Digital Control Tower
Allan Lyall, Pierre Mercier and Stefan Gstettner:
"A key concept that many of these companies are exploring is the “digital control tower” — a virtual decision center that provides real-time, end-to-end visibility into global supply chains. For a small number of leading retail companies’ control towers have become the nerve center of their operations. A typical “tower” is actually a physical room staffed with a team of data analysts that works full-time, 24/7, monitoring a wall of high definition screens. The screens provide real-time information and 3D graphics on every step of the supply chain, from order to delivery. Visual alerts warn of inventory shortfalls or process bottlenecks before they happen, so that teams on the front line can course correct quickly before potential problems become actual ones. Real-time data, unquestioned accuracy, relentless customer focus, process excellence, and analytical leadership underlie the control tower operations of these retail operations.
Industrial companies are also embracing the concept. One manufacturer’s complex network moves more than a million parts and components per day. The control tower flags potential supply issues as they arise, calculates the effects of the problem, and either automatically corrects the issue using pre-determined actions or flags it for the escalation team. Similarly, a steel company built a customized scenario-planning tool into its control tower platform that increases supply chain responsiveness and resilience. The tool simulates how major, unexpected equipment breakdowns — so called “big hits” — will affect the business and points to the best risk mitigation actions." (https://hbr.org/2018/06/the-death-of-supply-chain-management)