NEW YORK (PRWEB) June 15, 2020
Traditionally, it has only been possible to look backward at the information collected from something in transit and guess the reason for delayed shipments, asserting blame to convenient scapegoats like “traffic,” when really the truck driver took a nap at a nearby gas station. Now modern tracking systems are bringing truth and clarity to the supply chain with real-time location updates, in-transit product monitoring, as well as delays and damage reports throughout the journey. Maybe the truck driver really needed that nap and that was the safest thing for her to do, now with various IoT smart sensors, that can be tracked too.
Managing the supply chain pipeline means keeping a close eye on a multitude of processes. Reporting, dispatching, and tracking tools and staff, all need to work together to allow seamless production and delivery of products and assets.
The internet of things(IoT) or smart sensors are taking this challenge head-on. Offering new ways to measure and track previously un-quantifiable metrics. Combining these new data sources with advanced analytics is a strikingly affordable solution to solve a very expensive problem. By integrating multiple data sources, it is possible to gain a real-time understanding of the entire supply chain and to streamline the whole process.
From some context, a tech analyst company, IDC, predicts that in total there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025. While IHS, a global data and information services business, reports that by 2030, 125 billion connected devices will be part of daily life.
That’s why Krenar Komoni, CEO, of Tive, a leading IoT tracking device owner gives this advice:
“Trusted brands have to have a trusted logistics partner to give the end consumer the experience they expect. Top brands want to make sure that their product arrives on time, in good condition, and are available to their devoted customers.” -Tive
Ultimately, as Tive noted, the ability to fulfill adapting consumer demands is the best metric for any successful supply chain and that be actualized through the adoption of IoT.
What IoT Can Do For You
Leading supply chain companies have shown an interest in IoT solutions since they have repeatedly proven to have a direct impact on cost and productivity optimization strategies. Below are some of the most popular directions in which IoT solutions can impact the supply chain sector:
Magnify productivity by allocating resources and equipment where they are needed
Increase visibility by tracking and localizing assets and products all throughout the supply chain flow
Increase the safety of workers and goods by deploying sensing hardware and intelligent software to ensure compliance
Facilitate futuristic decision making by analyzing and visualizing real-time operational data
Reduce waste by taking data-driven, proactive measures instead of reactive measures
Automation for delegating repeatable, boilerplate tasks to software and algorithms
Quantifying these benefits depends on the use case and the industry segment. Let us take a closer look at some real IoT applications, backed up by companies who offer IoT solutions for the supply chain.
Use Case Interview Series
Equipment Monitoring and Maintenance
A variety of devices, vehicles, and expensive tools need to be maintained by supply chain managers. Their functional reliability ensures the stability of the entire pipeline and has a direct impact on operational costs.
Remote IoT sensors collect data from different pieces of equipment and enable preventative maintenance measures. Analytics performed on such data gives accurate predictions about equipment behavior and triggers notifications to maintenance staff before it causes delays in the supply chain.
ClearBlade’s CEO, Eric Simone, discusses a smart monitoring use case for an aircraft manufacturing company using IoT data to get real-time visibility into operational maintenance of their assets. ClearBlade’s software “ingests information about each assets’ location, elevation history, hours of use, etc. allowing optimization of maintenance schedules and compliance.”
Real-Time Remote Inspection of Product Condition
Beyond knowing products are on their way via basic geolocation information, multi-sensory 5G trackers, like those from Tive, sense shock, moisture, and temperature for a comprehensive supply chain awareness, which are relevant for the most sensitive assets. Such is the case for medical supplies, fresh food, and other perishable products that are highly dependent on a maintained environment during transit.
Tive’s 5G ready sensors make it possible to constantly keep an eye on these products across an ocean transit or on the other side of the globe. From damage monitoring to proper handling supervision, they provide enhanced visibility for in-transit products. This, in turn, enables a better logistics experience for all parties involved and the minimization of associated risks.
“The system was able to alert a beer manufacturer that their shipment mistakenly went to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during shipment. The data from that incident allowed them to file an insurance claim to be compensated for their loss of product. The system was also able to tell a pharma distributor that their shipment went above 32 degrees Celsius when it was supposed to be between 2 and 8 C. In that case, they were able to alert the truck driver to correct the issue in real-time and save a few hundred thousand dollars on that load.” – Tive CEO, Krenar Komoni
Improved Efficiency with Less Waste
Awareness of carbon footprinting is a common characteristic of almost all companies in Gartner’s list of Chainnovators. While some have announced their intentions to actively try and reduce carbon emissions, some are planning to reach net-zero within the next decades.
