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Defining a Digital Supply Chain and Digital Twinning

Quality InsightsJanuary 19, 2024

Digitization seems to be driving everything nowadays, so why not supply chains? We define a digital supply chain and digital twinning.

What is a digital supply chain?

Digital technologies, such as blockchain and virtual reality (VR), can be harnessed to totally redefine how the work of supply chains is conducted.

Digitizing your supply chain involves applying electronic technologies to every aspect of your supply chain. Electronic connectivity is at the heart of a digital supply chain. This is enabled by numerous, as well as disruptive, technologies like:

  • The Internet of Things (IoT)
  • End-to-end digital connectivity
  • Cloud computing
  • Blockchain
  • Big data
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Machine learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Software as a service (SaaS)

Why a digital supply chain?

A digital supply chain can eliminate the use of paper, manual data entry and updates, and the need to request information, such as by phone call, because you already have it at your fingertips.

Using electronic sensors and supply chain visibility software with advanced tracking capabilities can allow you to track the movement of goods throughout your supply chain in real time.

End-to-end electronic connectivity enables performance management and optimization, whatever the level of complexity. It allows a digital supply chain to be fully integrated, with transparency and visibility, from the customer to all supplier levels, inclusive of every function.

Robustly applying tools, such as AI, big data, predictive analytics and digital control towers, also greatly reduces human intervention. 

Thus, a digital supply chain and processes can be managed holistically and intelligently, with optimal availability of information on performance, requirements and overall dynamics.

Supply chain digital twin

A supply chain digital twin is a virtual reconstruction of your real supply chain. It allows you to analyze dynamics and predict process success.

With a digital twin, you can benefit from real-time data and snapshots of planned and released work and sales orders, pending approvals, and supply and demand.

A digital twin can help you understand your supply chain’s behavior, predict uncommon situations and provide an action plan to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

You can also use it to:

  • Optimize overall supply chain processes
  • Identify bottlenecks
  • Plan transportation and facilities
  • Optimize inventory
  • Predict packaging material performance

How we can help

No matter how complex your business or supply chain is, we can support you to implement a digital supply chain.

Our supply chain and technical experts can help you optimize costs, increase operational efficiency and access transparent statistics. Aspects like process management, material flow, supply and demand planning, resource planning, inventory levels and strategy can be managed dynamically with real-time, global and holistic information at your fingertips.

Digitization as our driver

Digitizing supply chain data is essential, as it can drive cost savings, global standardization and internal stakeholder collaboration, among other things.

Using state-of-the-art, cloud-based technology and our global experience in supplier evaluation and certification, we can help you improve visibility, efficiency and risk management. We call this “a single source of truth” that supports your transparency, sustainability, safety and compliance.

The importance of supplier data and analytics reporting

Assessing your clients effectively and efficiently is key to exposing risks you may or may not know about. Our variety of data and analytics reporting dashboards will help you assess your suppliers based on exposure to certain risks.

Key benefits

Our sophisticated dashboards enable you to:

  • View supplier compliance in customized and user-friendly dashboards
  • Track and monitor each supplier’s onboarding
  • Benchmark suppliers to identify potential risks
  • Evaluate compliance gaps and improve supplier communication
  • Ascertain tailored training requirements using supplier compliance
  • Identify target regions to improve supplier engagement

We can also present supplier risk information based on third-party data sources. This increases the scope of compliance information to identify other potential supply chain risks.

A collaborative approach

We offer a flexible strategic partnership to address the issues identified during our assessments, as well as your broader business needs.

Our unique value proposition centers around:

  • Governance – implementing supply chain transparency
  • Performance – continually improving performance by evaluating supplier risk
  • Intelligence – providing data and insights on reported trends 

This is but an extract from our new Supply chain internationalization, risks and legislation – how experts, technology and customized audits are key white paper.

For further information, please contact:

Jason Hulbert
Associate Marketing Manager
t: +44 7912426878

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 98,000 employees operate a network of 2,650 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.

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