Supply Chain & IoT – The Pace is Accelerating

We have been increasing the pace of our news wrap-up blogs to reflect the increasing flow of news around IoT Analytics. Among the various topics around IoT, supply chain optimization and planning is among the hottest sub-topics. Supply Chain managers are increasingly gaining an understanding that IoT will be a transformative force in their discipline vs. just another evolution of technology.

There are a number of signs of this acceleration. There are also a number of innovations currently in the early adoption phase that are helping to drive IoT adoption further into supply chain systems.



One of the most important concepts is that of bi-modal supply chain management. Coined by Gartner, this phrase postulates that there are two primary modes of supply chain optimization in the IoT era:

  • one primary mode of supply chain optimization is focused on optimization of supply chains more or less as they existing today.
  • the second mode is where more trans-formative types of supply chain scenarios are possible – those include demand shaping, in-transit visibility, and more. Often these scenarios involve new revenue sources or new business models.

Read more on Supply Chain Digital about the bi-modal concept in their recent article by Salim Shaikh, Sr.Director, Global Industry Strategy at JDA – “What is a bi-modal supply chain strategy?”



Another complementary technology that is accelerating IoT adoption for supply chain is blockchain-based technology. We all know that supply chains depend on TRUST, and blockchain is starting to deliver its own unique approach to trust verification to supply chain management.

Alvaro Fernandez, Solution Blueprint Developer, does a nice job explaining this impact in his recent blog post “Internet of Things Devices: It’s Time to Let Our Devices Grow” on Kinaxis 21st Century Supply Chain Blog.


As the use of IoT Analytics grows in supply chain management, one of the “holy grails” of supply chain management – “In-Transit Visibility” – is finally coming closer to fruition. Udaya Shankar, Vice President and Head of Internet of Things at Xchanging, authored an excellent piece in InBound Logistics entitled “How the Internet of Things Impacts Supply Chains”. It explains how IoT will dramatically increase in-transit visibility and drive deeper intelligence across the full spectrum of supply chain management.

Supply Chain Management and IoT is still in its early phases, but is likely to accelerate this year as the number of connected devices increases and early project start to bear fruit. Here at Vitria we will be keeping a close eye on these developments.


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