The Impact of IoT on Supply Chain

ISSUE #58 – Gemalto is the world leader in digital security. We enable our clients in 180 countries to provide trusted, convenient services for billions of individuals and devices. These include mobile identity, payment, online banking, cloud access, transport ticketing, eGovernment, software monetisation, vehicle telematics and more.

“The ability to turn this rich real-time data into actionable intelligence will transform the way supply chain ecosystems work. “

The convergence of widespread wireless connectivity, inexpensive sensors, and more powerful microprocessors are finally driving the Internet of Things (IoT) into a reality. With about 30 to 50 billion objects expected to be connected over the next five years, IoT is set to revolutionise supply chain and logistics by creating game-changing consequences, from more efficient and transparent operations to smart delivery solutions. The following are some of the areas where IoT is already making an impact.



A growing number of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications such as telematics, navigation, and fleet management systems are using embedded Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) or Machine Identification Modules (MIMs) for wireless connectivity. Typically, these MIMs are specifically personalised for a Mobile Network Operator (MNO), and are embedded inside devices during manufacturing. But, at the time of manufacturing, it is hard to know where the device will be shipped to or what carrier to use, requiring device makers to supply different device variants for different regions and MNOs. This involves complex warehousing and distribution logistics.

With automotive-grade MIMs and GSMAcompliant on-demand remote subscription management, device manufacturers can now drastically simplify their logistics by producing generic cellular connected devices that are MNO-independent. Solution providers now have the flexibility to remotely install these devices using their preferred MNO’s profile, any time after deployment.


Sophisticated cold-chain solutions are an absolute must for the delivery of temperature-sensitive goods in today’s globalised and increasingly regulated marketplace. A cold chain is a temperature and environment-controlled supply chain across a series of containers, trucks, and distribution centres that ensure the shelf life of sensitive products such as pharmaceutical drugs, chemicals, food, and electronics.

While globalisation is bringing these goods to remote parts of the world, these are easily damaged during shipping or storage if the cold chain is broken, causing huge financial losses to manufacturers and distributers.

With a reliable and agile M2M platform, logistic companies can not only manage a globalised cold chain with optimum efficiency, but they can also transform data into actionable intelligence that allows them to intervene when conditions fall short of quality standards.



Consumers today are demanding fast and smart delivery solutions with up-to-theminute updates on their shipping status.

With 24/7 M2M connectivity, real-time tracking and tracing of their fleet, and route analysis, shipping companies can now better forecast the arrival and delivery of their cargo. They can send live notifications to their customers about the estimated time of delivery, turning their “last mile” into “moment of excellence” for enhanced user experience.

As IoT adoption turns mainstream, the massive real-time data and the ability to turn this rich data into actionable intelligence will transform the way supply chain ecosystems work. While a lot still needs to be done to realise the full potential of IoT, a close coordinated approach among stakeholders, along with flexible, secure, and reliable M2M connectivity will enable organisations to optimise their processes, and proactively identify and fix problems without much human intervention, anytime and anywhere in the world.


By Manoj Kumar Rai, Head of M2M Solutions, South Asia & Japan, Gemalto

Article published in the FOCUS Magazine “New Links in the Supply Chain” – September 2015