Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Kevin Jackson, Chris Colosimo, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Why You Should Build Your Supply Chain from the Customer Up | @CloudExpo #SaaS #Cloud #Agile

The benefits of Supply Chain Orchestration for customers and businesses

Why You Should Build Your Supply Chain from the Customer Up

Satisfying customers and winning their loyalty is the foundation that every successful business is built upon. Delivering a consistently excellent experience builds a level of customer intimacy that will set your business apart from the competition. Consider that 80% of your company's future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers, according to Gartner.

The supply chain landscape is shifting, as customer expectations soar and new services and software bring greater complexity. There's a great deal of pressure to maintain operational excellence, integrate disruptive new technologies, and innovate for a superior customer experience. Tying these disparate threads together requires responsive Supply Chain Orchestration (SCO).

Finding the right balance
"There was a time when supply chains could settle for trade-offs: cost or speed, service or quality, flexibility or reliability. Those days are long gone," predicted Paul Keel, Senior Vice President, 3M Supply Chain, talking to Forbes. "The equation has shifted from an imbalanced ‘or' to an equilibrium centered on ‘and.'"

Crafting an optimal customer experience that not only meets, but ideally exceeds expectations, is difficult when there are so many moving parts and players involved. Consistency and reliability are requirements for a customer-centric system. However, companies must remain agile, so they can adapt to variations in demand, changes in the market and supply volatility. None of this is possible without real-time visibility and control.

Establishing visibility
All companies want better supply chain visibility. The average company has seven Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) instances and little confidence that ERP is going to close the widening gaps between the perceived importance and the actual performance of most supply chain elements, according to Supply Chain Insights research. One supply chain leader said, "Today, it is much like chewing gum, bailing wire and a shoestring."

Supply Chain Orchestration (SCO) can bridge the gaps between retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and logistics service providers. It can bind your systems, suppliers and service providers together to bring clarity and understanding. You need real-time oversight of the entire life cycle before you can find the optimal workflow. Establishing real-time visibility is a prerequisite for creating a better customer experience, because it empowers you to integrate the flow across multiple activities, services, and business units.

From visibility to control
Once you have established end-to-end visibility, you can start controlling your supply chain to meet customer demand and then measure performance against expectation. SCO highlights problems immediately as they arise, and offers the ability to build in automated rerouting, so you never let a customer down. Over time, the data you're collecting about your supply chain can serve as the basis for process optimization and predictive analytics. An accurate cost-to-serve analysis makes it easier to align your efforts and fulfil customer needs.

Find out where the weak spots are. Learn which suppliers and services are working well and which aren't. When you want to expand into a new market, or offer a new delivery service, SCO can help you to configure the required flows and understand the risks, the costs and the benefits involved. There's no need to take a leap of faith when you can see the cold hard facts. These kinds of actionable insights enable your supply chain to evolve, grow, and improve.

Customer chain control
Most companies build supply chains from an operational perspective. They rely on an ERP system to handle commercial orders, production, inventory and finances. They employ a Warehouse Management System (WMS) to deal with receiving, storage, and packing. They rely on a Transport Management System (TMS) to execute orders and move products around. Each element is focused on efficiency in its own sphere, with no oversight, no insight and little flexibility.

Where do the needs of the customer figure in all this?

If customer satisfaction and loyalty is your primary goal, then the customer must be front and center. If you truly want to deliver astounding service for your customers, then every customer order must be viewed as an individually optimized supply chain. It still needs to be fully configurable based on capacity and costs, and supported by business rules and learning algorithms, but the perfect blend of service should be driven by the ultimate customer requirements.

More Stories By Martin Verwijmeren

Martin Verwijmeren is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MP Objects (MPO), a leading provider of smart cloud software for supply chain orchestration with offices in Boston, Rotterdam, Tokyo and Hyderabad. He was previously vice president of IT for CEVA Logistics. He has a PhD in distributed systems for integral inventory management from Eindhoven University of Technology.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, will discuss new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of securit...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.