Amazon is doing efforts in this direction and aims to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. With their large number of physical assets and logistics infrastructure, they have already taken a series of steps towards this goal. Firstly, they have announced the acquisition of 100 000 electric vehicles that should start delivering in 2021. This shows commitment to the use of electric vehicles and is likely to set a global trend that more companies will follow.
An impactful example was presented by Garter as they recognized Western Digital for the ways their supply chain innovation was able to improve efficiency and reduce waste:
“Western Digital enabled cost savings as products are not in transit for as many days. Additionally, increased shipment consolidation means fewer shipments out of its facilities, leading to lower costs and fewer shipments on carbon-intensive planes, trucks, and ships, ultimately reducing its carbon footprint.”- Gartner
Elemica, Global Director of Marketing, David Cahn, mentions that they are “helping companies make green vendor choices by using electronic certificates of analysis during transit, which tell the source, quality, and all the details you need to know to make a sourcing decision.” Also noting that preferential treatment is given to green vendors, saying, “it is almost an imperative in certain industries that ingredients are sustainable and green.” Elemica offers a way to ensure those sourcing initiatives are enforced.
These examples show the trend of society to prioritize eco-friendly options to gain market share and the way IoT is used to aid green initiatives.
Safety and Compliance
An IoT use case that spans well beyond the supply chain sector is that of safety and compliance. Safety measures concern all types of organizations that must ensure that they abide by the rules and regulations governing each phase of the product journey. From filing Chinese exportation documentation and ensuring expiration dates haven’t lapsed, to properly maintaining equipment to regulation standards.
IoT sensors can be embedded into machines but also attached to most any part of a system. A use case from ClearBlade utilizes data from a North American railroad company to ensure safety at railroad crossings.
“IoT sensor data informs railroad crossing systems of potential failures of safety measures like the lights, gates, and track switches. The system has the ability to see the amperage increase on a gate motor, and use edge-computing to know if this increase is enough to warrant a notification to be sent to alert maintenance staff about a potential malfunction.” – ClearBlade
Like this, they provide a real-time preview of their systems, which helps prevent hazardous situations before they occur.
Similarly, the value of asset tracking to avoid issues with regulatory compliance is evident in the following use case:
“An airplane customer had a critical asset go missing last week. This is a common occurrence that prior to deploying ClearBlade would have taken 2 people about 2-3 days to track the asset down. Typically when a new asset goes missing, a new one needs to be purchased to carry out critical aircraft maintenance in a timely fashion to avoid FAA violations and fines. In this case, it was a $20,000 asset and they found it in 30 minutes because of the ClearBlade system.”
Another example of compliance enforcement through IoT is from Samsara, whose AI-powered Dash Cam analyzes the road and generates real-time driver report cards for fleet managers if alerted to unsafe driver behavior. This enhances driver safety while reducing accident-related costs.
From Guesstimation To Predictive Modeling
Today’s world is increasingly more connected through IoT-enabled machines big and small, which help humans to work smarter, not harder. By equipping machines with sensors, factory managers, logistics planners, energy grid optimizers, industrial farmers – you get the picture, can more accurately map machine workloads, inputs, and outputs. Ultimately leading to optimization and automation.
This input data continuously expands as technology is able to convert text(OCR), speech(NLP), photos, reviews, customer phone calls, and more, into measurable and quantifiable information. Machine learning is used to connect the dots and find previously hidden or misunderstood causal relationships and trends.
That’s where unified data lakes come in. They provide ONE singular place to put all this information and let the machine do its work at finding the hidden connections in the data. Fortunately, automation helps to ingest all these sources, by writing scripts and scrapers to go retrieve all this information from devices, social media, old-school CRM, and while we’re at it, those old hard-drives from the ’90s. Dump that in there too.
As more data is available to apply to AI and ML algorithms the need increases for versatile integration and automation experts to garner real-time actionable insights.
Integration and Automation with Advanced Analytics
Blue Orange Digital, a top-ranked AI co-development partner, speeds up enterprise IoT and Supply Chain companies’ innovation cycles, by assisting with the deployment of large scale custom analytics solutions. Using a data lake model, they can manipulate heterogeneous data types and gain data-insights in real-time. With the data available in a single repository, customized advanced analytics and visuals are made possible, such as anomaly detection and predictive forecasting.
