AT&T is connecting a smart printable and disposable shipping label that will help businesses track the location and condition of products shipped worldwide and enable actionable decisions based on the massive amounts of data collected.
The adhesive label developed by Sony Semiconductor Israel (Sony) is activated when attached to the parcel and tracks every item shipped across the globe.
Why is this important? Global supply chains have come under severe pressure and disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic as business priorities and customer preferences shifted. Winter storms, port backlogs and the March backup in the Suez Canal put renewed emphasis on need for efficiencies and full visibility across the supply chain.
The Smart Label connects to AT&T’s highly secure LTE-M cellular network and sends data to the Smart Label cloud to enable decisions while packages are in transit. It can be easily integrated with existing enterprise systems. Businesses gain full visibility into every item shipped during transit and can act quickly on the data.
The entire end-to-end process can be supported through the design and integration expertise of AT&T’s IoT Professional Services Organization – from installation to deployment and project management.
While other smart label solutions rely upon a patchwork of connectivity through Wi-Fi, radio-frequency identification (RFID) and other limited coverage connections, Smart Label is connected to the cloud through ATT’s highly secure and reliable global cellular network.
This solution enables massive IoT deployments across industries and is based on a multi-year collaboration with global customers in the crop sciences and shipping logistics industries.
It all started with a customer need. Bayer Crop Science Division lacked a global IoT solution that could efficiently keep track of agricultural seed products once they entered the distribution channel. With millions of dollars in revenue at stake, Bayer envisioned a concept that would close the visibility gaps in the supply chain providing real-time inventory.
They turned to Sony to develop and commercialize the Smart Label, activated on AT&T’s global cellular network to better manage their supply chain with full end-to-end visibility.
Who can use this? Just about any business where efficiently tracking and monitoring location and condition of products is critical, including manufacturing, raw materials, consumer products, cars and trucks, logistics, electronics, pharmaceuticals, retail, health care, food, and agriculture.
To name a few:
Pharmaceuticals: Helps manufacturers track sensitive products such as vaccines, where they are, when they arrive; sensor monitors temperatures in near real-time to satisfy regulatory requirements and alerts if shipments are tampered with.
Logistics: Helps to monitor product lifecycle from shipment to delivery and identify process gaps and anomalies; identify the best distribution schedules by predicting the most efficient delivery routes.
Retail: Notification in near real-time when temperatures are not meeting compliance for perishables; tampering and movement sensors help guard against theft and when shipments go missing.
When will it be available? Smart Label on the AT&T network is available today.
“All large enterprises in the world dealing with finished goods are seeking comprehensive functional and technical solutions to solve one of the top use cases: Real Time Channel Inventory. The Smart Label indicates how much product is in the market, from the packaging line to the end-customer,” said Christof Backhaus, Digital Lead Product Supply and Smart Label Project Lead at Bayer. “Due to the technical composition we do not require any additional infrastructure, manual scanning or other expensive tools.”
“We are proud to take a leading position in revolutionizing the digital supply chain with a disruptive solution, utilizing Sony’s Altair low power cellular IoT technology based on its ALT1250 chipset,” said Aviv Castro, VP Business Development, who is heading the Smart Label business at Sony Semiconductor Israel. “We created this solution in partnership with leading innovative producers of flexible electronics and printable batteries – increasing end-to-end transparency in the supply chain and making actionable decisions possible thanks to massive amounts of data.”
“Working with Sony, we are providing full visibility of every item shipped via the end-to-end integrated IoT Smart Label solution,” said Robert Boyanovsky, vice president, Mobility, IoT and 5G, AT&T. “Smart Label promises to help businesses like Bayer realize the full potential of the IoT and global tracking to deliver improvements in revenue and cost savings and make their supply chains more efficient. Our sales team is prepared to engage with prospective customers now.”