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Unveiling Enhanced Security Measures for Businesses and Consumers through 4G/LTE Upgrades in Australia

The 3G network shutdown has already begun in Australia, with Vodafone kicking it off on December 15, 2023. Rival telco Telstra will switch off its 3G network on June 30, 2024, while Optus has set a date for the switch-off as September 2024.

How does the 3G shutdown impact security of businesses?

The 3G sunset has a considerable impact which includes business disruptions, regulatory compliance, increased vulnerabilities, data privacy concerns, and hacker exploitation. Threats arising due to outdated protocols could expose sensitive data and compromise the integrity of operations. Take a look:

  • The 3G shutdown can expose systems to cyber threats as many businesses still use 3G networks. As they are phased out, security patches and updates for these systems may stop, giving hackers an excellent opportunity to attack.
  • The process of transitioning from 3G to newer networks introduces vulnerabilities that cybercriminals may exploit. During this period, devices are generally more susceptible to attacks as they adapt to new network configurations.
  • Older devices might not be compatible with 4G/LTE, so transitioning would be problematic.
  • The encryption protocols used in 3G networks might not be as robust as those in newer networks. Inadequate encryption can lead to unauthorized access and interception of sensitive data.
  • Phishing and social engineering have become common these days – cybercriminals con people by posing as representatives of network providers, giving phony upgrade alternatives or providing false information. Users could be tricked into installing malware or giving out personal details via social engineering attacks.

Why upgrade to 4G/LTE?

People are still asking – is 3G still available in Australia? It is, in limited capacity, but the 3G shutdown (Australia) for major telcos is imminent in 2024, so it is advisable to make the switch immediately. The 4G/LTE network offers a range of benefits that significantly enhance your security system’s performance and reliability:

Faster Communication

4G technology provides quicker data transfer, ensuring that your information is transmitted within seconds.

End-to-End Encryption

All data transmitted over the network is encrypted, providing a secure communication channel.

Improved Authentication

Advanced authentication mechanisms are implemented to safeguard against unauthorized access. 

Future-Proof Security

As 3G networks are gradually being phased out, upgrading to 4G ensures that your device remains up-to-date and compatible with the latest advancements.

How to secure 4G networks?

Rather than researching the exact date of when will 3G be turned off in Australia, it is time to start preparing for the future:

Understand the risks 

The first step to securing your 4G networks is to understand the risks and potential impact of a security breach. You should conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify the most critical assets, likely threats, and effective countermeasures. You should also monitor the network performance, traffic, and anomalies to detect any signs of malicious activity.

Encrypt the data

Encryption ensures that even if data is somehow accessed by unauthorized parties, it remains unreadable, while authentication verifies the identity and integrity of the devices and users. Strong encryption algorithms and keys are used to implement mutual authentication between the network elements and the devices.

Implement firewalls and VPNs 

Implementing firewalls and VPNs (Virtual Private Network) are a must, in order to control the access the traffic of your 4G networks. Firewalls filter the incoming and outgoing traffic based on predefined rules and policies, and block any unauthorized or suspicious connections. VPNs create a secure channel between devices and the network, while encrypting data in transmit. You have to configure the firewalls and the VPNs according to the network requirements and the security standards.

Updating and patching software

There will inevitably be bugs and vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to compromise the network. You should regularly check for the latest updates and patches from the vendors and providers, and install them as soon as possible – they can easily fix these issues.

Training consumers

Users are generally the weakest link in the security chain, as they could fall victim to phishing, malware, or cyber attacks. Provide users with clear and simple guidelines on how to use the network safely and securely, and the process of reporting any incidents or issues.

Review and audit security measures 

It is very important to review and audit the security of 4G networks consistently. Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of security measures and policies, while identifying r weaknesses. Conduct regular audits and tests to verify the compliance and the performance of the network security, and make any necessary adjustments or improvements.

Security Features of 4G/LTE Upgrades

Authentication and Encryption

4G networks make use of mutual authentication between the user device and network. The device always verifies the network’s identity and vice-versa, via keys and certificates. Data transmitted over air interface is encrypted using strong encryption algorithms like Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This encryption ensures that even if data is intercepted, it remains unreadable without the decryption keys. There is another type of authentication where Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) or Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) cards are used. They store cryptographic keys and play an integral role in ensuring no one gets access to the network except authorized users. 

Key Management

Robust key management protocols are used to securely handle encryption keys, ensuring their confidentiality and preventing unauthorized access to these critical keys.

Segmentation

Virtualization technologies separate different network services, preventing security breaches from spreading across the entire network if one segment is compromised.

Protecting Integrity

Using Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC), integrity protection is established, to ensure that the data being transmitted is authentic and hasn’t been tampered with. Device integrity lets only authorized and verified software components get loaded during the boot-up process, so no malicious code can be executed. Internet Protocol Security is also implemented for secure communication between network elements, thus providing a secure channel for data transmission within the LTE network. 

Improved Privacy Protocols

It is necessary to protect location privacy of users; temporary identifiers are often used instead of static identifiers – these make it tougher to track a user’s movements. For subscriber identity privacy, temporary mobile subscriber identity (TMSI) and pseudonymization are used to hide the actual identity, thus reducing the risks associated with tracking. 

Firewalls 

Mobile networks implement firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems for round-the-clock monitoring. They are used to control the traffic entering and exiting the network – you can detect and prevent unauthorized access attempts, malware, and other breaches. There are Access Control Lists too, which are created to specify which devices or users are allowed to access network resources, thus preventing unauthorized access.

Lawful Interception

Rest assured, 4G/LTE networks have protocols in place to support lawful interception. So if there is a chance of data breaches, authorities can monitor communications in compliance with legal requirements. If any threat is detected, they can intervene and take prompt action. When does 3G end in Australia? That is what everyone wants to know! But businesses and consumers have to start preparing beforehand. The former should begin talking to cybersecurity organizations and seek certifications for the upgraded network’s security measures. As of now, the 4G/LTE upgrades will be rolled out in phases for minimal disruptions, but dedicated customer support channels are being established to ensure a smooth transition. Businesses have to train network operators and support staff on the new security protocols and features, without further delay!

A Step-by-Step Guide for Australian Consumers to Check 3G Compatibility on Their Devices

The world of telecommunications is certainly evolving at a swift pace, and with technological advancements, older networks are becoming obsolete. The 3G shutdown (Australia) is being much talked about these days, ever since it was announced by the Big Three - Vodafone, Optus, and Telstra.

What will 3G be turned off in Australia?

