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Smart Sensors and IoT: A New Era in Supply Chain Visibility

Smart Sensors and IoT: A New Era in Supply Chain Visibility


In today’s fast-paced digital transformation world, supply chain visibility is more important than ever. Businesses need to be able to track their products and materials from the moment they are sourced to the moment they are delivered to customers. This can be a complex and challenging task, but the advent of Smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) is making it easier than ever before. It involves capturing real-time data and gaining insights into the various stages of the supply chain, including procurement, production, transportation, and distribution.

Traditionally, supply chains have been fragmented and complex, making it difficult to track goods in real-time. Additionally, manual data collection and outdated technologies lead to data silos and limited visibility.

This is where technology comes into play. The advent of smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized the way supply chains operate, offering unprecedented visibility into the movement and condition of goods. Let’s delve deeper into the world of smart sensors and IoT to understand how they enhance supply chain visibility.

Understanding Smart Sensors and IoT

Let’s understand the basics of smart sensors and IoT along with how sensors and IoT enhance supply chain visibility.

Smart Sensor: Smart sensors are advanced devices that capture data from the physical world and provide real-time insights. These sensors are equipped with built-in processors, memory, and communication capabilities, allowing them to collect and transmit data wirelessly. They are designed to be highly adaptable and can monitor various environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, pressure, and location.

The applications of smart sensors are vast and span across different industries. In healthcare, they can monitor patients’ vital signs and detect anomalies. In agriculture, they can optimize irrigation and monitor soil conditions. However, their significance in supply chains cannot be overstated. By attaching these smart sensors to shipments, companies can track their location, monitor environmental conditions, and even detect any unexpected movements or tampering.

IoT: The Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses a network of physical devices, including vehicles, home appliances, and various items. These objects are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity, facilitating their ability to connect and exchange data.

By leveraging IoT, companies can achieve real-time tracking and monitoring of goods throughout their journey. From the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep, every step can be monitored, ensuring timely and efficient delivery. IoT also enables the collection of massive amounts of data, which can be used for predictive analytics, demand forecasting, and optimization of supply chain processes.

How are smart sensors and IoT being used in supply chain visibility?

Smart sensors act as the eyes and ears of the supply chain, capturing data at various touchpoints. IoT serves as the backbone, connecting these sensors and facilitating the seamless exchange of data.

Together, smart sensors and IoT technologies complement each other to enhance supply chain visibility. Smart sensors provide the granular data required for real-time tracking, while IoT enables the transmission, aggregation, and analysis of this data. This convergence eliminates information gaps, enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions and take immediate action when deviations from the plan occur.

In the logistics sector, containers equipped with smart sensors can provide real-time information on location, temperature, and humidity. This allows companies to monitor the conditions of perishable goods during transportation and take proactive measures to mitigate risk.

In retail, IoT-enabled shelves equipped with smart sensors can track inventory levels and send alerts when products need to be restocked. This ensures better inventory management and reduces out-of-stock situations.

There are many ways that smart sensors and IoT are being used to improve supply chain visibility, which are Tracking shipments, Monitoring conditions, Optimizing routes, and Predicting demand.

Applications of Smart Sensors and IoT in Supply Chain Visibility

Track and Trace Capabilities

Track and trace solutions allow companies to track the movement of goods in real-time, from the point of origin to the final destination. By attaching smart sensors to shipments, companies can collect data on location, temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions.

With this real-time visibility, companies can proactively identify delays, optimize routes, and take necessary actions to prevent disruptions.

Like in the pharmaceutical industry, the ability to track and trace medicine shipments ensures product integrity and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Case studies highlight the benefits of track and trace applications. One such example is Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company. Maersk implemented an IoT-based track-and-trace solution that provides real-time visibility into the location and condition of its containers. This enables Maersk to optimize its operations, reduce costs, and deliver goods more efficiently.

Predictive Analytics for Demand Forecasting

Smart sensors and IoT play a crucial role in collecting data for demand forecasting. By continuously monitoring various environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, and demand signals, companies can gather valuable insights into consumer behavior and market trends. This data can then be analyzed using predictive analytics algorithms to forecast demand accurately.

