By Jeff Broth, freelance writer.
Electronic wholesalers have always depended on complex supply chains to receive and deliver products to consumers. Most electronics goods are temperature sensitive, and a disruption in supply chains can lead to huge losses, all of which might fall on the wholesaler's plate.
Supply chain disruptions can occur for many reasons, and according to McKinsey and Company, global supply chains are becoming more unstable. As geopolitical instability and adverse weather patterns become more frequent, electronics wholesalers have to rely on technology to ensure they mitigate these risks.
Temperature threshold alerts might come across as low tech on the surface. However, they're powerful tools wholesalers can use to ensure their products arrive as intended. Here are four benefits of real-time temperature alerts.
Many electronics shipments these days are connected to a temperature notification system that relays condition-related data back to logistics companies. While data transmission is important, it isn't of much help unless wholesalers establish temperature thresholds to monitor the state of their goods.
For instance, many solid-state electronics circuits fail at temperatures above 44º C. While this is the failure temperature, their performance begins degrading at lower temperatures. A delivery vehicle stuck in city traffic without appropriate cold chain systems that cool shipments is a recipe for disaster.
In these times, a temperature alert set at 35º C will notify wholesalers of the possibility of their shipment being compromised. They can then alert the driver of the vehicle, who can then take mitigative action. Temperature alerts can also help wholesalers understand the ideal storage conditions for their goods.
Understanding the source of damage is critical since this has significant insurance coverage consequences. For instance, shipment damage might have been detected at a retailer's warehouse. However, by tracking the time when alerts were flagged it might come to light that the shipment was damaged when in transit with the delivery partner.
As a result, the retailer won't bear the brunt of increased insurance premiums. Wholesalers can rely on alerts to help pinpoint the source of damage and avoid unnecessary liability.
Temperature alerts, when monitored over long periods, give wholesalers insight into the way the supply chain unfolds. For instance, if a particular component routinely fails when stored in the wholesale warehouse, examining its history of temperature threshold violation alerts will shed light on what is going wrong.
Either storage conditions might be fixed at incorrect settings, or the goods might be delivered in a compromised condition, to begin with. Both scenarios can create a situation that results in product damage that everyone can do without.
Vulnerabilities can exist outside the wholesaler's infrastructure as well. For instance, a particular logistics partner might have a history of violating temperature thresholds despite delivering goods in what seems like optimal conditions. This vendor clearly is less reliable than others, and a wholesaler might be better off choosing someone else.
Better vendor coordination
Wholesalers need to rely on everyone in the supply chain pulling their weight to ensure their goods are delivered in optimal conditions. This includes manufacturers, logistics partners, and retailers.
A temperature monitoring system that allows for the creation of temperature threshold alerts helps bring everyone on board thanks to the ease with which data is shared. With vendor performance histories rendered transparent and weaknesses in the supply chain easily identified, everyone can pull together to make sure shipment damages are eliminated.
The result is the creation of a fully connected supply chain instead of one that is a bunch of vendors tenuously linked together. The former will ensure shipment temperatures and other conditions are not violated and that goods will be delivered in optimal states.
Superior audit trails
A temperature alert system can automatically log data that teams can review and analyze. This makes it easy for wholesalers to see which transportation routes worked best in the past. It also helps them evaluate vendor performance from a high level and choose the ones that operate with the highest efficiency.
Data collection also helps give wholesalers clear audit trails they can rely on. If a retailer questions the quality of goods delivered, an audit trail will prove the conditions in which the goods were transported and delivered. In fact, wholesalers can establish a data trail from the manufacturer to the retailer, thereby accounting for the product's entire journey.
These audit trails also help wholesalers establish a track record transparently that will help them gain more business.
Simple, yet powerful
Temperature alerts might seem like a simple technology, but the framework in which they exist helps electronics wholesalers prevent losses and increase their bottom lines. By establishing audit trails, creating a strong vendor network, and limiting damage, wholesalers can ensure product integrity at all times.