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have set deadlines for the 3G network shutdown. Here is a timeline to give you a better idea:

  • The announcement about the 3G shutdown (Australia) was made several years in advance to give individuals and businesses ample time to switch to newer networks.
  • Providers had opted for a phased shutdown to minimize disruptions. It involved decommissioning 3G cell towers and reallocating resources to support 4G and 5G networks.
  • Telecommunication companies have been actively communicating with their customers, notifying them of the impending shutdown and offering assistance with transitioning to 4G or 5G services. This includes information on compatible devices and potential plan changes.

Vodafone is shuttering 3G services in December 2023, while Telstra and Optus will follow suit in 2024, in June and September, respectively.

When does 3G end in Australia? Take a look at how it affects devices:

How to check if your device is 3G-only?

If you have purchased your device within the last 10 years, then it is likely they are at least 4G-capable. But older devices might not be compatible with Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE), a technology that allows your phone to make and receive calls on 4G networks. Devices bought outside Australia could be affected even if they are listed as 4G-compatible, because their spectrum bands aren’t compatible with Australian networks.

You might be able to check if VoLTE and/or 4G are enabled in your device’s Settings under Mobile Data Options. If the device is able to connect to 4G, it should automatically select this network over 3G where available. If you only ever see the “3G” symbol at the top of your phone or tablet’s screen, your device is likely to be 3G-only.

What if you have a 3G-only phone?

You won’t be able to make calls, send messages, or use the internet when the 3G network is switched off. Many older phones, especially those manufactured before 2014, might not support newer networks. Emergency 000 calls on other 3G networks when in coverage will still be possible. You could also use Wi-Fi to access the internet. However, it is recommended that you upgrade to a 4G or 5G compatible phone immediately.

What other devices are impacted by the 3G shutdown?

It isn’t just older phones that will be affected by the shutdown. Some older tablets, e-readers, security systems, baby monitors and even medical alert devices which use a 3G connection may no longer work after the 3G shutdown. Some devices such as tablets and e-readers with 3G connectivity may still be able to be used, but they will become Wi-Fi only devices.

Is it necessary to change mobile plans?

As of now, there is no need to change mobile, data, or broadband plans once the 3G network downs its shutters. You can still access your service on 4G and 5G networks where available. Don’t worry about keeping your phone number – there won’t be any change regarding that.  However, you may need to update your SIM card, if your old device still uses a mini or micro SIM size. Newer phones and devices require a nano SIM as standard, which is much smaller than the SIM cards used in old phones. If your current SIM is too big for your new device, you can contact your telco’s customer service team to order a nano SIM replacement.

Should Australians upgrade directly to a 5G device?

If you wish to future-proof your new device and get access to some of he fastest speeds available in Australia, you could definitely consider a device with 5G connectivity, in addition to 4G. The 5G-ready devices let you use your telco’s 4G and 5G networks where available, so you can experience faster speeds and less lag when on 5G. This technology is now standard on premium phones from brands like Apple, Samsung and Google, and readily available on affordable devices from almost every major manufacturer. Please keep in mind that once you have a 5G-ready phone, it has to be paired with a 5G-capable plan. Check with your telco to see if 5G is available on your plan.

Steps to check compatibility on 3G devices

Identify make and model

It is imperative to identify the make and model of your device. The information is available in the device settings, on the original packaging, or in the user manual. Different manufacturers and models could have varying specifications. You could also search online by entering the model number, along with “specifications” to know more about its network capabilities. The manufacturer’s website can provide useful information in the form of detailed specifications for their products, including network compatibility data, as well.

Check phone settings

Go to the “Settings” in your device, and search for terms like Mobile Networks, Connections, or Network. Find and select “Network Mode” or similar options, and then look for LTE or 4G.

Talk to your mobile service provider

If you are still unable to get information about whether your device is compatible with 4G or not, talk to your mobile service provider. Give them the device’s make and model number and they will guide you from there.

Use online tools

There are numerous online tools and websites using which you can verify if the device is compatible with 4G. Search for such tools on the internet, and enter the device details to verify its compatibility.

Keep in mind that even if the device is 4G compatible, you need to ensure that your carrier supports 4G services in your area, and you have a 4G-enabled SIM card. If you encounter any difficulties, reaching out to your carrier's customer support is often the most reliable option.

Is 3G still available in Australia? This is a common question on everyone’s mind these days! Even if 3G is still operational, the shutdown is imminent, with Vodafone being the first in December, 2023. However, it means that you can expect improved network coverage and performance as the 3G spectrum is repurposed for newer technologies – you get to experience faster download and upload speeds, smoother streaming, and reduced latency. While it might require a few adjustments, the transition to 4G and 5G networks promises improved connectivity and better performance for both consumers and businesses. So don’t wait any longer – upgrade your devices right away!

How will the 3G Network Shutdown Impact IoT Ecosystems in Australia?

Australia is all set to undergo a colossal change as three major players - Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – prepare for a 3G network shutdown after a couple of decades. The phenomenon, known as “3G Sunset”, is set to take place between December 2023 and September 2024, following which telcos have to repurpose the radio frequencies to support newer technologies.

Is 3G still available in Australia?

The 3G shutdown (Australia) is a huge development for the Australian telecommunications industry that has witnessed the use of 3G technology for a long time. 4G has been the norm for some years, while 5G is making inroads, but many individuals and organizations still use 3G-only devices. The shutdown of Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone’s 3G networks will render some of these devices useless, leading to concerns around consumer choice and potential environmental impact. As of now, 3G networks are still available, but the phasing out is set to start soon, so there could be network disruptions.

Will IoT devices work after the 3G shutdown?

With the imminent 3G network shutdown, businesses with devices that operate on IoT (Internet of Things) platforms could face hurdles. But the good news is that transitioning to other available technologies, like 4G, 5G and 0G can offer a variety of benefits, including improved capabilities, lower costs, and better device management.

So what happens after the 3G networks are completely shut down? The answer is simple – older IoT devices might become inoperable. So, businesses that use IoT devices have to invest in updated hardware and new connectivity solutions. It is estimated that more than 50% of all IoT devices that presently rely on cellular to transmit data and connect to the internet will be affected by the 3G sunset.

3G/4G capable devices would still be able to communicate, but that will be lost if they go outside the area of 4G coverage, due to the lack of 3G backup. Despite this, many companies have delayed upgrading their IoT devices due to the complexity of updating numerous devices and their underlying management architecture. The cost of replacing these devices can be exorbitant, depending upon your businesses, and the transition can be huge challenge for companies that rely on IoT devices. Moreover, there are security concerns related to emerging technologies.

What to do after the 3G network shutdown?

The 3G sunset does pose challenges, but there are several connectivity options for IoT devices and projects that need to be upgraded or replaced. If the IoT devices are connected to the 3G network, it is imperative to be prepared for the 3G network shutdown. The first step is to determine which of your devices are still using 3G technologies and what their replacement options are.

