Real-Time Visibility Driven by IoT is Disrupting Supply Chain Management

Integrated Real-Time Visibility Driven by IoT is Disrupting Supply Chain Management


The environment for supply chain managers has become increasingly complex and challenging in recent years.  There are a number of factors that have combined to create this environment:

  • Heightened competition
  • Increasing customer expectations fueled by technological advancement
  • Shorter product lifecycles
  • Increasing prevalence of outsourced supply chain management
  • The increasing presence of multi-tier supply chain networks

Supply chain managers are turning to IoT as one way to deal with the complexity.  IoT and Analytics over IoT data offer the opportunity to meet the challenges above and disrupt the practice of Supply Chain Management.

Real-Time Visibility across All Supply Chain Functions is the New Normal

The business requirement in this new market environment demands real-time visibility across all supply chain functions.  Traditional supply chain solutions and systems are not equipped for outsourced supply chains and typically provide fragmented or delayed information severely limiting responsiveness.  The competitive demand for real-time customer service and responsiveness make that no longer viable.  There are a wide range of use cases for IoT Analytics in Supply Chain Management that highlights this principle.



The impact of real-time visibility and integration across the full range of supply chain functions can be seen most clearly by looking at three of the most demanding use cases in supply chain management.

Supply Assurance

Supply Assurance offers perhaps the most powerful example of how Real-Time IoT Analytics can address the challenge of cross-organizational interdependencies inherent in today’s supply chains.  Maintaining production at peak efficiency while simultaneously meeting dynamic demand conditions is a delicate balancing act.  Integrated IoT Analytics that leverages sensor data across multiple trading partners in real-time delivers a number of key capabilities and associated benefits:

  • Managers can monitor production milestones, safety and compliance issues, and logistics in a single platform/system, enabling supply chain partners to collaborate easily and make adjustments on multiple fronts simultaneously to deal with dynamic supply and demand coordination issues.
  • Real-time IoT analytics driven exception-driven alerts automate critical processes with condition-based automated workflows across multiple trading partners. Potential supply shortfalls can be averted and customers satisfied.
  • Advanced analytics can identify patterns and trends, make predictions, and prescribe the best actions to take to optimize delivery at the least possible cost. Unpleasant trade-offs between customer satisfaction and cost can be eliminated.

Product Lifecycle Management

The phasing in and out of products, or engineering changes in existing products require close monitoring with supply chains.  These types of transitional time periods raise the risk of inventory write-offs, lost sales opportunities, and disappointing surprises on margin performance.  IoT Analytics can address these issues in a number of ways:

  • Monitoring of risks and unseen dependencies in new product launch schedules and real-time identification of changes in costs that will invalidate margin assumptions is essential to effective lifecycle management. Analyzing and acting quickly on the monitored conditions is critical.
  • Optimization of product phase-in and phase-out operations can be done in real-time by providing continuous updates on dynamic supply conditions that could result in costly shortages or surpluses.
  • Real-time analytics on competitive pricing, industry, and market conditions can guide product managers to more timely decisions that result in better customer service and satisfaction – and ultimately increased revenue

Order Visibility & Fulfillment

Expediting orders thru today’s complex multi-party supply chains is harder than ever. Real-time access to order status is mandatory to enable managers to pinpoint and eliminate bottlenecks. IoT Analytics provides visibility into the status of orders by:

  • Leveraging sensor data to pinpoint locations, processing time, and isolated exceptions that are inhibiting overall order flow.
  • Identify unusual order flow patterns that can highlight issues before they become blockages to overall progress.
  • Monitor telemetry data for potential logistics disruptions and prescribe optimal routes.
  • Optimize backlog and new orders to maximize revenue and margin objectives.

Vitria VIA Delivers the Integrated Real-Time Analytics required for Supply Chain Management in the IoT Era

The practice of supply chain management will increasingly be disrupted by the growing adoption of IoT and advanced analytics.  The challenge for supply chain managers and executives is to take advantage of IoT while simultaneously integrating their supply chain systems across a much wider range of information sources.  And the competitive pressures outlined above make real-time monitoring, diagnosis, and intelligent actions the new “table stakes” for supply chain management. This set of challenges requires new thinking and new types of solutions.

The Vitria VIA IoT Analytics Platform was designed to meet these challenges head-on.  VIA delivers a set of powerful capabilities that provide the integrated real-time visibility required for the three use cases above and many more in supply chain management

  • Advanced analytics provide historical, real-time and predictive views of supply chain data.
  • VIA’s descriptive analytics includes KPIs and baselines, statistical summaries, multidimensional analysis, pattern matching, anomaly detection, trend analysis, and behavioral analytics. All of these techniques have applicability to supply chain optimization use cases.
  • The analytics can be performed either continuously in real-time over streaming data or periodically over large batches of data. This is essential for dealing with the time-sensitive supply chain decisions.
  • Automation and Actions enable fast real-time responses by multiple parties – critical in complex multi-party supply chains

These capabilities in turn deliver benefits for supply chain management:

  • Panoramic 360° View of all data: Orders, Supply, Inventory, Quality, Factory, IoT, & Telemetry
  • Intelligent & Automated Workflows and Actions for faster response to demand changes
  • Advanced Analytics to predict and prevent supply disruptions before they happen
  • Digitized and automated processes that span enterprise systems across organizational boundaries.

IoT and Analytics is a promising new playing field for supply chain managers.  To learn more about how Vitria VIA can help you navigate the opportunities and gain business value quickly, contact us

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