The Internet of Things is transforming the way farmers, food manufacturers and distributors produce, process and sell food. It all starts at the field, where farmers optimize yield, reduce the usage of scarce natural resources and make the most efficient use of existing arable land by leveraging IoT technology. The use of GPS services, smart equipment, sensors, drones and satellites imagery collects and combines real-time data on crop growth, moisture level, soil characteristics, weather conditions and more.
Decision support systems translate these input data into agronomic advice. With this information the farmer can more precisely determine when to plant, when to irrigate and what crop protection to use. The “Food Supply Chain 4.0” continues with transportation companies, who have connected their cargo with sensors and apply predictive analytics: not only to track locations and provide their business partners with real-time delivery information, but also to monitor the freshness of the products by monitoring temperature and humidity level in their containers or trucks. Food & Agro manufacturing companies use the IoT not only to connect with their business partners achieving full supply chain transparency, improving food safety and reducing the probability and the impact of recalls. Manufacturers also streamline their own operations by connecting their machines and tools. Required maintenance can be signalled before a machine actually breaks down, which reduces downtime. Quality issues can be reduced by the use of sensors: eg. by signalling the door to a refrigerator room has been left open too long. Inventory and storage conditions can be optimized.
Last but not least, the consumer experience is transformed due to IoT. Fresh food boxes with recipes delivered at home; QR codes on a food product, allowing the consumer to get detailed product information; personalized coupons; personalized nutrition information; scan-and-go apps using smartphones. Also, grocers are experimenting with determination of food freshness by using video analytics and gas sensors; all in order to avoid spoilage and optimize consumer experience.
The Connected Food Supply Chain transforms the way of doing business for farmers, agro-food manufacturers, food transportation companies, CPG brands and consumers. NTT DATA Business Solutions solutions are designed to support you in this transformation. Our technology platform enables you to process data from any kind of machine, mobile device or sensor – merging it with transactional business data, geographical services or unstructured information from social media; then turning it into relevant business steering information.