The Impact of Connected Silos on Supply Chain Management
The management of silos is a real challenge facing farmers, breeders and cooperatives. This logistic management requires a human and financial investment for companies and can have irreversible consequences in case of error or delay. But when new technologies are put at the service of sustainable agriculture and all its actors, the risks are reduced to nothing and the benefits are very real.
So how does monitoring silos with a sensor increase productivity? How have connected sensors had a lasting impact on silo logistics management and what are their main advantages? Through concrete examples, we invite you to discover how connected silos have taken up the challenge of logistics management.
Better management of silos for more secure logistics
The security of a farm relies on various elements, including logistics management, which is one of the elements of SCM or supply chain management. Indeed, to trigger an order or to make a stock report, companies have manual or innovative solutions at their disposal.
The connected silo for better supply chain security
A silo is a closed storage area where the main challenge is to know its filling level in real-time. For this, suppliers and customers have two methods at their disposal:
- manual evaluation ;
- automatic evaluation.
Manual reading is a time-consuming method since it involves climbing to the top of the silo and evaluating its filling level with varying degrees of accuracy. This evaluation method must be repeated for each silo in the operation and on a regular basis. In addition, since the height of a silo can be very high, this technique carries obvious safety risks.
But manual evaluation is increasingly being replaced by automatic evaluation. This technological innovation facilitates the work of breeders and cooperatives who no longer need to climb to the top of a silo to raise its level. In fact, the connected silo provides them with real-time information that is crucial for the supply chain: its filling level.
Data security of a connected supply chain
The operation of the connected silo is very simple: it is a small sensor installed on the lower part of the silo. It is in charge of reading the information and sending it to a dedicated application. But while the sensor collects and communicates data, it complies with European standards such as the RGPD, the general regulation on data protection. 79% of farmers use the Internet and are therefore sensitive to data protection.
The connected silo transmits an additional data stream such as :
- the frequency of orders ;
- the level of consumption over several days ;
- alert thresholds ;
- the filling level of the silos ;
- the quantities to be ordered by product ;
All this information is calculated automatically and accessible on a dedicated, personalized and secure interface. Thanks to the sensor, the animals are no longer at risk of running out of food since the farmer and the cooperative can no longer be out of stock. This controlled supply and regular distribution are two important elements of supply chain management.
The economic advantages of connected silos in the supply chain
One of the main challenges of supply chain management is to provide the right product, at the best price, at the right time and in the right place. Supply chain management is now about innovation and development. But this innovation must remain economically accessible in order to be used by the majority of agricultural businesses.
Quick and economical installation of the sensor on the silo
Installing a sensor is not a project requiring a large financial investment. On the contrary, it is one of the least expensive connected products:
- sensor price between 399 € and 499 € ;
- annual operating costs between 19 € and 59 €.
The operating costs include the personal application, support, but also the platform software. The price simply varies according to the number of parts installed. Finally, the sensor can last up to ten years. During these ten years, it will require no maintenance, which is another financial advantage.
Companies save time by no longer having to do manual statements. They also generate a significant financial gain since the reading and processing of the information is done by the sensor.
Managed supply under better conditions
Elevator supply is a critical step since it can impact the overall budget and operation of the operation. Indeed, in case of stock shortage, the farmer, breeder or cooperative must trigger an emergency order. This can be a Sunday or a holiday. In both cases, the company will have to assume an additional cost for this unexpected delivery.
In addition, the anticipation of supply allows the company to make a purchase based on the price, which is impossible in the case of a purchase made in an emergency. Even if the variation in the price of raw materials is not the farmer’s responsibility, he can still make a profit by controlling his supply chain. This optimized storage and supply management is a decisive advantage in the organization of the company and the management of its supply chain, which is part of supply chain management, the management of the different flows linked to a product.
The low environmental impact of connected silos
Protecting the environment is part of daily global concerns, including for farmers and ranchers. Quality of raw materials, analysis of each product, the profitability of purchases, the objective of a farm is to reduce its impact on the environment. New technologies offer efficient flow management processes to better manage the supply chain of agricultural businesses. These are quality systems that place sustainable agriculture at the heart of agricultural issues.
Research and development for sustainable agriculture
It’s obvious: during transport, a full truck has a lower impact on the environment than several partially filled trucks. But to achieve this sustainable transport service, an agricultural research and development project was necessary.
The management interface supplied with the sensor allows to create alert thresholds and thus to program commands. Orders are no longer placed on an emergency basis in order to cope with a shortage. On the contrary, orders are grouped together to optimize transport and truck filling.
Customized services for a controlled supply chain
The personalized services offered by this new organization correspond to a profound change in the agricultural environment. 79% of operators recognize that the use of new technologies is necessary and useful for agriculture. Indeed, automating the supply chain through technological innovation represents a sustainable economy. Companies can monitor, collect and use data wisely. In this way, they can improve their production while reducing their impact on the environment.
These practices have become a reality thanks to global awareness and the use of new technologies. Although they do not replace the work of human beings in a farm, they do help them on a daily basis to better manage their supply chain and to create an efficient and sustainable supply chain management.