The reliance on GPS tracking devices that provide real-time location data from freight shipments, drivers, and transportation has become an even more critical operational requirement over the past two years as supply chains have grown. devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
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There is no denying the systematic benefits that global companies have found in integrating Global Positioning Systems (GPS) into their global business operations. And as the functionality and data analysis of GPS evolves with more advanced AI-based technology, it is adopted by even more organizations for everything from improving fleet management and from increased driver safety to improved safety and operational efficiency.
The reliance on GPS tracking devices that provide real-time location data from freight shipments, drivers, and transportation has become an even more critical operational requirement over the past two years as chains supply have been devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. End users have found themselves in a paradigm shift when it comes to supply chain issues and business operations since the COVID-19 outbreak. Organizations needed solutions to ensure the smooth delivery of goods and parts while facing the challenges of health and safety mandates of a growing pandemic.Courtesy of BigStock.com – Copyright: Rawpixel.com
For solution providers like ShadowTrack24 / 7, the impact of COVID-19 has confused and bewildered many of their customers, most of whom have been affected by supply chain disruptions. The pandemic has highlighted the need for better visibility and more information.
“Routine operations have become complex and unpredictable, making it difficult for all parties involved, especially supply chain and logistics coordinators. GPS tracking of cargo has been crucial, helping to provide actionable data that these teams can use to act and respond faster. GPS tracking as a means of supply chain mapping became crucial to provide visibility to recipients who were then better able to staff and schedule deliveries at a time when COVID-19 was forcing many employers. reduce their staff, ”says Daniel Pickus, director of customer solutions for ShadowTrack 24/7, a provider of GPS and UWB tracking solutions.
The crisis leads to solutions
Pickus and his team have observed dynamic technological and operational trends over the past year due to the health and safety crisis facing most of their customers. He believes the many operational adjustments to the supply chain will have long-term legs and applications.
“For a long time, GPS tracking has been the domain of high-value freight, but the technology is increasingly widespread in different industries. As more businesses embrace cargo tracking, internal procedures will leverage GPS tracking data in business decisions and communications. Customer service teams can provide desperate customers with more accurate information about their orders. Staffing for projects can be planned more precisely to align with the arrival times of required assembly parts. Operations teams can react more quickly to changes in delivery schedules. Logistics teams can hold transport partners accountable for adherence to procedures, quality and other agreed standards. While the decision to establish GPS tracking may come from supply chain and security teams, these SOPs offer benefits that extend across the organization, ”says Pickus.
Using an advanced AI platform and cloud solutions, GPS technology enables more robust accountability of cargo, vehicles and personnel and certainly encompasses all parameters of a secure network. As use cases evolve, a myriad of complementary technologies supported by AI and cloud will be integrated for high security supply chain operations and shipping.
“GPS trackers provide a lot of data, and most are never even used. Based on usage reports, we estimate that less than 30% of all tracking data collected is accessed. AI and machine learning as the next step to help leverage these rich datasets and deliver actionable insights to supply chain teams, “says Pickus.” Complementary technologies such as smart keyless locks and GPS-enabled seal protectors as well as developments in mobile applications related to the supply chain have taken cargo security. Remote access, real-time user audits, the ability to give temporary access to the remote padlock without having to go to the site with the keys in hand; the applications not only save money but also precious time. “
Face the risk
While not shedding light on the current pandemic, like many professionals in the security industry, Pickus admits that a crisis is usually the instigator for organizations to finally assess their risks and develop a mitigation plan. .
“There is nothing like a crisis to align internal interdepartmental goals within an organization. Pre-COVID supply chain operations and security focused on different aspects of the business. While one part focused on efficiency, the other part focused on safety. Safety procedures, while valuable, tend to reduce efficiency, leading to some level of conflict between these two groups, ”adds Pickus. “However, with all the challenges going on, security becomes essential, and when operations understand the need for increased security, the two can work together to ensure that SOPs are followed for the benefit of all. Education is essential, when safety SOPs are not understood it is easier to ignore them and when supply chains are as tight as they are now, in a context of global scarcity, the last thing what you want is to lose track of a container full of essential components. ”
When it comes to supply chain threats, gray market diversion challenges have a huge impact on overall business operations and security. Establishing a set of best practices as well as an integrated technology approach are strong remedies to mitigate this growing global risk. Gray market diversion occurs when products destined for one market end up in a different market. Designer sneakers destined for Eastern Europe end up in a warehouse in New Jersey and are sold online. Chocolate bars or shampoo packaged for an international market are sold in California or New York.
According to Pickus, this racketeering destroys the delicate tariff structures negotiated with distributors within the territories. It also results in unfair competition which creates confusion among retailers. Customers receive products not designed for their market, which can also lead to legal issues.
“The data from the GPS trackers can shed light on the sources of problems and provide specific details of the routes taken by the hijacked product to reach the gray market. There are different approaches to deal with this. Some investigative teams place secret GPS trackers in packages heading to a suspected site. Others will place hidden GPS trackers on a set percentage of all cargo, regardless of destination. Hiding devices can mean putting them in the retail packaging or even inside the product itself. While security teams often have a pretty good idea of where the problem is Simply put, account managers usually don’t want to upset their channel partners. Having evidence of the misconduct can help keep those conversations focused directly on the problem and avoid the blame and blame games, ”says Pickus.
What’s new for ISC West
Pickus says his team is excited to present Tri-Cat as a solution to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor tracking for inventory and assets.
“While GPS trackers work well in outdoor situations (loading, active, etc.), many of our customers are looking to have similar capabilities under their roof in their warehouse, and GPS technology does not work well indoors. . With Tri-Cate, our customers will be able to place labels on pallets, inventory or even staff and track them inside. The location of the beacons is determined by a solver that triangulates its precise position using a network of hubs within the warehouse, creating a cover dome, ”he adds. “What’s more, the tags can also connect to GPS-enabled mobile devices that can be placed on the outgoing cargo, meaning the same item can be tracked inside and out. What’s even more interesting is that if the receiving end is also configured with Tri-Cate, the beacons can automatically move to a new site, making the inventory transfer between parties transparent. ”
About the Author: Steve Lasky is the Editorial Director of SecurityInfoWatch.com Security Group.