Some devices can be replaced with 4G or 5G compatible devices, but for others, you might need to consider alternative options such as switching to a different type of network like 0G – a low-cost, low-power wireless network designed to send or receive small messages between IoT devices. Of course, you might have to upgrade to a new device altogether.

When does 3G end in Australia?

One of the most frequently asked questions is – When will 3G be turned off in Australia? This 3G network shutdown, or 3G sunset, is the process of phasing out the 3G technology in a given region and replacing it with newer technologies like 4G and 5G. Since 2001, 3G has been the predominant technology for wireless mobile telecommunications, but as mobile network operators move towards more advanced networking capabilities, they have committed to phasing out 3G connectivity.

In Australia, the 3G shutdown is set to happen during the following timelines:

  • Vodafone – December 15, 2023.
  • Tesltra – June 30, 2024
  • Optus – September 2024.

The phasing out of 3G technology is a significant milestone in the evolution of mobile communication technology. It will surely cause some hurdles for IoT-based operations, but in the long run, it paves the way for more advanced and effective connectivity options.

What issues have cropped up?

There are presently two barriers to the transition from 3G to 4G or 5G:

  • Lack of awareness about the 3G shutdown – some segments of the Australian market are still in denial or believe the 3G sunset date can be extended.
  • Limited technical resources to support it – companies lack the infrastructure and budget to make the switch.

Different companies are at various stages in their transition programs to 4G. For organizations that haven’t mapped out a strategy yet, it is imperative the get started right away. The best planned and executed migrations can take between 12 to 18 months. These projects often require a re-evaluation of the business and technical aspects of the IoT solution. A redesign of the technical architecture could be needed, along with hardware and equipment replacements in the field.

A major issue for machine-to-machine (M2M) projects, has always been the hidden costs of project planning. For instance, 4G might not work where 3G works, antennas purchased to support 3G may not be compatible with 4G, power, and connector specification could be different.  Another consideration is the lead time on hardware, which can take up to six months if sourced overseas.

The transition has to be as smooth and efficient as possible, so there are minimal disruptions in the business and no negative impact on customers. Work out a clear migration plan, understand the requirements of existing and future devices, and choose the most suitable network technology.

Which sectors are going to be affected?

Industrial and manufacturing industries are going to be massively impacted due to the 3G network shutdown. For example, some of them have windmills that connect to the 3G network. They have to be upgraded, before the network is turned off in their region. Failure to upgrade these devices could lead to lost data and decreased efficiency, as they won’t be able to connect to the internet. There is a global shortage of microchips, which has made it even tougher for IoT-based operations to update devices. The transportation sector will be affected too, as IoT devices used to record driving hours, capture real-time location and collect other data will become inoperable.

Let’s face it – the 3G shutdown (Australia) is inevitable, but it is a great opportunity for businesses to upgrade and boost operations. It is best to capitalize on this incredible opportunity, minimize costs, and make businesses future-proof.

Impact of 3G Shutdown in Australia

Ever since 2003, thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems have benefitted from the arrival of 3G in Australia. In the last few years, the network has acted as the backbone of several industries that relied on it to stay connected and transmit data consistently. But with the evolution of 4G/LTE and 5G networks, telcos in Australia have decided to shut down the 3G network, making several devices and systems redundant.

Why are 3G networks being shut down?

This type of shutdown is known as reallocating or re-farming – it happens when a specific mobile radio frequency band or spectrum is repurposed from one technology to another. The reason being that technology is constantly evolving, so people hardly use 3G frequencies these days.

The evolution of the carrier network has two different objectives. The first is to increase data speeds. The second is to better meet the needs of IoT devices, which often only transmit small amounts of data and thus, don’t need high data bandwidth. However, they must have long battery life and greater coverage. For carriers to roll out these new network services, they have to shut down older networks to re-farm the spectrum bands.

3G networks use wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) technology, which uses the entire cellular spectrum for data transmission. 4G/LTE and 5G use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) technology, which divides the spectrum into smaller sub-bands or slices for more efficient use. 3G devices can’t communicate with 4G/LTE or 5G towers. As consumer demand for 3G depletes, it isn’t possible for network carriers to maintain and support separate sets of network infrastructure.

Once the 3G spectrum band has been reallocated, it won’t be available to use anymore. Eventually, the spectrum will be improved to 4G/LTE and boosted by 5G later on. Few mobile and mobile broadband devices won’t be able to access the network, or will have limited connectivity. Professional hardware has to be replaced.

What have the Big Three decided?

The major telcos in Australia Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone have announced different timelines to shutdown 3G networks:

Telstra 3G shutdown

The 3G connectivity on its 2100MHz spectrum was shut down on March 25, 2019. However, 3G services will continue on its 850MHz spectrum until June 2024. Consumers who use Telstra MVNOs including Boost Mobile, Belong, and Woolworths Mobile are going to be impacted. As of now, the company is proceeding with the planning and upgrades of its new mobile network and new 4G/LTE coverage. It is even working to repurpose the spectrum that is used for its 3G services and reallocate it to 5G.

Optus 3G shutdown

3G services on the 2100MHz spectrum have been shut down, but the 900Mhz spectrum still has it. All Optus MVNOs including amaysim, Circles.Life, and gomo will lose 3G connectivity, once the 3G is entirely axed in September 2024. The company will contact consumers who are likely to be affected, in order to provide information about upgrading their device, SIM card, or both.

Vodafone 3G shutdown

Here too, there isn’t any 3G connectivity on the 2100MHz spectrum since 2019, but it is available on the 900MHz spectrum. Vodafone plans to switch off the 3G network on 15 December 2023. Vodafone-powered providers such as iiNet, TPG, and Kogan Mobile will lose 3G connectivity. Some 4G/LTE handsets could require a change in settings so they can continue making and receiving calls on the Vodafone 4G/LTE network.

Let us assess the impact of the transition from 3G to 4G/LTE

As of now, Australia has between 2 and 3 million active IoT devices operating on 3G. Apart from key sectors like mining and resources, major users of 3G-enabled devices include healthcare providers, utilities, emergency services and road authorities. Once the shutdown rolls out, all 3G-based devices will cease to operate. It means flood monitoring systems in regional Australia, GPS systems on ambulances, and even traffic signal systems.

Various companies are in different stages in their transition to 4G/LTE. Ideally, these migrations take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. Businesses have to re-evaluate their overall model and technical aspects. It could mean a redesign of the technical architecture, as well as hardware and equipment replacements in the field. The shutdown of the 3G network has its most significant impact on businesses that rely on the 3G network to operate their IoT deployments, including fleet companies, logistics providers, government contractors, and other businesses that use machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. It is crucial for these businesses to understand and properly prepare for the shutdown.

Impact on individual consumers

Most smart devices these days have both 3G and 4G/LTE capability, so your phone should continue functioning like before. But if you are using a 3G only device, then it must be upgraded. 3G will be around till 2024, so you have some time to make the transition. The shutdown is imminent, so take a moment to check your device, and ensure everything is updated and geared up for the future.

