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Three keys to an intelligent supply chain

Wherever your manufacturing business is on its journey to providing product as a service, you’ve no doubt realized that you need an intelligent supply chain to make it happen. Because you need to be able to do three key things:

  1. Deliver the right products, parts, resources, and service where and when they’re needed. Product as a service adds complexity to your supply chain. No longer is the supply chain simply responsible for manufacturing and delivering a product to a customer. Now, it can involve coordinating everything from parts going into products to service technicians conducting predictive maintenance and repairs to software updates on products—and much more. This requires orchestration across multifaceted, dynamic networks that often span the globe.
  2. Achieve a balance between customer service level and budget requirements. The cost-versus-service equation has always been a delicate balance for manufacturers. As you shift to product as a service, customer service levels aren’t just calculated based on how the product performs, but on delivery of purchased services. Providing these services at any cost is not an effective way to achieve desired service levels, yet cutting costs by decreasing inventory, for example, can result in unexpected downtime and financial penalties. You need an intelligent way to achieve balance, so you can maintain optimal inventory levels and manage your cost of goods, while still meeting customer expectations.
  3. Enable tighter upstream and downstream collaboration across complex value chains. With product lifecycles continuing to compress, innovation and speed are critical to success in today’s manufacturing marketplace. That means you need to collaborate faster and smarter across the value chain to innovate and bring to market new products and services so you can stay ahead of the competition and meet your customers’ expectations.

The great news is you can take advantage of technology such as cloud computing, AI, IoT, and more to help you accomplish those three imperatives. We’ve partnered with intelligent supply chain experts who can help you do so.

Integrated business planning. Connect teams on a collaborative planning platform that provides real-time visibility into your manufacturing business’ current and future states. That way, you can:

  • Align teams, strategies, and initiatives.
  • Adapt dynamically with real-time data.
  • Plan ahead effectively.

Go to our o9 Integrated Business Planning solution page to learn more and start your trial.

Multi-echelon inventory optimization. Increase your customer service levels and lower your costs with automated demand modeling and inventory management across the supply chain that can help you:

  • Intelligently analyze your existing data.
  • Optimize inventory with advanced analytics.
  • Increase service levels and working capital.

Go to our ToolsGroup Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization solution page to learn more and start your trial.

Demand forecasting. Make better forecasting decisions with real-time insight into your markets and demand for products and services. Analyze external global factors—such as publicly available data on weather patterns, consumer spending, population trends for growth and location, what’s popular on social media and search engines, and more—together with your internal data such as company performance to:

  • Validate your current strategy.
  • Discover hidden performance drivers.
  • Gain a 360-degree view of future demand.

Go to our Prevedere Demand Forecasting solution page to learn more and start your trial.

Track and trace. With the complexities of a product-as-a-service supply chain, it’s become ever more essential to track and trace a product—and its connected services—along its entire journey. Whether it’s preventing counterfeit products from going to your customers, keeping fresh food from spoiling, or ensuring product safety by confirming maintenance and software updates have been made, you need an intelligent way to manage shared processes across the value chain and maintain visibility into origin, authenticity, and asset handling.

You can take advantage of blockchain technology to give all parties visibility into a digital track of each product’s development and its services.

Learn more in the e-book, “How blockchain will transform the modern supply chain.”

Intelligent supply chain is one of five key manufacturing digital transformation scenarios. Keep an eye out for my next blog, where I’ll discuss all five and how they can help you further your journey to delivering product as a service.