenging for businesses to make intelligent decisions. Supply chain managers and manufacturers are especially overwhelmed, trying to wrap their heads around the volume and velocity of data. The big issue is many don’t have the right set of resources or technologies available to help make sense of the data. According to a recent study by Zebra Technologies, manufacturers rated complexity of technology (46%) and availability of IT resources (45%) among the top reasons they aren’t yet realizing a fully connected factory.

Another study by Accenture found nearly 100 percent of supply chain executives report having an understanding of how big data analytics can benefit their supply chain, but only 43 percent of companies have an enterprise-wide big data analytics capability that includes sophisticated tools to capture, process, and produce insights for key supply chain practices. Zebra recently introduced a new platform to help enterprises – including supply chain managers and manufacturers –  take a leap forward and harness their mounds of data to create smart, connected environments.

Zebra’s new platform, Savanna™ unlocks data from connected devices, environments and things to enable digital transformation. The platform gives organizations the power to gain insights at the edge of their operations, ensuring the right data is available to the right people at the right time.

For example, a warehouse worker is informed of the next most efficient, logical product pickup sequence based on real-time information. Additionally, supply chains can better respond to volatile demand or risk and minimize any future disruptions.

When companies have a better sense of what’s going on across the supply chain, they can act on situations in real time and in turn, unleash the full potential of the connected mobile edge to drive new levels of operational efficiency. End-to-end visibility is the competitive edge supply chains need to get ahead of the pack. The amount of accessible data will continue to grow, so the time to act on it is now.



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