Digital supply chain twins support decision making

Author: Marcus Schilling
Date: 04.09.2019

Gartner presents top 8 supply chain technology trends 2019

“Digital supply chain twins are inevitable as the digital world and the physical world merge more and more.” A strong statement from Christian Titze, Gartner VP and research director for supply chain management. Together with his research colleagues Titze examined the technological supply chain trends for the year 2019. A supply chain leader could not ignore the eight trends he had worked out today and in the future. The digital supply chain twin not only represents one technology among many, but also serves as a foundation for effective digitalization of the supply chain.

A digital supply chain twin allows companies to reproduce their own supply chain digitally and exactly to the original. The “twin” incorporates all operational data and processes of the supply chain into the model. This includes products, customers, markets, finances and also external factors such as the weather. The aim is to present the company’s supply chain as precisely as possible. This allows simulations and optimizations to be tested before they are actually implemented.

“With individual customer needs, lot size 1, and ever-increasing customer service expectations, supply chain chief officers must push for seamless end-to-end collaboration across their ecosystem. And they need data from a variety of different sources,” advises Hans-Christian Brockmann, managing director of the digital twin company eccenca.

Big players like Nokia or RFS already prove that the concept works. Both companies are already using digital twin technology to build their supply chains. The technology is still in the start-up phase, but in addition to classic digital products such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, the Digital Twin could soon become the standard for supply chains.