Companies can optimize inventory levels, adjust production volumes, and ensure timely deliveries. For instance, a beverage manufacturer can leverage predictive analytics to its production schedule based on weather patterns, ensuring that the right products are available in the right locations at the right time.

The global logistics company DHL introduced predictive analytics to optimize its demand forecasting process. By analyzing historical data, weather patterns, and sales trends, DHL improved its demand accuracy by 15% and reduced stock-outs by 50%.

Condition Monitoring and Quality Control

Real-time condition monitoring is vital for ensuring product quality, minimizing losses, and reducing risks in supply chains. Smart sensors enable continuous monitoring of environmental conditions. This allows companies to detect potential issues, such as deviations in storage temperature or equipment malfunctions before they escalate into major problems.

By continuously monitoring conditions, stakeholders can ensure that goods are stored under optimal conditions, preventing spoilage or damage.

Several case studies demonstrate the importance of condition monitoring and quality control in supply chain visibility. Nestle, a leading food and beverage company, implemented a smart sensor-based monitoring system for its refrigerated transport vehicles. This system continuously monitors temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors, ensuring compliance with quality standards and reducing the risk of product spoilage.

Overcoming Challenges

There are a few challenges associated with using smart sensors and IoT in supply chain visibility. Among these, key issues include:

Cost: Smart sensors and IoT can be expensive to implement and maintain.

Security: Smart sensors and IoT can be vulnerable to security breaches.

Data integration: Integrating data from smart sensors and IoT with existing business systems can be a challenge.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of using smart sensors and IoT in supply chain visibility are clear. Businesses that can overcome these challenges will be well-positioned to succeed in the increasingly competitive global economy.


The integration of smart sensors and IoT in the supply chain is not just a trend, but a necessity for businesses to stay competitive in the digital age. Companies should consider investing in these technologies to increase value capture through their supply chains after carefully prioritizing their business objectives and defining their use cases. The future of supply chain visibility is here, and it is smart, efficient, and connected.


The Art of Inventory Management: Maximizing Efficiency and Profitability

The Art of Inventory Management: Maximizing Efficiency and Profitability

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Let’s enter the realm of optimized inventory!

Inventory Management plays a significant role in the success of any business. It involves effectively controlling and organizing the flow of goods, ensuring that the right products are available at the right time while minimizing costs and optimizing profitability.

Just like the skilled conductor brings together different musical instruments to create harmonious symphonies, successful inventory management involves the deliberate and strategic handling of goods and materials to optimize processes, reduce costs, and meet customer demands.

In this blog, we’ll reveal how they can harness its power for maximum efficiency and profitability

Why is inventory management important?

Inventory management is important for several reasons. First, it can help businesses to meet customer demand. Customers expect to be able to purchase the products they want when they want them. If a business does not have enough stock on hand, it may lose customers to competitors.

Second, inventory management can help businesses to reduce costs. Holding too much inventory can be expensive, as businesses must pay for storage, insurance, and other costs. Additionally, excess inventory can become obsolete and lose value over time.

Third, inventory management can help businesses to improve efficiency. By streamlining the inventory management process, businesses can reduce waste and improve productivity.

Foundation of Inventory Management

To build a solid foundation in Inventory Management, it is essential to understand the different types and classifications of inventory.

Raw Materials

Raw materials form the backbone of any production process. Effective management of raw materials ensures a seamless production process, avoiding delays and disruptions. By accurately forecasting production needs and maintaining optimal stock levels of raw materials, businesses can reduce the risk of running out of crucial components, preventing costly production delays.


Work-in-progress (WIP) inventory refers to partially completed products that are still undergoing the manufacturing process. It represents the investment of labor, time, and resources.

With too much work in progress, businesses tie up valuable resources, leading to increased carrying costs. On the other hand, insufficient work-in-progress inventory can cause production bottlenecks and delays.

By closely monitoring WIP inventory levels, businesses can strike the right balance, ensuring smooth production flow and avoiding unnecessary costs.

Finished Goods

Finished goods inventory refers to products that are ready for sale and awaiting customer orders. Maintaining finished goods stock levels is crucial for meeting customer demand without overstocking or understocking.