Impact on businesses

As technology progresses and new advances replace the old, businesses have to learn, adapt, and embrace the change. Here are some issues that businesses could face:

Compatibility of devices

With 3G devices being discontinued, businesses that exclusively rely on 3G connectivity equipment will face compatibility issues. Upgrading to 4G/LTE compatible devices and routers will be necessary to ensure continued connectivity and operations.

Network congestion

When the transition happens from 3G to 4G/LTE, there will be increased number of users in newer networks. The uptick in demand could cause network congestion, thus impacting the reliability and speed of mobile data connections for businesses during peak usage periods.

Disruptions in services

As telecom providers progressively shut down 3G networks, businesses that depend upon 3G for critical services such as point-of-sale systems, remote monitoring, tracking devices in vehicle fleets, and M2M communications, are bound to face service disruptions. It will unfortunately lead to loss of productivity, customer dissatisfaction, and potential financial losses.

Vulnerabilities in security

Since 3G networks are older technologies, they don’t have cutting-edge security features of their 4G/LTE counterparts. Businesses that still use 3G are definitely exposed to greater security risks. For instance, alarm systems might not work properly, and there could be data breaches and cyber attacks. Upgrading to 4G/LTE networks enhances security measures, protecting sensitive business information.

How can businesses prepare for the transition?

  • Assess the present deployments and determine which hardware is compatible with 4G/LTE. The equipment that doesn’t fall under this category has to be replaced.
  • Evaluate connectivity needs and determine the required bandwidth, coverage area, and data usage.
  • Contact suppliers to begin software upgrades, get an idea of how much the transition will cost, and chalk out replacement hardware. Don’t forget to factor in lead times. You need to conduct thorough research to select a suitable 4G/LTE router that meets your business needs – account for network compatibility, security features, scalability, and management capabilities.
  • Test new devices to ensure they are compatible with existing infrastructure. It could involve reconfiguring or upgrading systems. Testing connectivity is a must, along with configuring redundancy features such as dual SIM functionality, so there is uninterrupted connectivity, even during network disruptions.
  • Identify all devices and equipment that currently rely on 3G connectivity. Update the network settings on these devices to connect to the new 4G/LTE network.
  • Monitor the performance of the 4G/LTE network and devices following the switch. Optimize network settings, such as signal strength and bandwidth allocation, to achieve optimal performance.
  • Communicate all changes to staff and impacted customers to minimize disruptions and ensure a seamless transition.

Will other tech be affected?

Apart from smartphones, 3G plays a crucial role in navigation and alarm-based systems in vehicles. Now that 4G/LTE and 5G have made their foray into the market, roadside assistance and emergency crash alerts are among the many network-based features that will be affected by the shutting down of 3G. Some vehicles have an emergency panic button to alert smart responders, via 3G, which could lose functionality. Make sure that your vehicle supports or can receive hardware upgrades to connect to 4G/LTE. As with smartphones, your best bet to stay in the know is by consulting with your local car dealer. While the modification may come in the form of downloadable software or physical spare parts, it will help to keep your vehicle up-to-date.

The shutdown of the 3G network in Australia is certainly a vital milestone in the evolution of its telecommunications infrastructure. In the upcoming months, it will pose several challenges for businesses that still depend upon a 3G network, but careful planning and preparation make the transition to newer technologies more convenient. By assessing their current devices, testing their systems, and communicating changes to their staff and customers, businesses can prepare for the change and continue to operate effectively into the future. Transitioning to 4G/LTE ensures that businesses can maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape.

How can Last Mile Help to Digitize Supply Chains?

In today’s business environment, consumers always look for instant results. A simple example is that when they place an order, they immediately start tracking to see when the package will arrive. In fact, no one will place orders without a definitive ETA (estimated time of arrival). This has drastically changed the last mile for the supply chain industry, forcing operations into making faster deliveries and monitoring more accurately to deliver a product to its final destination.

Companies are struggling to keep up with shipping and tracking – they are looking for new methods to keep up with the increasing pace of last mile. As we become more dependant on technology, it comes as no surprise that digitization is the solution. Once digitization is implemented in the supply chain, it revolutionizes last mile, thus allowing accountability and transparency to meet customer requirements more efficiently. It ensures there is no extra stress on the supply chain, which could cause disruptions.

How can last mile improve digitization of supply chain?

Plan and schedule transportation

When it comes to the last mile of supply chain planning, it means the movement of finished goods from the transportation hub to its final destination. To ensure that this process goes on smoothly, you must plan the transportation properly. Even though transportation seems like the most straightforward aspect of the supply chain, as “the hard part is over”, it can cause loads of issues, if not efficiently managed.

End-to-end efficiency in a supply chain is extremely important for seamless last mile operations. It is clear that with the right transportation optimization software, dispatchers and planners are able to design and optimize the perfect transport scenario. Suitable solutions allow dispatchers to plan and schedule vehicle routing in the network, thus ensuring pickup and drop-off of goods in a timely manner. Using analytics, data integration, telematics, Internet of Things (IoT) , and geo-services, you get real-time forecasts. It provides you with the information required to avoid disruptions and make optimal transportation decisions, both in-bound and out-bound. Thanks to smart, accurate, and timely decisions, planning efforts can be reduced up to 60%, while transportation costs can be minimized by 20%.

Keep in mind that automation of digitization eliminates risk of human error, while allowingsmarter decisions, via use of parallel processing instead of sequential methods. Data is simultaneously analyzed through one system, rather than requiring coordination from numerous team members. It improves internal communication, while easing exchange of information.

With a digitally transformed transportation system, you can be more confident in your goods’ timely movement from one destination to another. 

Keep tabs and monitor in real-time

Apart from reliable transportation, you should be able to track and monitor products as they move through the last mile of supply chain. Multi-dimensional monitoring helps visualize the supply situation, providing transparency when it comes to bottlenecks, inventories, and complete coverage of the supply chain.

While identifying bottlenecks, you can check exactly which orders are affected so you can filter them apart from on-schedule orders and reduce further delays. Moreover, these real-time updates will allow you to update customers as quickly as possible, thus maintaining customer satisfaction.

Monitoring via last mile software solutions help to identify specific problems like bad weather, delays in transportation, and lost cargo, before they even arise. Warnings such as these are critical to avoid disruptions and maintain timely deliveries. This monitoring system keeps tabs on processes in a global environment, be it tracking products by land, air, or sea. It will monitor supply of parts against planned sequence, inventories, and transportation route, ensuring you have eyes on the products at all times. It simultaneously checks your ability to deliver and also the status of products, so the supply chain is up-to-date. Using Anstel’s Last Mile solutions that help to monitor round-the-clock, you can save tremendously in reducing safety stocks and additional transportation trips, allowing you to increase production.

