Introducing the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, a new approach to designing supply chains for agility, automation and sustainability

Although supply chain disruption is not new, its complexity and the rate of change are outpacing organizations’ ability to address issues at a global scale. Many solutions today are narrowly focused on supply chain execution and management and are not ready to support this new reality. Enterprises are dealing with petabytes of data, spread across legacy systems, Enterprise Resource Planning programs (ERPs), and custom solutions, resulting in a fragmented view of their supply chain.

An organization’s supply chain agility and resilience will be determined by how they can connect their data and orchestrate actions across all relevant systems to quickly respond to changing market conditions. To be truly agile, supply chain software needs to increase visibility across data sources, predict and mitigate disruption, streamline collaboration, and fulfill orders – sustainably and securely.

Today we are announcing the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, which helps organizations maximize their existing supply chain investments with an open approach, bringing the best of Microsoft AI, collaboration, low code, security, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications to a composable platform. As part of the new Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, we are also announcing the preview of Microsoft Supply Chain Center. The Supply Chain Center empowers customers to get started quickly with a ready-made “command center” that natively works with existing supply chain data and applications.

The Microsoft Supply Chain Platform: An open, collaborative and composable foundation for data and supply chain orchestration
Across Microsoft, we deliver a breadth of capabilities for organizations such as Grupo Bimbo, Mercedes Benz and Tillamook to build their own custom supply chain solutions. With today’s announcement, we are making it easier for customers to leverage the full Microsoft Cloud to enhance their supply chain. The Microsoft Supply Chain Platform provides building blocks across Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams and the Power Platform for customers to adopt capabilities that address their specific supply chain needs. With Dataverse, customers can use hundreds of data connectors to gain visibility and act across their supply chain. The Power Platform also enables custom workflows, data reporting, and applications that connect to existing Supply Chain systems.

Partnering to empower customers in supply chain transformation
The Microsoft partner ecosystem will continue to play a critical role in enabling customer supply chain resiliency and agility. With the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, partners can bring their industry and domain expertise to create integrated solutions leveraging Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams and the Power Platform. A rich supply chain partner ecosystem includes advisors and implementers like Accenture, Avanade, EY, KPMG, PwC and TCS. In addition, to help customers find the best solution for their supply chain needs, the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform connects to Blue Yonder, Cosmo Tech, Experlogix, Flintfox, InVia Robotics, K3, O9 Solutions, SAS, Sonata Software, To-Increase and many more.

Accelerating business agility and efficiency with the Microsoft Supply Chain Center
At the core of the Supply Chain Platform is the Microsoft Supply Chain Center, now available in preview. The Supply Chain Center provides a “command center” experience for practitioners to harmonize data from across existing supply chain systems, like Dynamics 365 and other ERP providers including SAP and Oracle, along with stand-alone supply chain systems. Data Manager in Supply Chain Center enables data ingestion and orchestration to provide visibility across the supply chain and drive action back into systems of execution. During preview, our launch partners C.H. Robinson, FedEx, FourKites and Overhaul, will offer native experiences within the Supply Chain Center.

Existing Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management customers will automatically gain access to the Supply Chain Center as part of their current agreements. The Supply Chain Center includes pre-built modules that address supply chain disruptions across supply and order fulfillment, as outlined below:

  • The supply and demand insights module uses advanced Azure AI models to predict upstream supply constraints and shortages through supply intelligence. Organizations can perform simulations using data from their supply chain network to predict being out of stock, over-stocking or missed-order lines. Combined with smart news insights, which provides relevant news alerts in the Supply Chain Center on external events, supply chain practitioners can make decisions and plan with real-world event information and historical insights for product demands.
  • The order management module in Supply Chain Center intelligently orchestrates and automates fulfillment with a rules-based system using real-time omnichannel inventory data, AI and machine learning. Organizations can quickly meet future order volumes and fulfillment complexities by extending their capabilities with pre-built connectors to specialized technology partners for order intake, delivery and third-party logistics services. Existing Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management customers will automatically get access to Supply Chain Center and the order management module at launch.
  • With secure, built-in Teams integration, customers can mitigate supply constraints by collaborating with external suppliers in real time to secure new supply sources, troubleshoot transportation issues and communicate up and downstream impacts based on changes.
  • By having partner modules built into the Supply Chain Center, customers can easily unlock specific solutions like freight visibility from Overhaul. Since everything runs off Dataverse, the data is consistent no matter what module you are using. This eliminates pasting information back and forth and reconciling which reports have the most up-to-date information.

We’re excited to announce Daimler Trucks North America, iFit and Kraft-Heinz as some of our Supply Chain Center preview customers:

  • “We have hundreds of thousands of parts that we are sourcing from suppliers globally. Our customers, dealers and partners expect excellence in all we do, which also means looking closely at all aspects of our supply chain. The Microsoft Supply Chain Platform and Supply Chain Center will enable us to make processes more efficient end-to-end.” – Lutz Beck, CIO, Daimler Truck North America
  • “We are optimizing transportation costs by leveraging AI-powered capabilities within the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform and Supply Chain Center to recommend inventory allocation. The actionable insights from the Supply Chain Platform trigger freight planning and execution to support order fulfillment for our customers.” – Robert Critchley, VP Transportation and Warehousing, iFit
  • “Our collaboration with Microsoft is a critical piece of our supply chain transformation. The platform gives our team the ability to be more agile – assessing risk and opportunities faster than ever before. Simply put, it provides the end-to-end visibility we need to keep our products on people’s tables across North America, and there’s nothing more important.” – Mitch Arends, Senior Vice President, Head of Operations, Kraft Heinz North America 

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Building sustainable supply chains with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability
Sustainable supply chains are one of the biggest opportunities for organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. However, it is one of the most challenging areas to address because decision makers lack the data and insights to optimize the selection of suppliers, routes, fulfillment and products. Using capabilities from Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and Order Management in the Supply Chain Center, customers can make sustainable decisions on product sourcing, package-free returns, transportation logistics, manufacturing and warehouse automation and more.

Last month at Microsoft Ignite, we introduced new capabilities in Sustainability Manager, a Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability solution, which enables organizations to reduce indirect value chain emissions (also known as “Scope 3” emissions), which account for a disproportionate share of most organizations’ carbon footprints. The solution already includes prebuilt calculation methodologies for more than half of the 15 categories of Scope 3.

Reimagine your supply chain with Microsoft
We believe supply chain agility is critical to persevere in today’s economic climate. This means understanding and taking real-time actions based on supply chain data, securely and with sustainable business practices. We’re excited to deliver on this first step in our commitment to reimagine the supply chain with our customers and partners.

Learn more
To learn more about these new solutions, join us at Supply Chain Reimagined, a free digital event on Nov. 16, 2022. You’ll learn how to enhance your supply chain to delight your customers, empower your workforce, and boost operational efficiency to reduce your costs. You’ll also hear real-world best practices from Microsoft and industry leaders. Plus, ask the experts your questions during the live Q&A chat — register now.

Tags: Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, supply chain


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