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Supply Chain

Supply Chain Control Tower: the new tool for optimizing supply chain operations?

Julien Broucke
September 27, 2023
min read
Supply Chain Control Tower: a lot to learn from the airport control tower!

Anticipating Future Market Challenges: The Importance of Being Prepared

But how can we anticipate the future in a rapidly changing world? The Supply Chain Control Tower was created to address this challenge. The SCM control tower analyzes potential disruptions, dispatch information, actions and routines, support simulations aiding decision making.

What are the technological components of a Supply Chain Control Tower?

It can vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the organization using it. However, some common components of a Supply Chain Control Tower may include:

  • Data management and analytics tools to collect, process, and analyze data from various sources in the supply chain.
  • Simulation and modeling tools to generate scenarios and forecasts based on the data and identify potential disruptions or challenges.
  • Collaboration and communication tools to enable real-time communication and coordination among supply chain partners.
  • Visibility and tracking tools to monitor the movement of goods and materials in the supply chain and identify potential bottlenecks or delays.
  • Decision-making and optimization tools to help supply chain managers make informed decisions and optimize the flow of goods and materials in the supply chain.

Overall, the goal of a Control Tower is to provide real-time visibility on your supply chain processes, enabling organizations to respond quickly and effectively to disruptions and challenges.

A Day in the Life of a Supply Chain Manager: How a Control Tower Can Streamline Operations

With a Supply Chain Control Tower, a Supply Chain Manager may be able to automate some of these tasks and use the tool to monitor the supply chain in real-time, identify potential risks and opportunities, and make more informed decisions. Without a Supply Chain Control Tower, a Supply Chain Manager may need to rely more on manual processes and individual expertise to manage the supply chain.

Some common tasks and responsibilities that will be improved and facilitated are:

  • Collaborating with internal and external partners to plan and coordinate the movement of goods and materials.
  • Monitoring the performance of the supply chain and identifying potential disruptions or challenges.
  • Analyzing data and using modeling and simulation tools to forecast demand and identify potential risks.
  • Making decisions to respond to disruptions or changes in the supply chain and ensure that goods and materials are delivered on time and in the right quantities.

What is the average cost of implementing a Supply Chain Control Tower?

In general, the cost of implementing a Supply Chain Control Tower can range from virtually*** free if built internally using Power BI (or eq.) leveraging manually prepared database updated regularly that will provide data visualization. However, a professional control tower providing active monitoring, dispatching action and workflow throughout an organization with simulation abilities can range from a few thousand dollars when using SaaS solution to hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for a customized, enterprise-level solution, when using specialized IT and management consulting firms.

*** Virtually: the cost to rebuild internally within one company is much more expensive vs SaaS solution that are mutualizing development among 100s of customers. Enterprise grade SaaS will save a lot of 80 to 90% of the needs that are common "everywhere if you abstract it well (yes it is!), and the few very specific things can be added on top either by the company or by the SaaS provider will be net much cheaper, automated, evolutive and fast to implement.

Good luck in your endeavor!

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Julien Broucke
Co-founder & CEO, Process Metronome

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