Overstocking ties up capital and warehouse space, leading to increased holding costs and potential obsolescence. Conversely, understocking leads to lost sales opportunities and disgruntled clients. By utilizing demand forecasting models and analyzing historical sales data, businesses can optimize their stock levels, ensuring customer satisfaction while minimizing holding costs.

How to Determining Optimal Inventory Levels

To determine optimal inventory Levels the Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) and safety stock are mainly focused on.

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

EOQ is a formula used to calculate the ideal quantity of inventory to order at one time. It takes into account the cost of ordering, holding, and the demand for the product.

Businesses can discover the ideal balance between ordering insufficient inventory and running the risk of stockouts, or ordering excessive goods and also paying excessive holding costs, by determining the EOQ. This allows for cost reduction without sacrificing adequate inventory.

Safety Stock

Safety stock is an extra quantity of inventory held to safeguard against uncertainties in demand and supply. It acts as an insurance policy against unexpected events such as sudden spikes in customer demand or supplier delays.

By maintaining safety stock, businesses can avoid stockouts and ensure uninterrupted customer satisfaction. Calculating the appropriate safety stock level involves analyzing historical sales data, lead times, and demand variability.

Best practices for inventory management

Building upon the foundation of effective inventory management, here are some insights to fine-tune your approach.

Centralize inventory management: This will help to improve visibility and coordination across the supply chain.

Use real-time data: This will help businesses to make better decisions about inventory levels and order fulfillment.

Collaborate with suppliers: Businesses should work closely with their suppliers to manage lead times and ensure that inventory is delivered on time.

Be flexible: The business world is constantly changing, so businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in their approach to inventory management.


Inventory management is a complex but important task for businesses of all sizes. By following the key principles and best practices of inventory management, businesses can improve customer service, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. So, take charge of your inventory and unlock the potential for success in your business!

I trust that this blog post is beneficial and fulfills your needs for assistance!

Let’s learn and grow together!


The Human-Machine Collaboration in ASRS Warehousing

The Human-Machine Collaboration in ASRS Warehousing

Human-Machine Collaboration Image


In the era of rapid technological advancement, the logistics and supply chain industry are not left behind. Let’s enter the exciting world of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) warehousing, where humans and machines collaborate to redefine efficiency and productivity. ASRS utilizes advanced technology such as robotics, conveyors, sensors, and data analytics to streamline warehouse operations and enhance efficiency. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the fascinating realm of ASRS warehousing and explore the symbiotic relationship between humans and machines that’s reshaping the future of supply chain logistics.

The Rise of ASRS Warehousing

ASRS technology represents a major leap forward in warehouse automation. ASRS is a type of warehouse technology where goods are automatically placed and retrieved from specific locations within a warehouse. This system uses various computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations.

Streamlined Inventory Management


Automated Storage for Seamless Organization

ASRS employs automated storage systems that efficiently organize and manage inventory. The system utilizes advanced algorithms to identify the optimal storage location for each item, ensuring maximum space utilization and easy accessibility.

Real-time tracking and Data Analytics

By integrating sensors and data analytics, ASRS allows for real-time tracking of inventory within the warehouse. This enables warehouse managers to monitor stock levels, track order fulfillment progress, and make data-driven decisions to optimize inventory management.

Walmart uses real-time tracking and data analytics to improve inventory management by using RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags to track the movement of goods throughout its supply chain. This data allows Walmart to track the location of inventory in real time and to identify products that are running low in stock. Walmart can then take steps to replenish inventory before it runs out. And also uses sensors to track customer traffic and product movement in its stores. This data allows Walmart to identify areas of its stores where customers are spending more time and to identify products that are in high demand. Walmart can then use this information to improve the layout of its stores and to make sure that it has enough of the right products in stock.

Reduced Error Rates and Improved Inventory Accuracy

Human-machine collaboration in ASRS minimizes the risk of human error in Inventory Management. This leads to improved inventory accuracy, reducing the occurrence of stockouts, misplaced items, and inaccuracies in the supply chain. Here Amazon now uses machine learning to automate inventory counting. This has helped Amazon to reduce error rates by up to 90%.

