As the complex global supply chain logjam continues, two companies are offering customers a better way to strategically use data and technology to maximize competitive advantage. Analytics and AI leader SAS and Cosmo Tech, an influential creator of complex simulation and digital twin supply chain technology, have become partners. They will use their collective expertise to build a hybrid artificial intelligence (AI)–powered digital twin solution that helps connect demand planning and forecasting with production and inventory planning to create more resilient end-to-end supply chains.
“The best way to respond to unplanned events is to anticipate them, and the best way to anticipate them is to model potential responses beforehand,” said Brian Kilcourse, Managing Partner at Retail Systems Research. “The combination of advanced analytics technologies and digital twins makes that possible.”
Analytics and digital twins help heal the fragile supply chain
Consider the complex processes of manufacturing everyday goods around the world. From potato chips to tires, manufacturers must balance the right flow of suppliers, raw materials, and specialized processes with unforeseen shifts in consumer demand. Tires with Kevlar for a truck in the Alps? Single-serve bags of vinegar and sea salt potato chips headed to Kansas City? The variables make it impossible for manufacturing professionals to profitably stay on top of their game relying on only spreadsheets. That’s where analytics and digital twins step in to make a transformational difference.
“For supply chain managers, it’s difficult to predict the impact of a decision, a disruption, or an unexpected event on the entire organization,” said Hugues de Bantel, Co-Founder and CEO of Cosmo Tech. “SAS and Cosmo Tech’s combined technologies let customers understand in real time not only how organizations are performing but how they will perform even in situations they’ve never experienced before.”
The business challenges the SAS and Cosmo Tech solution will address include:
- Maintaining production quality and reducing waste.
- Meeting demand shifts while minimizing lost sales.
- Making the best use of available resources.
- Controlling costs and margins.
- Anticipating risks and managing supply chain disruptions.
The partners’ joint solution involves the SAS® Cloud for Intelligent Planning Suite running on SAS® Viya® and the Cosmo Tech 360 Simulation Platform. The new solution will help build flexibility back into an organization by analyzing the data flowing off IoT devices like RFID tags, production lines and vehicle telematics. The partners will focus initially on supply chains for manufacturing, consumer goods and retail, but the benefits of simulation digital twins apply to many vertical industries from health care to financial services.
Dan Mitchell, SAS Global Director of Retail & CPG, said the global crisis reveals how delicate the optimized, consolidated supply chain is. “Looking back on the last couple of years, we can see all the things we thought were inefficient before – multiple distribution centers, carriers and routes – were actually investments in resiliency,” Mitchell said. “Consumer goods manufacturers typically rely on just a few analysts and planners to create a multitude of forecasts. Using intelligent automation with machine learning like digital twins allows companies to automate complex tasks so analysts are freed up for more critical work.”