Pay attention to shipping

Transportation and monitoring are two of the major components of last mile, but the primary purpose of last mile is delivering goods to their final destination. Some companies often overlook the importance of their shipping responsibility, falsely perceiving it as being out of a business’s control. In fact, there have been several delays in shipping in the last couple of years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While this is an unprecedented side effect, it should not be news for supply chain managers to prepare for the unexpected. To prepare for global delays like this, or even delays of the usual kind, supply chains must have an effective system of managing their shipping process. Digitization of supply chains will help predict delays and quickly resolve them. While it may seem that the solutions for transportation and monitoring overlap with shipping, it is crucial to cover all of your bases.

When it comes to shipping, machine learning has totally transformed supply chains. This is a process where enormous data caches are analyzed to find connections between different sets of information. Shipping involves massive quantities of data, and it can be easy for important details to get lost, resulting in delayed or missing orders. When this happens, business is impacted, which leads to loss of reputation and revenue leakage.

Once machine learning is implemented into the shipping systems, it will use historical data such as past orders, while comparing it with real-time information. It enables standardization of key data points to alleviate some of the complexity of supply chains and last mile delivery. Thus, it pinpoints the factors contributing to a successful supply chain and continues to implement them. Moreover, it predicts forecasts that let you prepare orders, storage and transportation more accurately, thereby simplifying the shipping process and bringing products to consumers much faster. Added awareness of these factors will allow you to maximize capacity and transportation, saving you valuable time and money while exceeding customer expectations.

Keeping customers happy

The last mile is all about bringing goods to their final destination, but you must not forget what that destination is – customers. The ultimate goal of your supply chain is to maintain and improve customer satisfaction, while encouraging repeat business. By digitizing the supply chain, you provide customers with timely, rapid, and reliable deliveries. Implementation of transportation planning systems, multi-dimensional monitoring, and machine learning, ensures an excellent supply chain performance, which means happy customers at the end of the day. Customers get real-time updates thanks to last mile solutions, regarding order status. They know just what to expect when they conduct purchases. While digitization is crucial for your supply chain and will benefit you in countless ways, it is essential to remember that it is advantageous for customers too, especially in the last leg of their anticipated delivery.

How can transitioning towards digitization help?

Due to volatility of demand and irregular product availability, stock-outs are amongst the biggest challenges being faced by last mile delivery companies these days. Customers have little patience or tolerance when they hear their favorite item is unavailable. It will take seconds for them to switch to a competitor when they encounter a stock-out. After all, there are many active players in the last mile delivery environment. 

High seasonality, short shelf-life, and the perishable nature of many products require a lot of precision in purchase order planning. When you work with a trustworthy digital transformation partner, it helps to accurately forecast future demand and product availability, so you can dynamically adjust stock levels to find the right balance between minimizing stock-outs and eliminating waste.

Remember that due to aggressive growth, last mile delivery providers have an incredibly complex network of warehouses, docks, dark stores, and local vendors, usually without adequate planning infrastructure. They usually have limited planning tools and rely heavily on employees for knowledge management. Add to that the abundance of spreadsheets for individual processes, and it is not hard to get lost in the chaos. 

Thanks to digitization, machine learning, and advanced analytics, last mile providers can effectively plan all steps of their supply chain journey. It includes forecasting, dark-store replenishment, and warehouse procurement – each step is integrated seamlessly with one another and works in sync to deliver amazing customer service. They can consolidate their entire supply chain network under a single digital platform. The system considers external factors such as weather data, special events, and promotions from various sources to generate actionable insights and automated recommendations to run their dark-store replenishment and warehouse procurement processes. 

By utilizing cutting-edge technologies and analytics, last mile providers can survive the ever-demanding challenges of fast growth. Digital supply chain planning solutions offer sophisticated tools to tackle these predicaments rigorously. 

The Covid-19 pandemic showed us what it takes to find innovative solutions during challenging times. Supply chains have to maintain stellar performance so companies can continue delivering exceptional customer service, while ensuring their product offerings are accessible, convenient, and fully available at all times. Digitization via last mile is just what is needed in future!

Ways to Achieve a Sustainable Transformation

Nowadays, the general belief among many companies with logistics operations is that shifting to sustainable solutions is an expensive move. They consider logistics processes as mere costs that ultimately don’t generate any value for the company and its customers. Therefore, they compress these costs as much as possible, selecting solutions based on the lowest price, trying to limit the consumers’ visibility on these elements. But that is assuredly not so, because organizations can still comply with sustainability guidelines and advanced planning tools and maintain a high profit margin.

Ways to achieve sustainability in Connected Logistics

Supply chain sustainability helps to save money, build strong business relationships, and benefits the environment too. Here are the three elements of supply chain sustainability you have to consider:

Social

It involves principles, ethics, morals and philanthropic expectations of the society from a business. When you consider “people” in the supply chain, it not only means company employees, but even vendors, customers, local communities, and society as a whole. To enhance social sustainability, companies have to come up with measurable goals to maximize their positive social impact. 

Driver safety

Anstel’s Connected Logistics solutions help to manage assets, gain better control of fleet operations, boost efficiency, and  keep tabs on real-time location of vehicles and drivers at all times. Combined with a driver monitoring system, which allows extensive in-cabin monitoring, it is possible to optimize both vehicle and workforce performance. Both devices automatically record daily driving behavioral data, so fleet managers get a clearer overview of their performance. With the aid of alerts, reports, and driver scorecard analytics, managers stay informed of unsafe driving, negligence, driver fatigue, and other problematic behavioral patterns. Alerts are sent to drivers so they can self-correct their driving immediately to prevent incidents on the road.

Pedestrian safety

Thanks to in-depth data being collected from a fleet monitoring system, managers can identify areas of improvement and take action accordingly. Small distractions on the road could lead to fatal accidents, so it is important to enforce safe driving practices. Apart from rectifying driving behavior issues, managers can protect employees, while ensuring safety of other drivers and pedestrians on the road. Training modules can be developed for grooming employees into conscious and responsible drivers.

Reduce theft

Cargo theft is a huge problem these days, which leads to millions of dollars in losses! Fleet management software and telematics are excellent tools to zero in on the fleet’s real-time location and get regular updates. With smart IoT enabled GPS tracking devices and sensors in place, fleet managers can keep track of their shipments to prevent theft.  In case there is any deviation from the planned route, the update is shared with the concerned person in real-time. The geo-fencing feature triggers alarms if vehicles travel outside designated zones.

Environmental

It involves protecting the environment from potential harm caused due to supply chain activities like production, storage, packaging, transportation and other minute operations. The more complex a supply chain, the tougher it is, to achieve true sustainability.