Similarly, Walmart uses a “pick-to-light” system in some of its stores to reduce picking errors. In this system, lights are illuminated above the storage locations of products that need to be picked. This helps pickers quickly and accurately identify the products they need to pick.

Automated Retrieval for Improved Order Fulfillment

Speed and Precision in Picking and Packing: ASRS enables fast and precise order fulfillment through the automation of retrieval processes. Robots or automated mechanisms swiftly locate and retrieve the required items, significantly reducing the time required for order processing.

Optimal Space Utilization and Inventory Rotation: Human-machine collaboration in ASRS warehouses allows for optimal space utilization. ASRS systems intelligently manage inventory placement, ensuring items are strategically rotated to maintain product quality and reduce the risk of obsolescence.

Fulfilling Dynamic Customer Demands: The ability to quickly adapt to customer demands is crucial in today’s rapidly changing market. Human-machine collaboration in ASRS warehouses enables businesses to fulfill dynamic customer demands efficiently, providing a competitive edge in the industry.

The Human Touch

While the term ‘automated’ might suggest a fully machine-operated system, humans play a crucial role in the functioning of an ASRS warehouse. They are responsible for overseeing the operations, ensuring the machines are functioning correctly, and intervening when necessary.

Humans also play a vital role in the maintenance and repair of automated systems. They ensure that the machines are in good working condition, carry out regular checks, and perform necessary repairs or replacements.

While machines excel in repetitive tasks, humans possess invaluable problem-solving skills and expertise to handle complex decision-making. ASRS systems continuously learn from human input and adapt to changing warehouse requirements. This dynamic collaboration ensures that the system remains optimized, enabling warehouses to stay competitive in an ever-evolving industry.

The Perfect Collaboration

The collaboration between humans and machines in an ASRS warehouse is a perfect example of how technology can enhance human capabilities. While machines bring speed, efficiency, and accuracy, humans ensure smooth operations, maintenance, and decision-making based on their judgment and experience.

This synergy leads to increased productivity, reduced errors, and a safer working environment, making ASRS a game-changer in the warehousing industry.

Let’s see a glimpse at how Amazon streamlined inventory management

In the past, Amazon employees would have to walk around the warehouse to pick and pack orders. This was a time-consuming and inefficient process. Amazon now uses ASRS systems to pick and pack orders. This has helped Amazon to improve the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment by up to 50%. Amazon’s inventory management system is one of the most efficient and sophisticated in the world.

Drawbacks of ASRS Warehousing

Despite its numerous advantages, ASRS warehousing also has some drawbacks:

High Initial Investment: The initial cost of setting up an ASRS warehouse can be high, making it a significant investment for businesses. The initial investment in an ASRS warehouse can vary widely depending on the specific needs of your operation and the type of ASRS system you choose. Here are some average investments for different types of ASRS systems,

  • Vertical Carousel Modules: $70,000
  • Horizontal Carousel Modules: $75,000
  • Vertical Lift Modules: $95,000
  • Vertical Buffer Modules: $300,000
  • Mini-load ASRS: $750,000
  • Unit-load ASRS: $1,000,000
  • Multi-Shuttle: $1,000,000
  • Robotic Cube Storage: $1,500,000

These costs can be influenced by several factors, including the size of the system, the environment it operates in, and the physical size and weight of the inventory

Technical Issues: Any technical issues or breakdowns in the automated systems can disrupt the entire warehouse operations.

Lack of Flexibility: ASRS warehouses are designed for specific types of goods and operations. Any changes in the product line or operations may require significant modifications to the system.

Dependency on Electricity: ASRS warehouses are heavily dependent on electricity. Any power outages can lead to a halt in operations.


In conclusion, the human-machine collaboration in Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) warehousing is not just about replacing humans with machines. Instead, it’s about creating a system where both can work together, leveraging their strengths to increase efficiency and productivity. It’s about creating a future where humans and machines coexist and collaborate for a common goal.

I trust that this blog post is beneficial and fulfills your needs for assistance!

Mail me, if in case any queries strike it out, and I will be happy to reply to you!!!