Over 15 years ago, supply chain professionals became aware of the concept of a global control tower. The concept gained traction as more organisations sought end-to-end visibility for their increasingly multinational supply networks. Global control towers were one of the trendiest supply chain buzzwords in 2008. Even so, many businesses have struggled to take an idea that has been circulating for over a decade from concept to reality.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management assists businesses in overcoming these obstacles by providing the tools they need to build digital supply chains which are highly interactive, coordinated, flexible, and demand-driven. Businesses can obtain real-time, end-to-end visibility across the supply chain with these new supply chain technologies in place, giving supply chain control towers a new lease on life.
Control towers for the supply chain
Businesses must rapidly invest in technology that helps them sense and forecast supply chain limitations and interruptions, as well as demand spikes and troughs. Business operations are constantly geared to produce and proactively shape client demand, from advanced forecasting methodologies to real-time coordination between trading partners and commercial teams. Companies must also have the flexibility to adjust supply and manufacturing strategies in real-time when forecasts and predictions turn into actual customer orders. Supply chain control towers aid in these efforts by providing end-to-end operational insight, from planning to delivery and back, allowing the supply chain to become more agile and resilient.
In this context, resiliency refers to the ability to maintain business continuity. It can take the shape of digitising factory production, automating shop floor activities, and offering unrivalled real-time transparency to management. Businesses can achieve new levels of agility and obtain the ability to sense and proactively mitigate disruptions by using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights Preview to build a virtual representation of the physical supply chain, also known as a control tower, digital twin, or supply chain nerve centre. And to react more quickly when the unexpected occurs, like an unforeseeable or unexpected event.
According to reports, a $10 billion company with a strong supply chain can save up to $50 million per year by implementing digital initiatives like supply chain nerve centres.
Because control towers allow supply chain organisations to melt the borders between planning and execution, firms can identify and utilize improvement possibilities faster than ever before.
To be successful, a control tower must provide end-to-end transparency across all supply chain nodes, regardless of the combination of people, process, data, organisation, and software used to build it. Beyond tier 1 and tier 2 partners, this visibility should be extended.
While visibility is important, it is not adequate in and of itself. Supply chain solutions must also increase speed so that businesses can better respond to changing client needs. In practice, this entails going beyond the ability to comprehend what is going on right now to generate predictions about what will happen next. As a result, company leaders should be able to adapt and solve issues as they arise in real-time.
The value that a supply chain control tower may provide is proportionate to an organization’s capacity to harmonise data from many sources. ERP systems, legacy business apps, supplier systems of records, siloed hard drives, PLCs, and even IoT data streams should all be integrated and streamlined.
Supply chain solutions which include rules-based orchestration to model and automate reactions to fulfilment limits are also required by businesses. Organizations may proactively address challenges with relevant, data-driven insights by employing automation in this way, allowing them to adjust faster to interruptions and limits.
Supply chain control towers are viewed by Microsoft as a shared service process that can be assembled from a variety of supply chain solutions. For instance, a control tower can be built with Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights demo, and our quickly developing ecosystem of digital supply chain apps.
In this way, a supply chain control tower powered by Dynamics 365 enables businesses to respond to crises and possibilities faster and more intelligently. Businesses may turn action signals from what-if evaluation into directives issued to apps that manage day-to-day operational execution using our customisable pre-built partner connectors for seamless connectivity to many market-leading API-enabled applications.
Benefits to the company
Companies may reap the rewards of a single platform when they use Dynamics 365 to build a supply chain control tower. Internal and external stakeholders collaborate on a single version of the truth to visualise restrictions and interruptions at every step in the value chain. Then, from a single place and through a single pane of glass, impacted agents and authorities can cooperate in near real-time to study upstream or downstream repercussions, devise and conduct effective remedies.
By purposely blurring the barriers among planning and execution and effectively generating a constant digital feedback loop across entities and diverse business processes, a supply chain control tower built with Dynamics 365 enables enterprises to adjust swiftly to demand shifts.
Producers, distributors, and retailers may use Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to get the real-time insight and intelligence they need to go from reactive to proactive. It combines data and leverages predictive insights to improve operating effectiveness, product quality, and profit across order fulfilment, planning, procurement, manufacturing, inventory, warehousing, and transportation. It also helps firms speed performance even further by incorporating emerging technologies such as AI and machine learning into the solution.