Recently I wrote about a few real life examples of IDC Manufacturing Insights 2014 Predictions: Worldwide Manufacturing and their Top 10 predictions. I wanted to continue with some more examples to illustrate what is happening now and hopefully help you see some real life examples that are already taking place.
To follow up with IDC’s Prediction #4
Supply chain technology investment will involve modernizing existing systems while also trying new approaches, many systems already exist, but the issue is that they are in a ‘silo’ versus the other systems and it is difficult to talk across the systems. If you have multiple vendors on multiple platforms, it is difficult to get to the information but then also make sense of this information. In fact, most of our customers use different systems within their environment so even within a first level silo (company A) it is difficult to start to see what information exists let alone start to analyze this information. When you start to get to a second level silo (company A to company B information flows) you are now looking at silos within silos trying to talk with other silos.
I do not see these systems being ‘ripped and replaced’ but augmented with a layer above them to then start to build visibility and correlation across the systems which can then be tracked across companies to add visibility. We have been working with one of our business partners, HCL, to build a cloud offering where we are able to quickly install a platform, extract data from your existing systems and start to add value to you multiple locations operations and diverse portfolio.
The fifth IDC prediction was around the modernization of the B2B Commerce Backbone. I have seen this happening with many of our customers and business partners where they are using the information they have already on hand and start to use it in new ways. Look at this article on Amazon and anticipatory shopping. By taking the data that they have and mining this information is going to change how and what we order.
We are seeing this same use of analytics from the manufacturing market, not to predict what you are going to order, but when something may fail. Taking the data and tracking the sensor information, now much easier to access and track with new products and offerings, and driving this into an analytics engine. Using analytics, the ‘normal ranges’ are known and can be applied when the sensors are seeing any abnormalities occur. This helps to then understand what is happening and where it is happening and then start to understand where items may fail.
A few of our customers are taking this information from their customers and aggregating all of this information from different locations, adding sensors from the environment and then taking this information to drive the predictions back to their customers. Interestingly, some of our customers and partners see this as a service offering to allow better information and comparisons to stop failures and drive towards the 99.999% uptime that every company would like to have.
How are you wrestling with modernizing or revamping your supply chain? Are you adopting analytics in your sales or manufacturing processes? Let us know. Thanks for reading!