Analysis of IoT adoption from a supply chain collaboration perspective

Vahid Mirzabeiki, Dong-Wook Kwak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Purpose of this paper:
Internet of Things (IoT) connects numerous sensors, actuators and data processors, thus provides solutions to problems arising from information asymmetries and complexities in supply chains (Ng et al., 2015). Although the application of IoT will be the future of supply chain management, the main barrier against implementing it still lies in inter-firm issues. Despite the increasing importance of supply chain visibility, information sharing in practice is not widespread, which can be attributed to trust and confidentiality issues (Ali et al., 2017). Considering this problem, this paper aims to highlight opportunities and challenges that can be posed by the adoption of IoT. More specifically, it investigates current logistics practices where IoT is used and then analyses the examples through a supply chain collaboration lens, by focusing on the impacts of this technology adoption across supply chain entities.

Two case studies, including a case of using temperature control sensor and a case of transporting a particle accelerator component, are conducted to depict in-use applications of IoT in inter-firm settings. An analysis using a CIMO (Context-Intervention-Mechanism-Outcome) framework highlights why and how technological advancement is needed and to what extent supply chain entities can be affected by the IoT. Further analysis demonstrates the benefits and risks of data sharing within a supply chain by the IoT adoption. The data is collected via interviews, focus groups, and direct participant observations.

IoT adoption is a practical solution to multiple logistics issues, spanning from monitoring temperature fluctuations and mechanical shocks to knowing the precise delivery time and route quality. However, its impacts were varied across supply chain entities because the relevance and usefulness of the data depend on specific entities. In a similar vein, the perception of benefits and risks from data sharing was different when involving costs for investment and responsibilities for any logistics glitches. Consequently, several propositions were drawn to discuss collaboration issues when IoT is adopted to logistics operations.

This paper addresses the issues arising from the IoT adoption, by taking a supply chain collaboration perspective to identify the hurdles which lead to slow implementation of the IoT in logistics through studying multiple case studies.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable):
The paper contributes to the emerging area of the IoT in logistics and supply chain management by exploring the main issues behind implementing these practices across companies in the networks. It will also provide relevant knowledge to on-going discussions on the power asymmetry and failure in data sharing since the introduction of the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) (Webster, 1995).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2019)
EditorsK. S. Pawar, A. Potter, H. Rogers , C. Glock
PublisherCentre for Concurrent Enterprise, Nottingham University
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780853583295
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event24th International Symposium on Logistics - Würzburg, Germany
Duration: 14 Jul 201917 Jul 2019
Conference number: 24th


Conference24th International Symposium on Logistics
Abbreviated title(ISL 2019)


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