COVID-19 left no stone
unturned to disrupt almost all the industries across the globe and the supply
chain is no exemption. It has changed the environment for businesses and made
them realize the significance of reacting, adapting, and setting up crisis
management to handle uncertain situations. Lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions
created several urgent situations for the companies in which they have to take
immediate action. Taking a lesson from this, many companies have now started
planning for the longer term. With companies looking to strengthen operations
and resilience, there is a strong need for supply chain resilience. To have the
visibility that is essential for organizations to address the crisis, the
organizations make use of the supply chain control towers.
is a Control Tower?
A supply chain control
tower is a cloud-based solution that proactively manages supply chains with the
aid of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning,
and the Internet of Things. This tower offers real-time visibility across an
organization's entire network including suppliers, manufacturers, and business
partners. Organizations can make use of this tower to plan for unknown
variations, manage unforeseen, and mitigate disruptions before they become
major issues. A supply chain control tower is a personalized dashboard of data,
supply chain events, and key business metrics that allows businesses to have a
sound understanding of the supply chain and resolve critical issues in
real-time. This ensures better visibility across the supply chain and
aggregated data helps in supply chain coordination and decision-making.
What are the Key
Benefits of Control Tower Analytics
A control tower is a
piece of software or a suite of software providing end-to-end visibility across
the supply chain, collecting and analyzing huge amounts of data, and automating
decision-making using predictive and prescriptive analytics. The major
functionality of the tower is to provide better control and knowledge of the
entire supply chain. Using cloud-based intelligence and predictive analytics,
the towers detect problems and determine the best course of action to diagnose
the issue and prevent it from happening in the future. Some of the major
benefits of the tower include:
Visibility - A lack of end-to-end visibility may lead to
emergency shipments, delays, inclement weather, and sudden loss of inventory
that can be efficiently handled with control towers. It provides visibility to
detect issues in real-time to minimize the time between detection of issues and
their resolutions. Using customizable dashboards, the tower manages several
uncertainties that may arise. This further leads to enhance performance and
reduces the overall operations cost.
Decision-Making Process - One of the key benefits of the
tower is its decision-making abilities. It collects data, analyzes it, and
takes necessary prescriptions to enhance efficiency and reduce cost. The tower
takes essential data and automatically executes the required processes by
effectively implementing an efficient strategy.
Costs – It better predicts disruptions and improves
resiliency with smart alerts and actionable insights that help businesses
understand the impact of events on customers and accordingly manage responses.
Thus with the implementation of the apt parameters, businesses can handle
exceptions before these arrive that considerably saving cost and time.
What are the Key
Capabilities of Control Tower Analytics
This tower collects and
stores status information from suppliers and logistics service providers in a
structured manner that is further used to provide control teams insights into
the order status, products in stock, and shipments. This enables them to make
informed decisions while planning, monitoring, and analyzing supply chains. It
makes use of data to generate insights and help businesses make better
decisions. It is considered the starting point for all decision-making and the
entry point for vital people with a supply chain mandate. Businesses using a
good control tower are capable of:
and Timely Data - Clean, accurate, and current data is
required. Every exception should not be produced in real-time because too many
notifications make it difficult for users to effectively respond. Thus,
notifications must be first sent to the managers that are in charge of that
part of the process who may be able to customize how what, and where they wish
to see the alerts.
Exceptions - The tower should be aware of how exception
incidents will impact current supply chain plans so that businesses can respond
to those concerns and must also be able to see the implications for planning.
Exceptions have ramifications and a supply chain control tower should display
certain consequences. To resolve exceptions businesses need to execute
different planning scenarios that should be smoothly run. The scenario effects
on service and finance should cascade through the processes and should be
and Results Simulations - In an ideal condition, the
control tower not just provides insight into the current situation but also
into future happenings that might harm the company and may increase supply
chain risks. Thus, the control tower alerts the company about future crisis and
enables them to be prepared to handle the situation.