Does Your Supply Chain Have a Digital Twin?
Digital technology is leading the charge toward more proactive and productive supply chain management, and digital twins are taking center stage. The ability to visualize the supply chain and quantify its contributing factors is giving manufacturers the knowledge and power necessary to combat everything from rising freight costs to materials shortages and bottlenecks affecting production. It pays to pay attention to digital twins.
What is a supply chain digital twin?
A supply chain digital twin is a visual representation of a supply chain comprised of real-time data and digital snapshots from across the chain of custody. Digital twins offer companies a complete view of suppliers, inventories, shipments, checkpoints, and more. They allow for a better understanding of supply chain behavior by shedding light on each of the many factors involved.
The benefits of a supply chain digital twin
Supply chain digital twins are effective for preventing problems and fixing them when they arise. Most manufacturers quickly realize the benefits of a supply chain digital twin. Some of the primary benefits include:
- Bottleneck identification. Real-time information on bottlenecks slowing down the supply chain allows for faster problem resolution.
- Real-time asset tracking. Insightful data about a company’s assets allows for smarter decision making and the ability to implement preventive maintenance.
- Risk monitoring and mitigation. Emergency situations can easily upset workflow. A supply chain digital twin provides essential information for determining the best solution in an emergency.
- Data-driven insights. Insights provided by digital twins offer a full scope view of a company’s supply chain and the ability to mobilize and analyze data for on-demand solutions.
- Supply chain adaptability. A digital twin helps a company adapt to supply chain problems and develop strategies for streamlining production.
By delivering accurate and insightful data, a supply chain digital twin quickly and easily improves a company’s efficiency and cost-effective operation. In short, they make decision making and problem solving much easier.
Software is becoming more accessible
Digital twin software is moving into the mainstream as evidenced by Google’s recent announcement of its own digital twin tool. The tool, called the “Supply Chain Twin,” allows companies to build their own digital twin with relative ease. The company is also releasing its “Supply Chain Pulse” module, which provides analytics, alerts, and more. As Hans Thalbauer, Managing Director of Supply Chain and Logistics at Google Cloud, says, “The Supply Chain Twin enables customers to gain deeper insights into their operations, helping them optimize supply chain functions from sourcing and planning to distribution and logistics.”
When one of the biggest tech companies in the world implements its own digital twin tool, it’s a clear sign the software works. Google’s digital tool will likely be among the most popular, but there are plenty of other options available — all of which bring better visibility to supply chain operations.
The key to better oversight and foresight
Supply chain disruptions will continue — or grow even worse — in the coming months. Implementing digital twins in critical supply chains keeps manufacturers on the forefront of emerging situations and in control of the factors governing the earliest stages of their value stream.