January 3rd, 2017
Supply-Chain-Management-Control-Tower

The Control Tower Model: An Essential Supply Chain Management Strategy


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Supply Chain Management is one of the essential functional areas that is part of every manufacturing-distribution process. Supply Chain Management, in its all-encompassing form, includes every aspect of goods handling post the manufacturing process. Enhancing the supply chain management process has direct positive impact on the logistics process as well.

In recent times, quite a few supply chain management strategies have started focusing on implementing a control-tower model. This is basically an approach that aids the centralisation of processes and operations. Thus, visibility is enhanced and operations forecast is improved as well. With end-to-end visibility, the senior managerial staff in charge of the SCM operations can easily maintain a constant standardization across the process. But, just any implementation of a supply chain management architecture can’t get the work done. There are some specific traits that are essential for squeezing out every ounce of productivity from the Control-Tower setup in SCM. Let’s have a look.

SCM

There are certain essentials in Supply Chain Management that ensure its scalability and long-term reliability. Here are a few of them that really matter:

  • Tech to Facilitate Collaboration amongst SCM Partners’
    Collaboration amongst the partners is essential for supply chain management. This is something that can be achieved only if the tech requirement is taken into perspective beforehand. Collaborative structure of these tech solutions can come in handy whenever there is the requirement for synchronised contextual efforts from the SCM partners – manufacturers, shippers, and carriers alike.
  • Cloud-based Handling
    Cloud-based solutions are highly scalable and allow for easy handling of physical assets and their movement via the web. This is also the reason why there has to be a focus on the cloud compatibility of any software architecture. The cloud is easily accessible, software based on it can be tweaked across the spectrum in a much simpler way, and connectivity issues are less prevalent than traditional software implementations within the logistics sector.
  • Big Data Analytics
    The next era is that of big data. This is evident from this sector booming over the years and thus becoming essential to several industries. This is also one of the most significant technology traits when considered as a whole for the complete industry-wide portfolio. By collecting the data from the daily orchestration of supply chain processes, control towers also offer unique insight into the performance criterion.
  • Centralised Data and Storage Schedule
    A standard centralised data and storage schedule helps in realising the most common hiccups within a system. If data updation and maintenance is handled during the processes itself, it becomes easier to track the anomalies and the causes of process failures. For example, the trends for the live tracking data for trucks can be used later to better predict the expected deadline failures for routes that are inconvenient for road transport here in India.
  • Optimization Technology to Construct a Plan or Realign it During Execution
    Enhancement in any process to increase productivity and output is known as optimisation. In logistics, the complexities of processes involved are such that optimisations can minimise the hiccups in process-handling, but not get rid of them altogether. Hence, the planning for optimisation technology design is done in a way that different process threads can be realigned in the event of any sudden problem arising amidst the execution.

Other than the above, the Control tower model also supports in enhancing the efficiency of logistical concepts like cross-docking, merge-in-transit, multi-compartments, and multi-modal logistics, amongst others.

The control tower model represents an all-encompassing process cover that is backed by cloud-based technologies. This centralized system takes care of all major process checkpoints — starting from the collection and aggregation of shipments and inventory. Afterwards, the data coming from these systems is assessed in real-time for anomalies and then fed to the monitoring system for execution.

Supply Chain

By specifying the centralised and localised execution channels, the Supply Chain processes automatically fall into place. Since this mechanism is extensive in terms of geographical coverage, changes in operations at grassroots level becomes much easier as the central system needs only small tweaks to include new functionality.

Yes, the control tower model can prove to be a really significant strategy for supply chain management and logistics handling. Here at Quikhop, we are rapidly utilising the enhancements in our own architecture to implement the control tower model in the widest spectrum for supply chain management and logistics strategies. Stay hooked.

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