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    IoT Poised to Disrupt Supply Chain

    May 17th, 2016


    When you hear that your organization is moving toward predictive maintenance and that there is a push to add new sensors to equipment (IoT), there will be an expectation that global supply chain will be capable of using this information to procure components based on predictions from data collected by sensors. Are you ready?


    A fair bit of supply chain is driven by price. If a widget is being purchased; procurement is often measured on getting the best price for the widget. The reason is pretty simple. Price is easy to measure and saving money is an imperative in most organizations.
    Other factors that should play a role in decision making such as: quality, on-time-delivery, delivery to the right location, correct quantity, and correct product are sometimes overlooked because the information collection for these factors happen only after and outside of the normal purchase and delivery process. You can pat yourselves on the back if you capture and use any of the above factors in your supply chain process.


    Predictive maintenance and IoT (Internet of Things) will fundamentally change how we think about the procurement process. This will be important because, unlike the other factors mentioned including price; this will ultimately be driving the procurement process. This will most likely be implemented for components which are system constraints first.


    Consider two products: Widget A and Widget B. Let’s say your organization usually buys one or the other based on price. Let’s also say that, these are important components in your operations process so you always replace then at 30% of their expected life (break-fix can be very expensive in terms of lost production time). Now let’s say Widget B embeds sensors in its product that will tell you, with 75% certainty, when the widget will fail. What product will you pick?


    Predictive maintenance holds the promise of getting the most useful life out of our widgets and changing the break-fix thinking about when you should replace that widget. IoT sensor networks are how data is captured to make the predictions. Vendors who can provide MTF (Mean-Time-Failure) curves, embedded sensors, and “failure signatures”, are to be the likely to lead as this evolves. This may move the conversation away from price toward value.


    So how does IoT fit into this? For this to work, operators that set up their equipment to use this type of monitoring in their plants, trucks, or other equipment will need to look at new communication strategies (wired or wireless), systems to train and analyze the information, and interfaces to interpret the results that will, in turn, drive automated purchasing and/or notifications to procurement.


    When will this happen? It will depend on your organization but because of the potential savings from changing these maintenance and procurement practices; you can expect to hear about it soon. Is your procurement system ready to handle it?

    Blogging: Data, Analytics, Natural Resources…

    May 11th, 2016


    About the Blog…

    New tech blog about Data/Analytics, Natural Resources, Project Control (Cost), and IoT.

    Seems like an odd collection of topics to stick together but I think I’ll be able to give you a better sense of how they come together in this first post.

    I think its also important for you to understand what this is blog is not about. I’m not going to directly address extra-domainal politics or social issues and no, I can’t help you get a horse in Mine Craft.

    I’m Cliff Brandon and the primary author of the blog. I’m fairly active on LinkedIn and will reference some or all of my posts there. If you want some more information on me you can visit my LinkedIn profile. Sorry, I’m not a FaceBook guy and I try to limit my twitter traffic. I welcome constructive comments and interaction between guests. Just remember to play nicely with others.

    I hope you find something interesting here.

    Read the rest of this entry