Digitization

It is the era of technology and digitization. All analog supply chain processes are being gradually transformed into digital ones. It is being achieved by establishing dedicated master data that aggregates information from across your entire supply chain, along with information from external sources. Going paperless is a huge part of this trend, as it not only convenient, but also results in making less of a harmful impact on the environment. For instance, technologies like Electronic Data Interchanges (EDIs) can help your procurement team go paperless—Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms help make the procurement function more efficient and reduce waste in the supply chain. Connected Fleet and Logistics solutions collect, process, and record data, so fleet managers can access it anytime. No longer do they have to write down details on paper or keep them in filing cabinets! It helps to save the environment while lowering operational costs.

Optimizing processes

Asset management directly impacts the viability of your supply chain. Ultimately, how you keep track of maintenance issues and the ways in which you interpret trends and data have real consequences. Review fuel cost trends, source products and raw materials from locations that are near your customers to minimize transportation costs, and schedule jobs so drivers can focus on the same geographical areas. Drivers should submit post-trip inspection reports so you don’t fall behind on maintenance. A regular maintenance schedule has to be adhered to as well. Route optimization is yet another way to make the supply chain more efficient. Mapping out a cost-effective route not only help drivers complete deliveries faster, but minimizes fuel consumption too.

The incremental costs of losses from damage, wasted time and rework often surprise business owners. For example, on its own, a broken pallet or a defective component might not seem like much. Left unattended, however, such waste can easily run into an exorbitant annual expense that could be eliminated from the balance sheet. Create a list of all the moving parts of your inbound and outbound logistics, highlighting those in particular that you know are high-cost areas. Prioritize those items and any others where performance seems to be below expectations.

Green driving and fuel efficiency

While it is necessary for drivers to follow good driving habits to ensure safety, it is also required for eco driving purposes. Drivers can improve gas mileage and emit fewer greenhouse gases by simply avoiding hard accelerations and slamming on the brakes. Reducing idle time can greatly improve fuel efficiency. Another way to consume less fuel is to ensure that drivers stick to planned routes without any deviations. Keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance is also a must, as a well-maintained vehicle is fuel efficient and offers longer life. Most importantly, it minimizes breakdowns that could otherwise delay shipments, spoil the overall schedule, increase fuel consumption, and so on.

Reduce returns

It is time to improve and perfect the Last Mile aspect of businesses, by ensuring timely delivery and receipt of goods. What happens when the recipient isn’t present to sign for the package? The shipment is returned to the warehouse, and delivery has to be attempted again the next day. It results in excessive fuel consumption, which means a negative footprint on the environment. It has to be verified (prior to deliveries being attempted) if the recipient is actually present to sign for the shipment, so that delivery failure is reduced and returns are minimized.

Financial or Economic

Last but not least, is profit! Supply chain sustainability is about helping the people your organization touches and the planet on which we live. However, it is also about positioning your organization to be sustainably profitable.

Recycle

A sustainable supply chain uses products that are built to have a light environmental footprint, last longer and be easily disassembled and remade or transformed for reuse. It helps to reduce costs in the long run, as efforts are focused on efficiency and reduction of waste.

Minimize costs

IoT enabled devices and sensors keep monitoring the vehicle, and when a critical event occurs, details are sent immediately for preventive analysis. Driver behavior is monitored as well, so crashes can be prevented, which reduces costs associated with repair and maintenance due to accidents, while preventing injuries and fatalities. The Autonautics platform allows predictive and prescriptive maintenance, which is a more practical approach as opposed to scheduled inspection procedures that are expensive. The moment a problem is detected, the vehicle is sent for repairs, taking care of the issue right away. Moreover, drivers should be instructed to stick to planned routes, while minimizing idle time, in order to reduce fuel consumption, which in turn helps to control costs.

The supply chain is continuously generating data in real-time. Using this information you can streamline ordering processes and manage inventory, which saves a lot of expenses upfront. For instance, you know exactly which product is in stock and what has to be ordered. Thus, you can keep up with customer demand, ensure there is no wastage, and minimize carrying fees too. Implement a just-in-time system of inventory management, so you order and receive inventory as and when it is needed, rather than having to store lots of unused stock.

Ensure on-time deliveries

Route optimization plays an integral role when it comes to logistics. It is imperative to use the data being generated to optimize routes while dispatching jobs to drives. Tracking data of delivery times from pickup to drop-off at the end location lets businesses find out where inefficiencies lie, in order to better plan their routes going forward. The longer the distance between drops, the higher is the cost of delivery, along with wastage of time and effort. By optimizing routes, you ensure timely delivery and reduce fuel consumption too. The more jobs your drivers complete within designated time frames, the lesser is your revenue leakage. Timely deliveries mean client satisfaction and repeat business, instead of disgruntled customers leaving poor reviews and switching over to the competition.

A core tenet of a sustainable supply chain is that socially responsible business practices aren’t just good for the planet and the people who live here, but it can bring concrete benefits for the business too. By creating a sustainable supply chain using Connected Logistics, businesses can implement more impactful and positive changes on their environmental footprint, reduce costs, and improve reputation at the same time.

New Vehicle Plans Issued by IRDAI Offers Benefits for Good Driving Behaviour

The insurance market is undergoing rapid developments, which is why, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has granted permission to general insurers to introduce sophisticated add-ons such as Pay As You Drive, Pay How You Drive and Floater Policy. They are to be issued to the same individual owner for two-wheelers and private cars as add-ons in a motor insurance policy.

Usage-based premiums make it convenient

The newly introduced add-ons are being offered with the base Motor Own Damage (OD) policy as optional riders. They can be selected by the policyholder based on the coverage they seek. Thus, customers get a chance to manage insurance policies of multiple vehicles owned by them, with affordable premiums.  These are telematics-based auto insurance plans, where the premium is determined the vehicles’ usage and how they are being driven. The IRDAI has been working to help the industry adapt to the times in its ongoing effort to safeguard policyholder interests and boost insurance penetration in India. Motor insurance is constantly evolving, and with the advent of technology, there is much pressure on the insurance fraternity to rise up to the challenging demands.

How does it work?

Pay As Your Drive

This add-on lets customers pay a premium based on vehicle usage. Vehicles that spend more time on the road could attract a higher premium as compared to the ones used less. It will be beneficial for car owners that commute by public transport to work and only use their personal vehicles during weekends. It is simple – the less you drive, the less you pay!

Pay How You Drive

This policy depends entirely on the driving behaviour. Vehicles that attract hefty fines or are involved in more accidents have to pay a higher premium. The data is accessed via the telematics system in the vehicle, and the owner is billed accordingly. If a buyer drives their vehicle in a rash, erratic, or aggressive manner, they would have to pay a higher premium since the risk associated would be greater.

