Top 5 Benefits of a Digital Twin for Your Supply Chain
Technology is advancing at an incredible pace every day. These advancements quickly bleed over into the supply chain industry in a big way. With regard to supply chains, we now have technology that can accurately represent the entire system with a convenient digital simulation known as a digital twin.
In this blog post, we discuss an overview of supply chain digital twin models and outline 5 of the best benefits associated with this method of predictive analytics.
What Is a Supply Chain Digital Twin?
A digital twin provides a highly specific simulation of a supply chain. In doing so, the digital twin enables supply chain professionals to examine specific elements of their operations. This enable them to experiment with various scenarios and put their methods to the test in a mocked up environment that is based on real world scenarios.
There are many benefits inherent in the use of a digital twin. These simulations provide an incredible amount of data which can be used for a variety of different purposes. In particular, these models may help supply chains navigate future issues that may develop.
5 Major Benefits of Using Digital Twin Technology
Depending on the specific industry in question, digital twin models can help supply chains in any number of ways.
However, the following 5 benefits are applicable for nearly every business operating within a supply chain.
Predict Problems Before They Occur
One of the major problems that we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is that of delivery slowdowns due to port congestion and logjams. While not all problems can be predicted with 100% certainty, digital twin models can warn supply chain professionals of upcoming issues so that they can take the necessary preventative steps.
The ability to analyze vast amounts of complex data and synthesize this information is one of the best ways for us to avoid encountering the same problems we’re currently facing in the future.
Every supply chain has some form of weaknesses. One of the best ways to identify these areas of weakness is to run simulations with a digital twin and see how specific changes will affect current operations.
For example, perhaps a business is considering modifying their inventory management strategy. They could test the modification to their supply chain in real life. Alternatively they can use a digital twin simulation to predict how this will affect their overall productivity before initiating any changes.
Furthermore, the digital twin simulation can demonstrate what other unintended consequences may occur throughout the supply chain due to this change in inventory management strategy.
Oftentimes, supply chain slowdowns are a result of transportation issues. While some of these problems may be a result of the shortage of truck drivers, there are numerous planning strategies that can improve upon transportation capabilities.
Through the use of a digital twin, companies can better plan and execute their deliveries. This can have a direct impact on slowdowns and blockages as they arise. With the use of the real time data provided by a digital twin model, businesses no longer need to feel like they are guessing as they navigate through their transportation strategy. Rather, they are prepared for any possible scenario.
Allows for Insight into Supply Chain Function
In general, digital twin technology enables industry professionals to see how their supply chain is functioning as a whole.
Digital twin models can show how a supply chain is behaving under certain circumstances. This viewpoint makes it easier to predict what the coming weeks hold for their supply chain out in the wild.
As we’ve seen in the past few years especially, large scale emergencies can occur.
Again, we can’t always be 100% prepared for every scenario. What we can do, however, is use the technology we have available to ensure that we’ve given some thought as to how we can respond to a possible emergency situation.
When natural disasters or other catastrophic events occur, we always wonder how we could have been better prepared. Instead of reacting retroactively, we can use digital twins to test out different scenarios and create contingency plans.
Hopefully, we never have to navigate another global pandemic or natural disaster in our lifetimes. But it’s possible that another issue will occur at some point down the road. Taking every step we can to prepare ahead of time is just a smart idea.
In many ways, technology has enabled us to have better insight into what may happen in the future. This is important for supply chain outcomes, which tend to be tricky to predict even in the best of times.
Luckily, we no longer have to rely on guessing or inaccurate methods to gain predictive insights. Instead, we can lean on advanced technology such as digital twin simulations. These types of methodologies can provide us with a wealth of data.