Logistics' IoT ambitions threatened by connectivity challenges
This is according to...
Unreliable communication networks may render logistics businesses unable to capture full value from the Internet of Things (IoT).
This is according to the 100 global transport and logistics companies interviewed by Inmarsat the global mobile satellite company for its ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017’ report.
The research suggests that while 96% of transportation and logistics organisations believe that the success of their IoT deployments is based on reliable ubiquitous connectivity, many businesses are still struggling to access the connectivity they need.
Some 40% identified connectivity issues as one of the biggest challenges facing their IoT deployments, with only IoT skills (54%) and the integration of IoT technology (43%) seen as more problematic.
Worryingly, 28% stated that connectivity issues threatened to derail their IoT deployments before they had even begun.
Effective multi-modal, global logistics is reliant on the vast amounts of data gathered through IoT sensor technology, in order to analyse the behaviours of freight vehicles and cargo.
However, reliable global connectivity these sensors are not always able to function, blunting the ability of businesses to efficiently orchestrate their supply chains.
Mike Holdsworth, Director of Transport at Inmarsat Enterprise commented: “In an increasingly inter-connected world, more cargo is moving through more geographies and more modes of transport to reach its destinations.
“This increasing complexity brings with it new risks and uncertainties, and creates a pressing need for logistics businesses to increase their visibility over the supply chain and make efficiencies, which is where IoT can help.
“If you can monitor cargo from its point of production to its point of delivery, you can cut down on wastage, understand and adapt levels of supply and ensure security.
“With a combination of IoT sensor technologies, such as Radio Frequency Identification tags, Bluetooth Low Energy and Low Power Wide Area Networks the movement of goods and things can become more efficient.
“However, the remote location of transport networks and routes clearly poses a challenge for logistics businesses. We can see from our research that gaps in connectivity are proving problematic to successful IoT deployment.”
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”