“Blue Orange simplifies the process for IoT companies to make their data actionable. By building performant, advanced, secure infrastructure to enable teams to leverage real-time data for process automation, advanced optimization, and predictive analytics.” – Blue Orange Digital
“Firstly, we’ll feed these AI engines lots of data from IoT devices so they can create more advanced prediction models. Then you’ll start to see a push of those models down to the edge, running them close to the machinery,” says ClearBlade CEO, Eric Simone.
Clearly edge computing at the device level will speed up the supply chain as it will ease some of the strain on the main data source and infrastructure. Instead, each IoT device will have the capability to run machine learning algorithms right in place, filter the noise, and only send critical information back to the data store.
Finally, Elemica had this to add, “IoT has taken us from descriptive to predictive, next is prescriptive. Meaning, devices will run logic algorithms and be able to react and adapt on their own in real-time. Like the sensor that sends an alert when a truck has exceeded its temperature tolerance but instead self-adjusts the thermostat itself. That’s what’s next.”
All these IoT solutions and the large amounts of data they collect have laid the perfect groundwork for continued advancements in predictive intelligence and advanced data analytics. Data aggregation and collection were the foremost obstacles that supply chain organizations faced but IoT devices have bridged that gap by digitizing most of the variables in the chain. These large scale real-time machine learning algorithms finally provide companies with the speed and accuracy necessary to implement proactive measures. Experienced teams have already had incredible success in implementing data infrastructures for a variety of supply chain solutions.
Special thanks to the following guest interviewees for sharing their perspectives on this ever-changing technology:
Eric Simone of ClearBlade
Krenar Komoni of Tive
David Cahn of Elemica
Josh Miramant of Blue Orange Digital
For more AI and technology trends, see data-driven solutions for Supply Chain, Healthcare Document Automation, and more on Medium: @blueorangedigital or on LinkedIn: @JoshMiramant
Fotor Review: Easy-to-use Online Photo Editing and Graphic Design Tool for Everyone
When it comes to image editing and designing, professional software like Photoshop definitely maintains a dominant position in the market. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, as it requires a fair degree of time and skills to use it. The good news is that there are lots of great online services, such as Fotor, that allow you to create awesome images in a simple and quick way.
Fotor is a handy online tool that enables you to edit your photos, create photo collages and design banners, posters, blog post graphics, email headers, and other types of graphics content very easily. Let’s take a look at what this tool can do.
- Photo Editing
With Fotor’s powerful image editing features, you can easily give your photo a new look. You can quickly do all the basic photo editings such as crop, rotate, resize, apply a filter, add texts, remove background, and more with simple clicks. More than that, Fotor’s patent HDR feature is pretty much a bonus. It brings out more details and vivid colors of the photo as it is seen through your eyes.
Fotor also offers a feature-rich suite of portrait touch-up tools, such as blemish fix, smoothing skin, wrinkle remover, teeth whitener, and so on. The retouching tools are quite useful and without the complexity, this is normally associated with professional software. Be sure not to overcook your photo and end up with anything but realistic.
- Photo Collage
Fotor offers a variety of pre-set templates that allows you to put up photo collages in a snap. Simply choose your preferred template, upload your photos, drag them in the slot, make minor adjustments and you are done. It’s super easy and fun to play around with.
- Graphic Design
The graphic design feature is one of the core features which would be mostly used by bloggers and content marketers. To simplify the complex design process for non-designers, Fotor packs up with a huge bank of templates for you to choose from.
To be frank, such a kind of service lives and dies on the quality of the templates, and Fotor obviously did a great job. There are thousands of templates (the number is still growing) under various styles and categories, such as posters, logo, invitation design, email header, Facebook cover, YouTube channel art, and so much more. With such a broad of options, you can literally create impressive graphic designs for all your project.
Fotor Review – Bottom Line
Overall, Fotor is really a useful online tool for graphics content editing and creation. It comes packed with all the resources and features you need to create pro-looking graphics on under one roof. If you are still struggling with how to create images for your blog posts or all kinds of social media platforms, I would suggest you have a play with Fotor. You can really end up with some cool images to strengthen your online presence and extend your reach.
