Machine to Machine Solutions Featured Article

Keeping Track of Your Supply with M2M and MPLS VPN

December 27, 2013

By Michael Guta, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Inventory control is critical part of a business that can make your business efficient and productive if the right system is in place and wreak havoc if it is not. For large organizations with multiple national or even international distribution points and retail operations, keeping accurate track of the inventory will determine the successful delivery of the products to the right markets. Delivering the right amount of product to thousands of retail locations requires supply chain operations with the latest technology that integrates all data points in order to make the right decisions. While machine to machine (M2M) solutions can track every item in your inventory, the back-end infrastructure and application have to work seamlessly to handle the influx of large amounts of data and make the right decisions without any glitches.

A virtual private network (VPN) service enabled with Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) gives organizations the ability to support flexible access points for the organization and outside suppliers to the private network.

The MPLS technology speeds up the delivery of network packets over multiple protocols while VPN uses telecom infrastructure to provide access to remote assets and users with lower price points and higher security. When a VPN is built on an MPLS network, it can deliver connectivity between many different locations with more efficiency. With the right application, this connectivity gives organizations the ability to keep track of their inventory from warehouse and distribution centers all the way to the end customer.

Managing this process requires a network architecture and supply chain system that can remain operational if and when an emergency takes place. Whether it is a natural disaster or equipment failure, the service provider the organization selects must have continuity options deployed to keep the system operational.

The same technology that is making companies more efficient is also giving customers access to more information. With 24-hour news outlets, the Web and social media, customers are more informed and demand better products and services. Now businesses can give customers what they want with platforms that manage the supply chain and the sales and operations process to ensure the product is available with estimation of anticipated demand all the way to the store level.

While it was possible to track inventory with relative degree of accuracy in the past, M2M is giving companies around the world more control and greater accuracy. Being able to keep track of products all the way from suppliers to customers allows organizations to introduce new levels of productivity, which translates to cost saving measures across the board.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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