Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Nine tenths of logistics players to have 'external' M2M strategy by 2016: Vodafone

Iain Morris
July 9, 2014
Just 17% of players in the transportation and logistics sector are currently using M2M technology, according to Vodafone’s latest M2M barometer report, up from 12% last year, but the figure is expected to reach 57% by 2016.

One reason for the sector’s lag compared with a number of other industries could be simple “undercounting”, says Vodafone (Newbury, UK), with respondents to the operator’s survey forgetting to mention technologies they have used since before M2M became a popular term.

According to the report, which was produced in partnership with M2M market-research player Machina Research, M2M technology has until now mainly been used to support “efficiency applications” – such as automating logistics or supply chain management – and reduce costs.

Although many companies have already recognized this opportunity, it is set to become even more widespread as prices continue to fall.

However, some 89% of logistics and transportation players expect to have a so-called ‘external-focused strategy’ in place in the next three years, according to Vodafone’s report, up from around 66% today.

This would mean using fleet management or inventory management services to give customers a more accurate, real-time view of when a delivery driver will turn up, or how much stock is left in their local store.

M2M technology is also being used by organizations in other sectors to bolster supply chain management and improve services for end users.

For instance, according to Vodafone’s research, one consumer electronics manufacturer in the Asia Pacific is set to launch an M2M-based inventory and warehouse management system to improve supply chain quality and drive down costs.

The company is also looking to understand how consumers are using its products so that it can improve engagement and guide future product development.
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