Bio: Marvin is a tech enthusiast. He loves to write about gadgets, software, the internet, and everything about technology. He is also a cat lover and coffee addict.
7 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales
We all know that SEO is the fact that you can increase your sales and leads through online stores. Marketers say that search engine optimization can double your traffic because it helps the website to rank higher and get more impression.
The SEO practice can be done by yourself, but it would be better if you hire the services of professionals. If you want to rank among certain keywords in the search engine, then you need to put effort into these keywords and make your strategies accordingly.
E-commerce businesses can only grow by providing quality products and optimizing the website with SEO practices. The high-quality products and services would increase your customers, while the SEO would help you to appear higher than your competitors in order to get new audiences.
There are various SEO factors that need to be applied to your site and in this article, we will discuss these factors in this article.
Why is SEO so important to your e-commerce store?
Whether you are launching a new website or planning to improve the old one, SEO is very important. There are thousands of websites on the Internet that appear for years and when you open a new website, how would it come across their location.
Search engine optimization would help to increase your visibility through the search engine. SEO basically makes your site look for the search engine and it would help to appear at the top of the search engine results page.
If you don’t focus on search engine optimization, your site wouldn’t get on the first page. Remember, 85% of people find their search query on the first page of Google and if your websites don’t appear on the first page, then all your efforts are useless.
Although the strategy for SEO also depends on the niche and content of your site, some of the general SEO practices are discussed below:
1. Content Marketing
First of all, none of your SEO facts would work until you have good content and content strategies. The content you post on your e-commerce site is very important because most of your customers would decide by reading the content.
Importance of visuals
Content needs to be unique and engaging in order to attract and attract customers “attention. Content is more important than product images because nowadays people are looking for specifications and features more than looks.
Publishing Un-plagiarized content
There is another way of writing content that should be acknowledged; writing should be unique, and for verification, use the plagiarism checker online free, which compares your content with published articles on the Internet.
2. Keyword research
So you plan to place your site at the top of the search engine, but have you noticed the words that the user enters to search for your site? Keywords are the words that you strive to rank by.
Keyword search is possible through the tools available online such as Ahrefs, SEMrush. This tool lets you know the volume of the keyword, CPC, and difficulty level. You should select the keyword that has more volume, more CPC, but less difficulty. To find these properties, you can use the Long Tail keywords.
These tools find competitors for each specific keyword and you can view all their keywords.
3. Find your competitors
SEO is also a kind of analysis of your website and your competitors. The SEO tools provide the analysis of the competitor, which provides the statistics, which helps you to find the strategies they use to win the competition.
If you find your site’s competitors, follow them, and try to outdo them to increase your traffic. If you manage to channel your competitors “traffic to your site, you’ll get more customers and the chance to grow your business.
4. Focus on On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is at the root of boosting your site because it controls all the actions that are performed on your site. However, on-page SEO is important as it increases visibility and user experience.
On-Page SEO includes several actions that need to be linked to your site. Here are some of the factors that are included in on-page SEO:
- Keyword placement
- Title optimization
- Meta Title
- Meta description
- Word count
- Word density
- Inbound and outbound links
5. Off-Page SEO
Similar to off-page SEO, on-page SEO has the same position and importance in the ranking of your website in the search engine. Off-page SEO is important because it increases the reference and relationship of your website to the search engine.
Off-page means to increase the optimization of your website from other websites. Backlinking, for example, is the link that points to your website but places it on other websites. Similarly, off-page is the best way to place it higher, because more and more links would give the search engine a positive effect.
6. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing not only boosts your business but also helps you increase the ranking. Remember that the social linkage of your website is the ranking factor for the website. In this respect, you should be active on social media and connect all these profiles to your website.
If you use WordPress for your site, then there are several widgets that would help you connect and view the social profiles.
Digital marketing would not only increase your visibility in the search engine but also your audience, sales and leads. This is because social media have a huge community to promote your site.
This is another important practice for the SEO of your website, especially with regard to the satisfaction of your users. Whether it is a blog or an e-commerce store, the website should have a friendly website to get it back.
Navigating your website should be simple and informative, and optimal usability is achieved when your website is fun, informative articles, engaging content, and helpful content. Customer support through your website is key to enhancing usability.
To this end, many brands offer live online chats that increase customer engagement and help customers solve their problems immediately.
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