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GPS is One Key to Supply Chain Visibility Featured

GPS is One Key to Supply Chain Visibility "On my recent trip to California we decided to visit Yosemite National Park. After a 2 mile hike following a stream up a mountain I got this shot of a compass overlooking the valley below."

In an era where the consumer-led supply chain is common, track and trace technology has never been of great importance. Logistics firms want to know the location of their fleet at any given time, while consumers want to follow the journey of their items as they move through the supply routes. This can only be made possible by technologies such as GPS, RFID, and EPOS, whose aim is to increase the efficiency of the supply chain throughout the product lifecycle. Here are some areas that GPS tracking technology that can help in the management of the supply chain.

  1. Fleet tracking

Vehicles that transport goods around the supply chain have GPS-enabled hardware installed. These vehicles include cabs, ships, railcar chassis, and other means of transportation. These hardware systems have IoT devices that report the vehicle’s location based on GPS coordinates. Thanks to the integrated location-reporting software that queries these devices, the devices give periodic or real-time updates about the location. This can also be combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance routing optimization, depending on external factors such as traffic or weather conditions.

  1. Shipment tracking technology

Some supply chain companies prefer tracking the product being transported instead of the vehicle or both. This can be achieved by attaching GPS IoT devices to the shipping containers or individual pallets to provide real-time data and location updates. They help identify the location of shipments when they are removed from the vehicle. They can track the exact location of shipments and where they are stored and provide accurate data on exactly where the shipment or vehicle is at all times.

  1. Increasing navigational efficiency

 GPS technology offers companies a digital platform to manage routes efficiently. It allows them to locate and dispatch vehicles that are closer to the point of service for better efficiency, especially for the on-demand vehicle dispatch. It allows enterprises to generate plans for routes between different locations for dispatch, such as those that involve many stops. This significantly saves time and reduces fuel consumption because drivers get to a location where they are needed faster and in the shortest possible time and route. GPS also aids drivers in getting to their destinations without losing direction. This is useful when drivers are going to remotest areas that they are not familiar with. Some of the GPS solutions offer other critical information, such as the traffic conditions for them to estimate arrival time, manage their schedule, and reroute where necessary.

  1. Enhancement of accountability

GPS fleet management solutions can help supply chain providers manage the driving behaviors. It enables them to identify good driving behaviors, which is key to enhanced productivity, accident prevention, and fleet maintenance. It also helps reduce the chances of drivers being fined unnecessarily for traffic offenses that could have otherwise been avoided while improving fuel efficiency. With the ability to monitor behaviors and score the performance of vehicles or individual drivers based on braking, mileage, idle time, acceleration, or speeding, among others, companies can train their drivers on better ways of driving. This will reduce accidents, the cost of maintenance, and other undesired behaviors.

GPS technology has endless potential that will help transform the supply chain business. With this, businesses will save on costs, increase efficiency and improve customer service in many ways. This is evident in fleet management and its role as the core part of the infrastructure in transport and communications. These advantages will see this technology being increasingly adopted in the coming days. As the digitization of supply chain and logistics continues, more processes will evolve, and we shall see increased use of GPS.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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