Floater Policy

It allows vehicle owners to get a single blanket policy that covers several vehicles, which includes two-wheelers, rather than buying separate policies. So for those who have a car and two-wheeler at home, it is clearly a win-win!

Auto insurance companies are pleased about the development

Auto insurance companies have welcomed this move by IRDAI as it will eventually do away with the “standard premium for all” practice. Thanks to the new add-ons permit, the OD policy can be tailored as per a customer’s driving behaviour, general upkeep, mileage, and vehicle usage patterns, to offer the best features as per requirements.

The introduction of “Pay as you Drive" and "Pay How You Drive" covers, will nudge customers towards a utility-based “Pay as you Use" model, lending greater flexibility and convenience in customer choice. As of now, there is price equity due to lack of user behaviour based pricing of insurance premiums, which is all set to change. It becomes cost-effective for low usage customers, especially those who drive less than 10,000 kilometres. Some auto insurance companies in India are even offering a discount on premiums for vehicles already installed with telematics and anti-theft devices.

How does Anstel’s Autonautics platform benefit auto insurance companies, along with fleet owners and individual car owners, in accordance to the change in policy?

Auto insurance companies

Anstel’s Autonautics platform can help auto insurance companies offer customized premiums to customers based on their driving behavior. It offers a clear insight into driving patterns such as speed, braking, sharp turns, etc. and tendency to get into accidents. Using this data, insurers can reward responsible drivers by lowering premiums and giving additional benefits. The platform lets insurance companies analyze the risk profile of a driver, while tailoring both offline and online car insurance policies with an appropriate pricing model specific to the customer. Insurers can even use the real-time data analysis to investigate claims.

Fleets and personal vehicle owners

As mentioned, the Autonautics platform helps to monitor driver behavior, which prompts safe driving practices on the road, such as sticking to speed limits, not making sharp turns, refraining from driving erratically, and so on. Good driving behavior mean less fuel consumption, with reduced wear and tear of vehicle parts that minimizes repair costs. The platform reduces the cost of business with inspection based on data rather than physical inspection. If you adhere to safe driving habits on the road, you are likely to pay a lower premium, while getting value-added services at the same time.

As we adjust to living with Covid-19, lifestyles have been drastically impacted. Many people don’t drive regularly, but still have to pay the same annual premium based on the make and model of their vehicle. With the right kind of data, the insurance company can offer new, improved, and beneficial need-based insurance policies to specific car owners. Successful implementation of these policies means growth in profits for the insurer and extensive insurance and satisfaction for the policyholder. It is a win-win for both parties!

How Internet of Things prevent food wastage

The food industry has made several technological advancements to grow and evolve. Yet the problem of food wastage continues to persist. It not only happens at the consumer level but during the production and transportation stages too.

How is food wasted?

As food moves along the supply chain, its quality degrades to a large extent that these products become unsuitable for consumption. The amount of time for spoilage differs for every item. Quality could deteriorate at a swift rate due to environmental factors such as high temperature and humidity. It leads to wastage of food items and huge losses for all stakeholders. Did you know that according to the United Nations, 17% of the total global food production is wasted every year?

How can IoT prevent food wastage?

To prevent wastage of food, it is necessary to monitor the goods 24x7. Human-based monitoring is not only tedious but susceptible to errors as well. This is where Internet of Things (IoT) plays a crucial role. It only strengthens the food supply chain and makes it well-structured, but also minimizes food wastage and boosts safety. IoT sensors act as precise indicators by capturing data during transit, to keep tabs on aspects that affect food quality, in real-time.

Using IoT devices, manufacturers can identify the exact point in the supply chain where food wastage occurs. It is done by collecting and evaluating data in real-time. This data offers a clear insight that helps stakeholders make smart operational decisions. 

Supply chain traceability

A lot of food gets wasted during the manufacturing process, as food undergoes several production stages, involving heavy equipment and machinery. Wastage occurs during handling and storage too. IoT can reduce food waste by using numerous sensors spread across factories. They compile important data about food production, so the causes of wastage can be easily identified. Data such as the expiry date of various products, how much stock is left, products that are overstocked, etc. can be collected. IoT sensors also identify and categorize products based on how fast they spoil, so distribution can be carried out accordingly.

Improved logistics

With the help of GPS systems and RFID transmitters, food products can be stored more effectively. RFID chips ensure visibility into the food supply chain while helping to automate delivery and shipping processes. These transmitters monitor and control temperature, which is why companies are now integrating RFID chips. It means no food spoilage, with retailers getting timely deliveries.

Quality control

IoT sensors can efficiently control food quality and improve food safety. For instance, perishable food items are transported in refrigerated vehicles. IoT sensors constantly monitor the temperature of the vehicles, and if there is any fluctuation, a real-time alert is sent to the concerned person immediately. Real-time data enables quick decisions that save time and money, without compromising the health of consumers. Thus, smart refrigerators and transportation containers, help to maintain the consistency of food product quality. 

To sum up, IoT-based smart sensors can detect temperature changes during manufacturing, storage, and transportation and send alerts. Anstel offers a combination of sensors that keep tabs on freezers and coolers round the clock and sends out an early warning when temperatures aren’t within range. Thus, they prevent food wastage and save thousands of dollars worth of items.

Role of Connected Logistics and IoT in the Jewelry Industry

Keywords

  • Connected Logistics in Jewelry Industry
  • IoT in Jewelry Industry
  • Iot solutions and jewellery tracking software
  • Jewellry tracking iot solutions software
  • Jewellery tracking iot software

Role of Connected Logistics and IoT in the Jewelry Industry

The jewelry industry has undergone a lot of disruptive innovation due to advancements in technology. It has suffered significant losses in the Covid-19 pandemic, but now that economy is slowly bouncing back, this sector has gradually started to align itself to the world’s rapid growth and consumerism. The adoption of IoT (Internet of Things), including Connected Logistics, can now provide actionable insights and enable more informed decision-making.

Let us take a look at how Connected Logistics and IoT are transforming the jewelry industry:

Optimizing inventory

Jewelers have to maintain a high-value inventory when it comes to their accessories and pieces. Materials being out of stock, or being excessively in stock, doesn’t look good! Reordering can be complex to manage as any delay in restocking can lead to revenue leakage. It is imperative to integrate analytics into the in-store sales system, so a real-time inventory status can be obtained along with other valuable indicators. Thus, retailers can transfer slow-moving items between stores and optimize stock levels in showrooms depending upon current trends and demand.

Predictive maintenance

Thanks to IoT-driven data analytics, predictive maintenance solutions can help avoid manufacturing equipment failures and exorbitant maintenance costs. It can also help to minimize staffing by automation of the assembly line, boost the efficiency of production, decrease costs and increase overall revenue.

