By Matthew Margetts – Smarter Technologies: Director, Sales and Marketing
With the Internet of Things transforming entire industries, how will tracking and monitoring evolve to changing business needs?
As the tracking and monitoring industry continues to grow and develop, businesses are finding ways to maximise the benefit of data in transforming the logistics industry.
Where did we start?
For years, early adopters of fleet tracking systems have benefitted from lower operating costs through reductions in unnecessary fuel consumption, unauthorised use of vehicles and overtime expenses. The tracking and monitoring industry has evolved to provide real-time tracking, reducing insurance costs, optimising resources and providing businesses with the data needed to make key business decisions. Labour costs have lowered, and safety has improved – added bonuses that have benefitted big businesses and those with a finger on the pulse when it comes to technology.
As business needs change, and the blueprints for this technology become imprinted into the way we operate, tracking and monitoring technology has had to adapt.
How has our business ecosystem adopted tracking and monitoring to improve?
Smart ports and connected cities are beginning to incorporate the Internet of Things into their approach to planning, maintenance and operations – with tracking technology forming the backbone of major decision-making tools. As goods make their way across the world, tracking and monitoring technology is being harnessed to improve everything from temperature management of products to preparing berthing staff and hauliers to streamline dockyard operations as cargo vessels come into ports.
RFID technology has the capability to alert businesses to possible risks and significantly improve service delivery.
Smart sensors have streamlined supply chains
Tracking and monitoring solutions are being adapted to support niche industries, with live temperature tracking helping businesses in the food and beverage industry – preventing products from spoiling and lowering waste.
Businesses have access to data that gives them a competitive edge when it comes to managing suppliers, handling logistics and understanding their products.
As integrated smart sensors are being implemented throughout operations, a holistic view of the value chain can be seen, adjusted and improved on.
Dashboards bringing real-time information to relevant stakeholders have disrupted industries, and provided incredible insight that wouldn’t have been possible previously.
New industries are adopting tracking and monitoring systems
Smart sensors have been adopted in the medical industry to provide real-time information about pharmaceutical stocks and access, and provide valuable insight into the movement of blood and organs for transplants, and ensuring that lifesaving operations can be done with the assurance that best practices are observed.
What does the future look like?
We’ve already begun to incorporate the Internet of Things into our daily lives, with mobile devices providing us increased connectivity, automatically pairing with our houses, computers and vehicles.
Our data helps to inform what we see in adverts, how we interact with apps and even what news we are presented with when scrolling through the day’s headlines.
Smart city ecosystems are beginning to play a role in improving sustainability and reducing costs, and communities are benefitting from the use of data – in energy distribution, waste management systems, traffic congestion and even air quality.
Smart ports have used this data to proactively identify maintenance, improve handling capacity and efficiency, and revolutionise the process of cargo collection for trucking carriers.
The Port of Rotterdam has teamed up with IBM to create a centralised dashboard that will see sensors installed across a 42km stretch from the quay walls right through to the landside entrances – while a smart lighting system employed in the Port of Valencia has helped reduce energy consumption by 80%, according to BCG.
The Port of Singapore has already digitised its landside ecosystem, with truck drivers using a smartphone app to receive directions on where to proceed, and a notification system for pickups while booking facilities have begun utilising smart sensors to better understand congestion.
These ecosystems will continue to grow, and as we continue to find ways to use tracking and monitoring data to improve systems – there are opportunities to use these data models to improve decision making in your own business.
How can I improve my business through tracking and monitoring?
The key factor for the successful implementation of tracking and monitoring technology is understanding your approach to capturing data, understanding how this data can positively impact your business, and utilising data to make important business decisions.
Tracking and monitoring devices are relatively inexpensive, broadly speaking, and can be used to provide a holistic view of your business. Smart buildings can improve asset visibility, reduce energy wastage, improve compliance and reporting, and provide you with real-time information.
Temperature monitoring systems can reduce the risk of harmful bacteria in the building’s water supply, and automatic flushing ensures that due diligence is followed with regard to water safety.
Smart lighting is another useful way to control energy wastage, and occupancy monitoring tools can make a big difference in improving productivity and encouraging collaboration.
One thing is certain, tracking and monitoring technology continues to evolve, and its implementation will continue to revolutionise the way we do business.
About the Author
Matthew brings experience in media and technology spanning more than 25 years. His background includes working for blue-chip companies such as AppNexus, AOL/ Verizon, and Microsoft in the UK, Far East and Australia.
About Smarter Technologies
Smarter Technologies tracks, monitors and recovers assets across the globe in real time, providing asset tracking systems to the open market and fulfilling the world’s most complex asset tracking requirements. Our services cover a vast array of business sectors, products and equipment from container or pallet tracking to military-grade devices; and can be used across a broad spectrum of industries.