Sat.Dec 28, 2019 - Fri.Jan 03, 2020

Digital Twin is an old idea – just new to supply chain


It has been many decades since a circuit is designed digitally and its performance tested using a digital twin, an architect constructed the building and laid out its HVAC and plumbing on the building’s digital twin, a company invested in a new distribution center only after significant number of simulations and animations on the digital twin, a dentist scanned a mouth and planned for the treatment on the digital twin and pilots learned how to fight an enemy or transport passengers safely on flight simulators – the ultimate digital twin. The supply chain world is just discovering the digital twin concept and we are nowhere close to the level of detail and sophistication of these decades-old examples. I will readily accept the following argument: most successful digital twin examples use hard sciences on physical constructs, whereas a supply chain is a complex and dynamic human-machine system where hard and soft sciences mix. However, I also believe that the old-fashioned digital representation of a supply chain with nodes and arcs is like drawing a stick figure. Contemporary technology with massive computational power and virtually seamless integration to cloud allows a much more refined representation of a supply chain and creates a useful digital twin. Therefore, I reject the idea that you can consider any computer model a digital twin. A true digital twin… 1. Is alive! The fundamental basis and the necessary condition to be able to build a digital twin: to represent the supply chain at the highest resolution and the ability to keep the representation current as the world changes. After all, a living digital twin is useful for decision support, not a copy that is frozen in time. 2. Needs a comprehensive platform to remain alive! From a technical point of view, there is a need for a scalable digital platform that has a comprehensive and internally consistent data model for the entire value chain, including suppliers and customers. This platform should allow data exchange with multiple transaction systems – both enterprise and external – in order to keep the digital twin alive and healthy. If you are a typical retailer or manufacturer, then it is quite likely that your world is changing fast, and your digital twin needs to match the reality of the physical infrastructure and the changing business drivers. 3. Allows future what-if scenarios. Furthermore, the digital twin should be able to represent and maintain not only the as-is state of the supply chain but also its future. A digital twin should enable a thorough evaluation of strategic and tactical options for a supply chain, e.g., network design, strategic sourcing through bids, transportation purchasing, seasonal build-ahead options, seasonal assortment options, etc. 4. Enables representation of operational processes. The digital twin should enable the maintenance of business rules and the parameters for operational decisions, e.g., target service levels, forecast accuracy, replenishment/build frequencies, fulfillment priorities, etc. 5. Enables horizontal alignment of decisions. A viable digital twin should enable horizontal alignment of decisions across demand, inventory, supply, procurement, manufacturing, fulfillment, and transportation tied together with a financial representation of the value they collectively generate, e.g., Total Cost to Serve, Total Landed Cost, Total Profit, etc. How else will you be able to assess the effect of a demand change on the material requirements for your factory next week or the transportation capacity you will need? 6. Supports vertical alignment across multiple timeframes. Last but not least, a digital twin should support strategic and tactical choices to influence the operational decision-making in an enterprise, maintaining the vertical alignment across multiple timeframes. The digital twin should reflect an infrastructure change – immediate or planned – on the ways you revise your tactics and execute your plans. So, where are the true digital twins out there? By way of example, an ideal digital twin should enable you to design/redesign your global production-distribution network using hundreds of scenarios, rationalize your logistics spend annually, optimize your flow paths from your vendors to your points of sale seasonally, revisit your inventory investment targets periodically and replenish the network daily, while keeping all supply chain decisions synchronized across strategic, tactical and operational dimensions. I would love to hear your views and experience on digital twins. Meanwhile, we continue to improve the fidelity of a digital twin for a global company, having already processed 100M transactions from 400K unique active SKUs, 16K+ demand locations, 6K+ supply locations, and 200+ DCs and cross-docks. The digital twin remains alive and healthy with its lifeline connected to the source data from multiple systems. The horizontal alignment of decisions across a Total Cost to Serve objective already paid for itself many times just after one year, with significant recurring annual savings to come. For our clients, the future is here! We look forward to maintaining both the thought and the practical leadership on supply chain digital twins and will continue to share our experiences. If you would like to chat about digital twins or if you are curious about hearing how Solvoyo enables true digital twins, you can book a 15-minute discussion with me using this link. The post Digital Twin is an old idea – just new to supply chain appeared first on Supply Chain Analytics, Planning & Optimization Software | Solvoyo.

