Google Cloud has launched Supply Chain Twin, a purpose-built industry solution that lets companies build a digital twin (a virtual representation of their physical supply chain) by orchestrating data from disparate sources to get a more complete view of suppliers, inventories, and other information.
The majority of companies do not have complete visibility of their supply chains, resulting in retail stock outs, aging manufacturing inventory, or weather-related disruptions. In 2020, out-of-stock items alone cost the retail industry an estimated $1.14 trillion. The past year-and-a-half of supply chain disruptions related to COVID-19 has further proven the need for more up-to-date insights into operations, inventory levels, and more.
“Siloed and incomplete data is limiting the visibility companies have into their supply chains.” said Hans Thalbauer, Managing Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions, Google Cloud. “The Supply Chain Twin enables customers to gain deeper insights into their operations, helping them optimise supply chain functions – from sourcing and planning, to distribution and logistics.”
With Supply Chain Twin, companies can bring together data from multiple sources, all while requiring less partner integration time than traditional API-based integration. Some customers have seen a 95% reduction in analytics processing time, with times for some dropping from 2.5 hours down to eight minutes.
“At Renault, we are innovating on how we run efficient supply chains. Improving visibility to inventory levels across our network is a key initiative,” said Jean-François Salles, Supply Chain Global Vice President at Renault Group. “By aggregating inventory data from our suppliers and leveraging Google Cloud’s strength in organising and orchestrating data, with solutions like the Supply Chain Twin we expect to achieve a holistic view. We aim to work with Google tools to manage both stock, improve forecasting, and eventually optimise our fulfillment.”
Data types supported in Supply Chain Twin include:
- Enterprise business systems: Better understand operations by integrating information such as locations, products, orders, and inventory from ERPs and other internal systems.
- Supplier and partner systems: Gain a more holistic view across businesses by integrating data from suppliers, such as stock and inventory levels, and partners, such as material transportation status.
- Public sources: Understand your supply chain in the context of the broader environment by connecting contextual data from public sources, such as weather, risk, or sustainability-related data, including public datasets from Google.
“End-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain is a top priority for supply chain professionals to optimise planning, real-time decision making and monitoring,” said Simon Ellis, Program Vice President at IDC. “Google Cloud’s approach to a digital twin of the supply chain spans internal, external, and partner data networks without complex integrations. This approach can help organisations to better plan, monitor, collaborate and respond at scale.”