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Logistics and Warehouse Problems + How Beacons Solve Them

There’s no shortage of problems and pain points in the supply chain. From raw material to last-mile, the increasing demand for speed and optimization is causing many managers headaches. Bluetooth Beacons are already making a difference to several businesses.

Here’s how beacons can solve some of the most common problems in the supply chain.

Get the complete guide to beacon use cases in the supply chain

Packaging and pallet loss

 /><strong>Pallets, containers, lids, and the like are a common tool in the supply chain</strong>. They’re constantly moving and changing hands. The result? One common and awful warehouse problem: a lot of lost resources. Deloitte, as cited in <a href=DHL Supply Chain Insights, had several findings on the topic:

  • “The cost of replacing “lost” reusable packaging and pallets in the North American auto industry is around $750 million per year.”
  • The U.S. Postal Service loses about 20% of its pallets annually
  • The automotive sector loses 15-20% of its pallets and lids annually

Solution:

Pallet tracking (read more about Bluetooth in pallet tracking). By tracking the movement of pallets either with disposable or long-lasting tags, owners can know when and where pallets go missing. This can even be paired with automated messages or other actions in order to take human error out of the equation completely.

Wasted warehouse space

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Solution:

Asset tracking and navigation. Bluetooth tags make a warehouse digital and smart. That means, workers and managers can find packages with ease no matter where they’ve been placed. Whether these packages are stored with other customers’ goods or in an unusual back corner, they’ll be found. That means storing packages wherever it’s practical.

Find your ideal asset tracking system by comparing WiFi, Active RFID, and Bluetooth

Beacon supply chain deals with poor warehouse performance

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Inefficiencies, bottlenecks, oversight

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  • IoT and and asset tracking solutions could drive $1.9 trillion dollars of economic value.source: Cisco and DHL
  • IDC predicts digitally connected processes to drive 15% productivity improvements for manufacturing supply chains by the end of 2018. source: IDC

Solution:

Asset tracking (read more on asset tracking). Where are your assets when you need? Simply attaching Bluetooth tags to equipment or employees can support a powerful asset tracking system that gives operators complete oversight of what’s happening.

Learn more about asset tracking with Bluetooth

Sensitive assets go bad due to temperature

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  • “By 2018, global sales of biopharma cold-chain products are expected to increase annually by 13%.”source: DHL Logistics Trend Radar
  • Solution:

    End-to-end cold chain (read more on cold chain logistics). Handling sensitive goods requires careful monitoring not just for legal but financial reasons. When your temperature-sensitive assets go bad, that could hundreds or hundreds of thousands of dollars right out the door. That’s why cost-effective and easy-to-use Bluetooth tags are now being used to track and verify temperatures of items transported via the cold chain.

    Poor warehouse security + theft

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    Solution:

    Entry access control. Supply chain managers often keep many expensive eggs in one warehouse basket. Now Bluetooth beacons or tags can be used to automate access control. That means an added layer of security and also the chance the trigger new kinds of alarms should assets be moved outside of set parameters.

    Beacon logistic vs labor inefficiencies

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    • 57% of interviewed operators named increasing workforce productivity as their toughest challengesource: Labor Strategies in the Warehouse Report
    • “Survey responses suggest that LMS solutions yield significant benefits:
      • 1. Ability to objectively measure associate performance (72 %)
      • 2. Reduction in labor costs (57%)
      • 3. Visibility over performance throughout the day (50 %)
      • 4. The capacity to monitor progress against a production plan (50 %)”

    source: Labor Strategies in the Warehouse Report

    Solution:

    People tracking (read more on employee monitoring solution) Keeping track of employee movements is one thing. Making sure an entire labor force is optimized is another. By tracking their general movements, Bluetooth can help operators know when and how their workers move, leading to greater efficiency and performance.

    Discover people tracking tags

    Unclear maintenance schedule

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  • By triggering specific maintenance operations only when they are actually needed, predictive maintenance helps optimize maintenance planning and allocation of capacity (such as teams and workshops), which in the airline industry alone could reduce maintenance labor costs by 5-10%source: Oliver Wyman report
  • The predictive maintenance market size is estimated to grow from USD 1,404.3 Million in 2016 to USD 4,904.0 Million by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 28.4% during the forecast period.source: Markets and Markets
  • Solution:

    Sensor data for better predictive maintenance.

    Predicting maintenance needs isn’t always an exact science. By tracking assets, operators can better visualize wear and tear and know when maintenance should be scheduled for optimum efficiency.

    Be sure to also check what is supply chain management with IoT.


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    Want to discover more Bluetooth use cases in the Supply Chain? Make sure to check out our complete guide.