SMART wearables

With the advent of digitization, consumers now want jewelry that goes beyond aesthetics. People want a combination of fashion and IoT, which has led to SMART (self-monitoring and reporting technology) products. These are available in the form of wearable jewelry pieces that perform a wide range of functions such as making phone calls, keeping a check on stress levels, and even monitoring sleep patterns.

Sales analysis and outlet performance

A complete sales analytics and expense report from the data collected can help analyze sales and expenses, based on location, product type, and other parameters. From a centralized sales analytics dashboard, one can monitor and measure sales performance by product categories, groups, showrooms, regions, and sales personnel. Business managers can identify bottlenecks and sales laggers, detect root causes, and implement suitable solutions.  Businesses with several outlets can leverage the power of advanced analytics to process data and get useful insights on performances at different outlets, areas that need improvement etc. Management reports can be generated from the data visualization dashboards and new approaches implemented by the management based on these insights.

Security

Thanks to Connected Logistics and IoT-enabled sensors, expensive jewelry can be monitored and tracked 24×7. Business managers can keep an eye on their precious cargo while it is being transported, while an alert is immediately sent to them in case of possible damage and theft. Even if there is a road mishap or accident, assistance can be dispatched quickly, in order to minimize losses to the business.

Connected Logistics will continue to revolutionize the jewelry industry in the years to come, especially with the advent of blockchain to enhance stock traceability in the supply chain, while ensuring the merchandize stays safe till it arrives at the destination.

Importance of Connected Logistics in the Surgical Industry

Connected Logistics in the surgical industry needs to be resilient and agile to react quickly to whatever issues come up. It could be unexpected time delays, inaccurate deliveries, or equipment malfunctions. Such crises are always logistical nightmares within the healthcare industry. It could result in problems such as scheduling issues, reputational damage, erosion of patient confidence and extra costs.

How can Connected Logistics be of help?

To resolve such logistical issues, the surgical industry has embraced the concept of robust supply chain management, which involves extensive application of advanced robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and the next generation of big data analytics. It is also known as Supply Chain 4.0 (term coined by McKinsey and Company).

  • As mentioned, this approach depends heavily on disruptive technologies, such as IoT, big data, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) analytics to improve efficiency, visibility, and accountability across the entire supply chain. It makes widespread use of data loggers and sensors to collect and monitor critical data throughout the supply chain for healthcare logistics managers. After combining with remote monitoring and intelligent analytics, the system allows pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations to automate and analyze many aspects of delivery and storage.
  • Connected Logistics basically “connects” all parts of healthcare logistics. Thus, the surgical industry can leverage intelligent analytics to predict demand trends and adjust their orders accordingly. For instance, a pharmacy uses predictive analytics in its supply chain to ensure they don’t run out of medicines.  When its inventory is close to getting depleted, the system can send an automatic order notification to the pharmaceutical supplier to replenish the stock.
  • Yet another aspect where Connected Logistics offers immense benefit is quality control and risk management, which is all the more essential when it comes to pharmaceutical environmental monitoring.  There are many environmental variables involved in drugs and vaccines like temperature and humidity. Thus, it creates a need to continuously monitor these conditions and protect the quality and efficacy of the products. For example, vaccine manufacturers and distributors can use IoT-enabled devices to automate temperature monitoring of goods. They can effectively trace, monitor, and control vaccine temperatures throughout the cold chain (to a certain extent), from the production line to where the dose is readied for administration.  It reduces vaccine wastage, eliminates manual processes, and improves logistics efficiency.
  • Connected Logistics also helps detect deviations, failures, and other issues in the supply chain, in real-time.  For instance, remote monitoring of healthcare cold chain logistics can help detect even the slightest fluctuations in temperature conditions, alerting the supply staff to take preventive measures.

How can Connected Logistics help the surgical industry?

The surgical industry revolves around managing assets, while optimizing costs without compromising the health of a patient.

Pharmacy

The main objective of a hospital is to provide proper health care to patients. That is why, a consistent supply of high quality medicines are required in the pharmacy. This is where Connected Logistics plays a crucial role – it ensures timely availability of medicines at the lowest possible purchasing cost. When it comes to the supply chain, it requires various suppliers, vendor agreements, floating of tenders, rounds of negotiations, and freezing on processes of product delivery (some medicines have to be transported at regulated temperatures only).

Store keepers managing the supply chain in today’s hospitals are unaware about management principles. At times, medicines end up in high demand and low availability or vice-versa. It enhances risk of expiry of medicines in the pharmacy. Since it is tough to determine exact demand for medicines, it is necessary to capture precise data on medicine consumption. It gives a clear insight about the trends. As mentioned above, keeping tabs on the data, ensures that the stock is replenished whenever supply runs low.

Patient Safety

Did you know that thousands of patients die every year due to poor safety cultures and preventable medical mistakes?  Connected Logistics in the surgical industry is necessary for maintaining the flow of business, without compromising on the valuabl

t Hospitals have to link patient safety and all other processes in correct format, such as managing expired medicines by automating the medicine/product tracking and identifying. This ensures that staff and patients are confident about the mode of treatment. All time-consuming supply chain processes can be streamlined to reduce time used to track down critical drugs and medicines, prevent human errors, and eliminate redundant processes. Data should be captured using IoT and Connected Logistics to ensure there is no margin for mistakes. All processes should follow supply chain transparency to gain patient satisfaction and considering human life the most important.

Blood Bank

The goal of hospitals is to dynamically manage and monitor the blood supply chain. According to research, supply of donor blood is irregular, so the following aspects should be taken care of:

  • Locations selected for blood collections, depending on the transfusion services commodity required, should be stored.
  • Number of regional blood banks has to be on record.
  • Supply and demand should be coordinated systematically to meet the purpose.
  • Transportation of blood on demand sans any delays.
  • Delivery system to be closely connected to meet the run time requirement.
  • Blood banks should be open 24x7 for any emergencies in the hospital or nearby hospitals.

Connected Logistics improves customer experience

The surgical industry of today, is customer-driven, so patient satisfaction is a top priority. As disruptive technologies and inter-connected devices compile relevant data and insights, healthcare organizations can apply this information to streamline their logistic needs and enhance customer experience.

Increased logistical operational efficiency will only result from IoT devices streaming data that can be accessed and analyzed in real-time. It reduces disruptions, improves communication, and ensures better-managed logistics. IoT is a game-changer for healthcare organizations to maintain logistics best practices and redefine demand and supply, thus allowing them to better respond to evolving needs.

Connected Logistics in the surgical industry offers a myriad of benefits such as automated collection and organization of data, real-time and customized alerts to detect and prevent anomalies in the supply chain, and much more. By leveraging this technology at all the monitoring points, the surgical industry can conveniently transition from reactive to proactive logistics monitoring.

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