Three-quarters of all supply chains have experienced difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading companies to consider reconfiguring their supply chains to promote greater resiliency. But what passes for talk of resiliency often means nothing more than supply chain redundancy — building out more physical infrastructure to handle the glut of goods.
Supply chain resiliency should reflect what always has been the goal of supply chain management — getting the right goods to the right places at the right times at the right costs — and, now more than ever, to be able to pivot successfully when confronted with challenges. Pandemic, war, inflation, labor shortages, and changing consumer buying patterns will be confronting supply chain managers for years to come.
Promoting supply chain resiliency involves dealing with and preparing for the supply chain risks that have always burdened supply chains, but which have been exacerbated in recent years. Ramping up supply chain planning processes and deploying technologies like artificial intelligence have the effect of increasing supply chain agility and dynamism. Those attributes, rather than redundancy, represent the true qualities of supply chain resiliency.
The detailed planning that facilitates leaner and more resilient networks depends upon implementing the right technologies and data strategies. Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to good data is important to creating virtual supply chain models known as “digital twins.” Digital twins report what has happened historically in the supply chain, and can help to analyze causes, predict future impacts, and suggest reaction plans.
Miebach Consulting, the global supply chain specialists headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, has successfully implemented digital twins across manufacturing, distribution, materials planning and transportation management organizations. Miebach works with clients to implement a layered approach to data analytics by examining supply chaindata at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels — and then planning and executing accordingly to enhance resiliency.
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