Digital Twins and Surviving the Next Supply Chain Disruption


Survival during the next disruption might depend on your digital twin and how fast you build it.

The traditional supply chain is vulnerable to a wide range of threats – environmental disasters, infrastructure threats, labor shortages, and, unsurprisingly, a worldwide pandemic. What is surprising is that even in an era of rapid digitalization of business systems globally, the analysis and response to supply chain disruptions are continuing to function in dated manual technologies, rarely driven by data. That’s why there is a new focus on using digital twins to help.

Why? Recent disruptions have brought about a reckoning to the vulnerabilities of supply chains. Internally, C-Suite leaders and shareholders have been awakened to how much of their supply chains are manual, with many companies operating blind with regard to their real-time status. Preventing disruption is what every supply chain executive and their team seeks to keep goods flowing, internal and external clients satisfied, and customers happy.

For many companies, the fastest path to building a resilient supply chain bolstered by data and insights will be with a digital twin, a digital replica of real-world processes and systems. Indeed, it’s estimated that 80% of participants in industry ecosystems will rely on digital twins by 2025 to share their data and insights, and supply chain operators are no exception. How fast these supply chain operators build and see results from their supply chain will depend on where they start and which internal clients they prioritize for support.

Owen Keates

About Owen Keates

Owen Keates is an Industry Executive for the Asia-Pacific Manufacturing Practice at Hitachi Vantara. He started his career as a chemical engineer in the pulp and paper and industrial chemicals industries with various production and project management roles. Having commissioned new factories he learnt the critical importance of supply chains to manufacturing, which led to career in supply chain management consulting becoming a global trainer for the Supply Chain Council and later Chairman of the Supply Chain Council in Australia and New Zealand. He has led global Manufacturing 4.0 transformation programs for leading manufacturing businesses and also ran a plastics company with multi operations in Australia and New Zealand. He is also Supply Chain Visionary for Hitachi Vantara providing guidance on Supply Chain Solutions and is currently completing part time PhD studies in Process Intelligence.

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