How Logmore’s Use of QR Codes Is Changing Data-Driven Supply Chain Optimization
As is the case with many other industries, transportation and logistics are presently confronted with immense change, partly as a result of the events that were brought about by the global pandemic, but also due to the introduction of technology, new market entrants, and shifting consumer expectations.
All of these market forces are presently combining to put major pressure on global supply chain participants to deliver better, more reliable and more transparent service at a lower cost.
Nowadays, both individuals and businesses expect goods to be delivered faster and with more flexibility. In the case of the end consumer, last mile delivery at low or no extra cost is now the standard.
In this context, it’s easy to see why many companies are struggling to keep up, especially as margins become razor-thin, which makes Logmore’s precise and accessible data logging service all the more impressive. The Finnish startup’s solution, which includes both hardware and software components, is designed to help boost the efficiency of supply chains while reducing waste and increasing visibility for all relevant parties.
The advantage of QR over RFID
With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), most logistics firms have come to rely on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to facilitate the close cooperation of supply chain partners through real-time information visibility.
The availability of real-time information is essential for making more accurate and efficient decisions as logistics firms, and manufacturers can be alerted to any kind of disturbances in the supply chain (machine breakdown, human errors, rush orders, issues in transit). However, RFID tech can be prone to fail and often requires complicated technology to be read, which can get rather expensive.
This is why Logmore has opted for Dynamic 2D Quick Response (QR) codes as an easier-to-use, more reliable, and cost-effective alternative. What makes this a much-preferred method over RFID systems is the fact that employees and supply chain stakeholders simply need to scan the code with a connected smartphone, unlike RFID tags that are expensive, prone to radio signal interference and need proprietary reader hardware.
Every few minutes, the e-ink screens on Logmore’s ingenious, low-cost logger devices display new QR codes that employees and supply chain participants can scan to discover important information regarding the status of in-transit goods, all of which are simultaneously synced with the appropriate data systems.
Each time a shipment’s QR code is scanned along its journey, data such as shipment location, humidity, temperature, jostling and light exposure is automatically saved to the cloud. Logmore’s analytics web app displays all the latest data to authorized stakeholders, along with map visualizations. Furthermore, companies can deploy their own apps and integrate with Logmore’s API, adding a level of customizability to their own services.
“When we started researching this three years ago, we wondered how no one else had come up with using dynamic QR codes for data logging,” said Janne Juhala, one of Logmore’s founders. “Combined with optimal timing in regards to efficient, available technology, this became a real once in a lifetime opportunity,”
Improved supply chain visibility
According to a GEODIS study, only 6% of businesses have achieved end-to-end supply chain visibility. Not being able to monitor the location and conditions of a product right through the planning, sourcing, building, delivering, storing and returning stages is problematic for several reasons, but primarily since it prevents businesses from having complete control over their cargo while it is in transit.
In other words, the lack of visibility hinders their ability to communicate or solve problems effectively, which means that they are unable to provide an adequate level of service to partners and customers. Quality assurance in logistics is important in all sectors, but it’s mission-critical in industries like food, pharma and electronics, where products can easily be rendered useless (or even harmful) if condition requirements are not consistently met at all stages.
Logmore’s solution helps stakeholders overcome these issues, as it gives companies a cost-effective and reliable method to track their shipments and ensure product quality throughout the supply chain.
Each time the QR code is scanned, data systems capture and manage information pertaining to shipments’ status, which can be accessed by all the relevant parties within the supply chain, drastically enhancing visibility.
Thanks to improved supply chain visibility and near real-time information regarding the status of shipments, companies can limit the amount of waste they experience along the supply chain. This has been a notoriously difficult problem to solve for quite some time, especially in the case of cold chain logistics.
In the past, companies were only able to discover that their products have spoiled or are no longer viable once they arrive at their final destination. At that point, there usually isn’t much that the company can do about it, and the entire shipment goes to waste.
Each year, 1.6 billion tons of food worth about $1.2 trillion are lost or go to waste – which is around 33% of the total amount of food produced globally. Unfortunately, inadequate supply chain infrastructure is a significant driver in these statistics.
With Logmore’s data logging solution, companies can monitor and track critical data surrounding the shipment’s status through the use of accurate built-in sensors that measure a wide variety of conditions. As the information is delivered in real-time, companies can receive alerts when temperature levels (or other metrics) fall below allowed thresholds. This warning gives them a chance to save the shipment’s integrity before it spoils, which goes a long way towards reducing waste.
Moreover, this empowers businesses with the ability to cut their losses by terminating the transport of goods that have already perished, limiting damages and costs in the process.
A great example of this in action can be found in Logmore’s recent partnership with French shipping company Sofrigam. The two came together to ensure the safe delivery of Covid-19 vaccines (since they must be kept at very low temperatures from the moment they leave the laboratory). Logmore’s technology oversaw the safe delivery of these temperature-sensitive shipments, drastically preventing vaccination degradation, which is a testament to the effectiveness and wide-ranging capabilities of Logmore’s data monitoring systems.
Catering to the growing need for end-to-end supply chain visibility, Logmore’s innovative solution looks set to revolutionize the transport and logistics industry, generating immense value for both the manufacturer and the end consumer.
While just about every industry that relies on logistical operations will stand to benefit from the data monitoring provided by Logmore, it’s hard to overstate the profound implications this technology will have on those that rely on cold chain logistics to deliver their cargo.