How IoT Can Disrupt Customer Fulfillment and Collaboration

by Nicolette Emmino

Recently, Gartner released an in-depth report highlighting the impacts and recommendations of IoT on the supply chain.

Supply chain leaders can extract valuable insight from this research to learn how leading companies are navigating the integration of IoT into customer fulfillment processes.


Three things are clear from the findings:

  1. IoT endpoints are everywhere and may disrupt order-to-cash processes, as well as digital optimization.
  2. There will be an influx of data generated by IoT devices. This data will need to be managed, mined and integrated so that customer fulfillment processes can be enhanced.
  3. Over the next five to 10 years, connected “things” will generate a new commerce sector that supply chain leaders need to be aware of. These “things” could even assume the role of customer by placing orders and interacting with customer service.

How should supply chain leaders who are focused on customer fulfillment and collaboration handle this?

  1. Work with marketing and IT to understand potential new business models and opportunities for process improvement.
  2. Prepare for IoT orders and IoT-generated data. Build a five- to 10-year roadmap to accommodate “things” into your existing systems and train employees on these new processes.
  3. Expand traditional practices to incorporate “things” so that customer service capabilities are realigned to the needs and processes of things.

Businesses have already begun optimizing via IoT and now we’re seeing full-scale implementation in many organizations. IoT is being used to track the length of various processes, monitor vehicles and provide real-time inventory statuses. While supply chain leaders know about their customers, IoT has the ability to provide even more real-time insight into their needs.

Suddenly, the information collected by IoT sensors has the ability to create new levels of customer collaboration, which includes vendor managed inventory (VMI), collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), and on-shelf availability.

Read the full report to better prepare for and incorporate IoT into your organization’s supply chain: Gartner

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