A supply chain control tower can be defined as a personalised yet connected hub of key business metrics, data, and several important events across the supply chain. These are meant to enable organisations to understand, prioritise, and resolve complex issues easily.
As part of the supply chain ecosystem, digitalization provides inbound & outbound logistics visibility, inventory management, collaborative order management, collective demand & supply planning capabilities, among others. The digital control tower strategy is a crucial part of the supply chain initiative.
Control towers, over the years, have focused on providing visibility to immediate trading partners for a business. Advanced control towers are able to provide real-time collaboration and visibility with powerful AI capabilities for autonomous decision-making control. This would ultimately help improve resiliency, predict disruptions, respond to unplanned events, and manage exceptions.
How Can Control Towers Benefit Supply Chain Operations?
By integrating a control tower to improve the supply chain management system capabilities, each business gets a wide range of advantages that include:
- Independent Decision-Making Process: The entire process of collecting and analysing data and running possible situations along with taking necessary precautions to reduce cost and enhance efficiency is a significant benefit of a supply chain control tower. Such integration will ensure that the essential information or data is extracted to execute the processes effectively and automatically by executing the most efficient strategy, thereby reducing the man-hours required to perform the same manually.
- End-to-End Visibility: This plays an important part when it comes to an end-to-end smart contract. As a business, you need to detect real-time situations such as resource availability, order statuses, and inventory positions, along with exceptions like bad weather, emergency shipments, inventory loss, and delays, among others. With a supply chain control tower where you can keep track of every aspect, the period between such exceptions and resolutions is minimised by a large extent, thereby reducing the time otherwise taken to manually keep track of, detect, and resolve the same.
- Lowered Costs: One of the topmost benefits of integrating a supply chain control tower is the effective sharing of information and communication between the counterparties so that data is available within the shortest time possible. This means that when the appropriate parameters are set and exceptions are handled way before arrival, businesses can limit any loss otherwise incurred in cost and time.
- Shared & Improved Communication: With a supply chain control tower in place, you get better partnership and communication amongst the counterparties and participants present in a network. Each participant can be given specific roles based on their access to information, shared data, and warnings to ensure the supply chain process is smooth-functioning.
- Enhanced Productivity: As supply chain control towers apply the power of predictive technological concepts and the power of data, they can identify, diagnose, and recommend solutions to exceptions in real-time. This permits the businesses to focus on attaining the desired goals by working smarter. Supply chain control towers also continuously adapt and learn efficient routines which leads to enhanced productivity for participants across the whole supply chain.
Why Should You Implement a Supply Chain Control Tower?
Companies that are known to have a complex global supply chain, especially those dealing with B2B eCommerce, can do exceedingly well by integrating control towers. Real-time visibility eliminates informational delays while increasing the optimization simultaneously because of fresh data that reflect the current supply chain reality.
By implementing a supply chain control tower, one can increase inventory turns, improve compliance, reduce material shortages, reduce order to cash, and reduce expedite costs. Control towers are known to be proof that real-time data and automation are the future of the global supply chain industry.
Control Towers and the Digital Supply Chain
The supply chain digitalization makes businesses evaluate all types of holistic relevant information, repeatedly. This implies that businesses can iteratively improve the supply chain and respond to any and all disruptions with balanced plan revisions. Since the digital smart control tower sits at the heart of the supply chain ecosystem, it facilitates sharing information along with the response & optimization mechanism automation. Some of the features that a digital control tower must have are:
- Real-time visibility across geographies, functions, and business units.
- Collaboration among both internal and external stakeholders.
- Ingesting big data, making suggestions, and initiating remedial actions as per near real-time information.
- Cognitive planning and positioning of assets.
- Intelligent asset maintenance and tracking.
- Conversion of raw data into insights for making proactive decisions.
- Enhanced actionable data analytics for vendors, suppliers, and carriers.
- Self-corrective action for improved turnaround time.
Timber Exchange is a supply chain automation platform that is built by professionals with significant global experience and aims to automate global trade. This independent B2B digital platform and toolkit is devised to automate time-consuming processes that companies face today including the Export/Import, Compliance, Analytics, Visibility, Documentation, Accountability, Logistics, and Transparency, among others. For more information, feel free to visit https://www.timber.exchange.