When everything is going well, details like which route your carrier took to deliver the package to your customer seem completely immaterial. But what happens when a massive storm hits and you realize that all of your carriers are stuck in it, and none of your packages will be delivered on time? You’ve just broken your promise to your customers, and more likely than not, you’ll have to deal with demands for refunds. This is where IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights with Watson comes in.
Supply Chain Insights provides your organization with end-to-end visibility throughout all stages of the supply-chain life cycle – from planning and sourcing to delivery and service and everything in between. With its news integration, Supply Chain Insights can inform you, the supply-chain manager, that a massive storm will likely affect many of your shipments, so you can then advise your carriers to alternative routes, as well as let your customers know that delays are possible.
Operations Center – The dashboard
With a dashboard that offers an easy way to visualize your end-to-end supply chain, Supply Chain Insights can help you prioritize the items that require your attention, and give you all the information you need to make an optimal decision in the face of disruptions.
Operations Center – The dashboard, detailed view
What’s really great about the dashboard is that at first, you get a nice high-level picture of your business, but if necessary, you can also get into the details and drill down for the specifics. For example, you can see that there are some problems with the open sales orders. If you click on the Open Sales Orders widget, you can see the exact percentage of orders and the amount of revenue that’s affected. From there, you can see all of the unscheduled sales orders and get a list by sales order number. If you drill down even further and select a sales order number, you can view the order summary and a timeline on the right side of the screen. You can see any concerns with the order, such as if there is no shipping date. This is just a quick example, but you can see how much detail you can get from this platform.
Another great feature of Supply Chain Insights is the capability to talk to Watson in natural language and get real-time responses. For example, instead of looking for widgets on your dashboard, you can tell Watson to show you all of the open sales orders, and Watson will provide you with links to details on those orders in real time. Not only that, but Watson is trained on a multitude of supply-chain questions, and you can train Watson on your own skills as well — but that’s a topic for a future article.
Supply Chain Insights is a collaboration platform that enables businesses to set up resolution rooms to discuss and take action on problems that inevitably arise during the supply-chain process. Let’s say there is a problem with supply order ZB-PO-0001924. You want to get in a room with all of the stakeholders, so you can easily invite people to discuss the details of the problem and come up with a resolution. The rooms allow you to have all of the details of your order available, take and save notes, and resolve your problem before it’s too late.
This is just a high-level overview of some of the features that come out of the box with an IBM Sterling Supply Chain Insights trial, but there are many more to explore. You can also learn how to get started uploading data through APIs.