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Renault set to test out Google supply chain digital twin

Digital twin simulation of supply chain draws in disparate data sources to deliver efficiencies and prevent disruptions

Vehicle manufacturer Renault, is one of the early adopters of cloud-based supply chain technology from Google. Google Cloud’s Supply Chain Twin aims to provide companies with a way to develop digital twin simulations that are able to simulate a physical supply. According to Google, by orchestrating data from disparate sources, manufacturers are able to get a more complete view of suppliers, inventories and other information.

“At Renault, we are innovating on how we run efficient supply chains. Improving visibility to inventory levels across our network is a key initiative,” said Jean-François Salles, supply chain global vice-president at Renault Group.

“By aggregating inventory data from our suppliers and leveraging Google Cloud’s strength in organising and orchestrating data, with solutions like the Supply Chain Twin, we expect to achieve a holistic view. We aim to work with Google tools to manage both stock, improve forecasting, and eventually optimise our fulfilment.”

According to Google, the majority of companies do not have complete visibility of their supply chains, resulting in retail stock outs, ageing manufacturing inventory, or weather-related disruptions. In 2020, it pointed out that out-of-stock items cost the retail industry an estimated $1.14tn. The past year-and-a-half of supply chain disruptions related to Covid-19 has further proven the need for more up-to-date insights into operations, inventory levels, and more.

Simon Ellis, program vice-president at IDC, said that end-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain is a top priority for supply chain professionals to optimise planning, real-time decision making and monitoring. “Google Cloud’s approach to a digital twin of the supply chain spans internal, external and partner data networks without complex integrations,” he said. “This approach can help organisations to better plan, monitor, collaborate and respond at scale.”

Google said Supply Chain Twin enables companies to bring together data from multiple sources, with faster integration time than traditional API-based integration. It supports data sources from ERP systems, public data and can pull in information from supplier and partner systems. The company has partnered with system integrators including Accenture, Deloitte and TCS; data specialists and a number of software providers including Anaplan, Automation Anywhere, Manhattan Associates and project44.

Automation Anywhere’s chief operating officer, Mike Micucci, said bots can be used to increase process visibility and connect disparate systems across the supply chain to find efficiencies, improve customer service and mitigate risk. “Cloud-level speed and flexibility are more critical than ever as today’s enterprises face increasing challenges in managing their supply chains due to increased legacy system complexity and new sources of disruption caused by everything from climate change to pandemics,” he said.

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Google also announced Supply Chain Pulse, which provides real-time dashboards on supply chain data, advanced analytics, alerts on critical issues such as potential disruptions, and collaboration in Google Workspace.

“Siloed and incomplete data is limiting the visibility companies have into their supply chains,” said Hans Thalbauer, managing director of supply chain and logistics solutions at Google Cloud. “The Supply Chain Twin enables customers to gain deeper insights into their operations, helping them optimise supply chain functions – from sourcing and planning, to distribution and logistics.”

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