Many are waking up to the fact that the data to achieve enhanced visibility across modern supply chain networks exists today. The data resides in many systems across the supply chain and if pieced together correctly, will lead to the next wave of digital transformation.
The challenge is now how the various participants in a supply chain network can access the data they require to build a complete picture across the entire supply chain network.
Security, privacy, and value
Whilst it is true that supply chains comprise many organisations working together for a common goal, they are ultimately separate organisations.
The systems that each organisation deploys are specifically designed to aid their respective operations and meet the requirements they have. For example, a telematics system may be used by a 3PL to monitor its fleet, and will be paid for, and therefore, controlled by the 3PL. A consignee/consignor will likely use an Order Management System to manage, you guessed it, orders. Again, the ownership and control of this system will sit with the consignee/consignor. The data that resides within these systems are owned and controlled by the respective organisation.
Any kind of data sharing between organisations needs careful thought. One can’t simply share all data with external organisations as this would cause all sorts of issues, not least because one organisation may work for multiple others and therefore, sharing all data with another would be a major breach of privacy.
Different needs, different visibility requirements
Additionally, the visibility requirements of each stakeholder are different. The telematics system used by hauliers/3PLs provides visibility of all vehicles, all the time. This is needed as they need to monitor vehicles all the time.
Whereas the requirement of the manufacturer and retailer in this instance is much more specific. They want to know where their consignment is. This could be achieved by capturing the GPS data of the vehicle that is moving that consignment. But this would only require visibility of a specific vehicle for a specific period.
The need for intelligent data orchestration
Value can be achieved for all stakeholders by applying intelligence to the way the data is captured, what data is captured and the ultimate picture it is combined to provide. Some have cited the use of a shared ledger for all raw data to be input and made available to all parties. However, this would cause complications with access/privacy etc. The answer is not to simply make replicas of the respective systems in a shared way as this would not overcome the key privacy challenges around data accessibility at scale.
A solution to provide a more intelligent approach is required.
Entopy’s software platform can provide that solution. Entopy uses proven techniques to capture data in a targeted way, from existing domains owned, operated, used and critically, maintained by the respective organisations that comprise the supply chain network. Starting with the ultimate picture that the various stakeholders require, it forms the framework of a ‘Digital Twin’ – often at consignment level.
The platform coordinates data across the various supply chain systems, defining parameters and rules to ensure only relevant data is captured.
The result is a rich ‘digital twin’ with which all stakeholders can interact and gain the visibility they require.
Entopy’s approach enables data to be shared across the supply chain network whilst maintaining privacy between the respective organisations.
Unlocking data accessibility at scale and using that data to deliver coherent visibility to the various participants will lead to major step changes across the supply chain network, from visibility to awareness, to communication, to automation.