Survey: Challenges for Using IoT Data in Supply Chain


IoT data is poised to take off in applications for supply chain and customer experience, though data security, volume, and interpretation issues remain.

Zyme, a Silicon Valley-based company that specializes in channel data management, has released the results of its Consumer Technology Digital Intelligence Report. They polled 101 UK vendors responsible for digital/online marketing or customer data management.

Roughly 78 percent of respondents expect the IoT to have a major impact on their ability to collect customer insights across the supply chain, even as far as completely changing the way their organization operates.

Respondents also acknowledged the growing demand for a seamless shopping experience by developing consumer-facing IoT applications, and two-thirds reported that they plan to use these technologies to increase customer insights across the supply chain within the next 12 months. Improved visibility into every aspect of the customer experience was sited as an important reason for doing so.

Despite the move to embrace the IoT, the Zyme report found vendors have serious concerns about the data IoT technologies will collect. They cited several key issues: 63 percent said they had concerns about collecting such data; 62 percent about keeping it secure; 60 percent about managing the volume of data; and 59 percent about how to best interpret it. Respondents said they felt these concerns had to be resolved before optimal operational efficiency could be achieved.

“The challenge going forward will be ensuring that the increased volumes of data from RFID tags, smart shelf sensors, location-based services and source-tagged SKUs – to name but a few – is combined efficiently with data from existing systems in order to automate and optimise the supply chain. If an organisation can be successful in bringing all of this data together in one place, and can then share it effectively with the channel, it will not only ensure that business decisions are based on actionable insight but that customers will receive the best possible buying experience,” Nick Andrews of Zyme said in the announcement.

Respondents have the motivation to do so, however: 67 percent said they believe their customer relationships could be improved if they had better access to data about online sales, and 47 percent said better customer data would give them a better sense of control over their business.


Special report: Four ways the IoT can enhance customer experience

Opinion: Why the first big box store to leverage IoT could corner the market

Case studies: Using data analytics in the supply chain

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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