Predicting The Predictable – Successful 2020 Supply Chains

Gravity Supply Chain

In our previous blog post ‘The Evolution Of The Supply Chain’ we looked at what changes occurred within supply chains over the last two decades; in this article, we will highlight areas that need addressing to ensure the success of the future supply chain! The post Predicting The Predictable – Successful 2020 Supply Chains appeared first on Gravity Supply Chain. Articles

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5 Factors That Affect Supply


In economics, Supply is a fundamental concept that describes the total amount of a specific good or service that is available to consumers. Consumers express their interest in purchasing a good or service and exhaust available supply, which will generally result in an increase in demand.

Smart Cities: If I Only had a Brain

Enterra Insights

We’re all familiar with the Scarecrow’s musical lament in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” ” Part of the lyrics read: “ And my head I’d be scratchin’ while. my thoughts were busy hatchin’ If I only had a brain. I’d unravel every riddle for any individ’le, In trouble or in pain. With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’ I could be another Lincoln, If I only had a brain.

New Planning Maturity Assessment

In today's new supply chain paradigm, resilience and agility are key. Is your planning process fit enough to keep up with the pace of change? Is your tech stack helping or hindering your progress? Take AIMMS's new quiz to uncover learnings and benchmark yourself against peers!

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) – Visibility is the Key


VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) is the one of the best Inventory Management tools that will reduce the inventory carrying cost. By making your suppliers carry the inventory on behalf of you, you are reducing the risks and costs of inventory obsolescence. In VMI process, the supplier is expected to carry the inventory and make it available as and when it is needed. Customer pays only the for the inventory they have pulled or consumed. VMI Location.

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The Amazonification of Supply Chains

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Digital network platforms and advanced analytics are making it possible for logistics providers to achieve unprecedented levels of visibility and collaboration, enabling true end-to-end supply chains

Best Contract Management Software for 2020


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Voice picking or pick to light: which is best for your business?


We’ve worked with several companies who progressed through the stages of pick technology evolution, from paper to RF, and seen huge productivity and accuracy improvements. One of the hottest topics in these discussions is around "Which is better, Pick To Light or Pick To Voice?".

How Blockchain Can Increase Your Supply Chain Security


Supply chain security is something that all supply chain managers should be closely monitoring. Today’s supply chains face a unique array of threats, both in the physical and digital realm.

Coronavirus and Your Supply Chain

Speaker: Rob Handfield, PhD, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at NC State University

Join this informative webinar with Rob Handfield, Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at NC State University, who will go over how the Coronavirus has impacted supply chains, as well as discussing approaches for preparing your supply chain for future outbreaks of major global disruptions. The world is becoming a riskier place, and it is important to plan for disasters ahead of time.

10 Keywords Logistics Professionals Should Keep an Eye on in 2020


The start of a new year means that it’s time to realign priorities and set new goals. This doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch! There are plenty of topics and information from 2019 that are important to carry over into 2020.

A High Five for Hand-Raisers!

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Trends 2020: An Overview

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To really know what’s happening in a given arena of human or economic activity, you must take a deep dive. The platform off of which you dive, however, is the broader world stage. An understanding of larger global trends (i.e., trends driving the world into the future) is essential to making informed decisions. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton once stated, “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.”

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Project cargo complexities simplified

20Cube Logistics

The most important job of a freight forwarding company is to deliver the consignment on the agreed date. If the consignment is not delivered on time, it’s a loss to the receiving party. Well, some cargos’ are special and require an eye for detail and prior planning to implement the whole operation.

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5 Perceptions on Demand Forecasting and How it's Changing

Speaker: Brian Dooley, Director SC Navigator, AIMMS

It’s no secret that demand is getting more difficult to predict. Is your demand forecasting process evolving with the times? How does your process stack up against others? Are you satisfied with your level of forecast accuracy? This webinar shares research findings from a recent survey among supply chain planning professionals to help you answer these questions.

4 Fascinating Freight Facts

Freight Center

The freight industry is a key component to the success of modern commerce. After all, almost everything we use or consume is part of or passes through a logistics chain in one way or another. Check out these fascinating freight facts that perhaps you never knew. Freight Fact #4: Trucks are King. According to the American Trucking Association , “trucks move roughly 71.4% of the nation’s freight by weight.”

Getting Proactive with Markdowns [Video]

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6 Reasons Why Ripple Is An Effective Investment!

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The Belt and Road Initiative: Rail Service between Europe and Asia

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How is Demand Forecasting changing? How do you compare to your peers?

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What does research into customer experience tell us about how companies should deal with peaks?

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Meet the New Convenience Store Shopper

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The 10 Best Apps to Have While Travelling!

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The Evolution Of The Supply Chain

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Top 5 Barriers to Supply Chain Network Design Adoption and How to Overcome Them

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