A supply chain control tower is an integrated information hub that leverages technology, organization, and processes to provide end-to-end visibility for short and long-term decision-making aligned with strategic objectives. Control tower as a concept has evolved from spreadsheet-centric reports in the early 2000s to digital logging & storage in 2010s to end-to-end visibility and insights today. AI-ML and Automation are revolutionizing how control towers function, and predictive analytics and automated prescriptive actions will become more commonplace in the coming years.
The crux of a control tower lies in assimilated data from various internal and external sources to provide visibility and insights. Having multiple parties plug in their information on a single platform has both short-term and long-term benefits. At a high level, a robust supply chain control tower can help you
Achieve end-to-end visibility across the network
Build a responsive, agile, and innovative supply chain
Improve service levels, and consequently increase customer satisfaction and NPS scores
Reduce costs and improve cash flows
Proactively mitigate and manage risks
It is amply clear that a supply chain control tower can be a game-changer for anyone’s operations. The pertinent question to ask, however, is: How do I establish a successful supply chain control tower? There is enough and more material readily available to help you choose the right control tower, so let us not get into that. Instead, let’s try to answer the readiness question.
Define Control Tower Strategy
Before embarking on the quest for establishing a supply chain control tower, you need to have a clear, defined control tower strategy. While a control tower spans across your entire business network of suppliers, customers, and transportation partners, you need to define the levels of visibility, focus areas for insights, user groups and access levels, and data sources. DO NOT BEGIN without having this strategy.
Move away from broken legacy systems
There are several impediments to a successful control tower implementation, which inhibit the control tower to reach its full potential. More often than not, organizations are not able to move away from legacy systems and their existing technology landscape, suffering from multiple information sources (marred with duplicate and/or erroneous data), and lack of integrated systems. Lack of a strong change management approach impedes adoption, which results in a poor return on investment (RoI).
Leverage best practices
As a company embarks on supply chain control tower implementation, here are a few best practices to consider:
Invest in integrated master data management to maintain a single version of truth
Design the control tower to be customer-driven, not process-driven
Leverage real-time data, from external systems if needed
Utilize the control tower to close the loop on supply chain planning and execution
Integrate, integrate and integrate - the key to connect seamlessly and scale
Pando’s control tower solution helps you do all of this. Know more here.