Google launches Supply Chain Digital Twin

  • September 22, 2021
  • William Payne

Google Cloud has launched Supply Chain Twin, a tool for companies to build digital twins of their physical supply chains. The company has also launched Supply Chain Pulse, a module that provides real-time dashboards, analytics, alerts and Google Workspace collaboration for Supply Chain Twin.

Supply Chain Twin allows companies to bring together data from multiple sources, with less partner integration time than conventional API-based integration. According to Google, some customers have seen a 95% reduction in analytics processing time, with times for some dropping from 2.5 hours down to eight minutes.

Google’s new digital twin tool supports enterprise business systems, including ERP systems; supplier systems, including stock and inventory levels; partner systems, such as material transportation status; and public sources, with broader environmental data such as weather, risk or sustainability-related data, including public datasets from Google.

The Supply Chain Pulse module is designed to provide real-time visibility and analytics; alert-driven event management and collaboration across teams; and AI-driven optimisation and simulation, with AI-driven algorithm recommendations to suggest tactical responses to changing events, flag more complex issues to the user, and simulate the impact of hypothetical situations.

Retailers, manufacturers, CPG firms, healthcare networks, and other logistics-heavy companies can deploy Supply Chain Twin by working directly with Google Cloud’s partner ecosystem. For example, system integration partners such as Deloitte, Pluto7, and TCS, can help customers integrate the Supply Chain Twin and relevant datasets into their existing infrastructure.

In addition, data partners, such as Climate Engine, Craft, and Crux can augment Supply Chain Twin by providing geospatial, sustainability, and risk management data sets for a more complete macroenvironment view. Finally, application partners such as Anaplan, Automation Anywhere, and project44 can provide information from their platforms into Supply Chain Twin to help customers better understand product lifecycles, track shipments across carriers, predict ETAs, and more.

Once customers are up-and-running on Supply Chain Twin, the Supply Chain Pulse module enables further visibility, simulations, and collaboration features:

“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 fulfillment.”

“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,” said Simon Ellis, Program Vice President at IDC. “Google Cloud’s approach to a digital twin of the supply chain spans internal, external, and partner data networks without complex integrations. This approach can help organisations to better plan, monitor, collaborate and respond at scale.”

“Siloed and incomplete data is limiting the visibility companies have into their supply chains.” said Hans Thalbauer, Managing Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Solutions, 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.”