Supply Chain Control Towers and the Real Time Value Network

January 23, 2014
Shirell James of One Network discusses supply chain control towers, their capabilities and limits, and how the Real Time Value Network differs from a control tower solution. More supply chain control tower resources: LEARN MORE AT - OR CONTACT SHIRELL AT - ► Subscribe to our channel here: Follow us online here: LinkedIn: Website: Blog: Facebook: Twitter: Today's supply chains have become incredibly complicated. A recent Gartner survey found that 85 percent of respondents felt that supply chain complexity is a significant and growing challenge for their operations. Where is this complexity coming from? The answer lies in today's globalized, outsourced supply chains. Globalization and outsourcing mean that no single company today owns more than a small slice of the fulfilment process, which in general has allowed companies to reduce costs. The problem is that the supply chain management systems were not designed to see and manage anything beyond the four walls of a single enterprise, and the result is increasing amounts of risk in their extended supply chain. Are control towers effective? Well, given today's environment of complexity and risk, it is no wonder that the control tower has been so appealing. Yet when you begin to inspect the underlying technology these systems rely on, it's clear that they could never live up to the hype. They have several key flaws... What are some of the most common flaws of supply chain control towers? First, there's "end-to-end" visibility, the primary benefit they are supposed to provide. The truth is that control towers offer a very limited form of visibility, emphasizing visibility into one part of the chain at the expense of another. At best, this means visibility across some of their internal departments and a immediate trading partners. This is because control towers create visibility by crudely stitching together multiple applications together with one-off connections between trading partners that aren't reusable, a time- and resource-intensive process. Ok, so limited visibility and non-reusable trading partner connections...what else? Control towers also require a lot of manual processes and large teams of people to operate—meaning that at best the response time between detecting a discrepancy and taking corrective action will be as long as a full week, and more likely several weeks or a month. This is because it does nothing to change the fact that your enterprise is still using separate systems for planning and execution. So even when a control tower provides an alert about an issue somewhere else in the chain, a human planner is still needed to evaluate the alert, translate its effect on the strategic, operating and execution plans, and determine the optimal response. How is One Network different from control tower solutions? One Network offers a fundamentally unique architecture that allows it to provide everything that a typical control tower system is supposed to and so much more...First, instead of the limited visibility of a control towers, One Network uses the cloud to provide true end-to-end visibility that includes all of your demand, supply, and logistics trading partners. It was designed from the outset to accommodate every member of your supply chain. Furthermore, it utilizes reusable company connections to ensure that companies need only connect once—the result being continuous progress and projects that actually gain momentum over time. Second, going beyond the passive visibility offered by control towers, One Network integrates planning and execution capabilities into the same system, allowing the system to make intelligent decisions and modify plans automatically without real time without huge teams of human planners to needed to monitor the system.
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