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What are Supply Chain Control Towers? 

  • A Supply Chain Control Tower (SCCT) is a central hub with the required technology, organization, people and processes to capture and use supply chain data  to provide enhanced visibility and decision making support for orchestration and improvement of the supply chain

  • Can/will consist of a network of multiple control tower locations to cover different regions and/or business areas

  • Supports the collaboration of SC partners and internal teams  to manage and improve the supply chain

  • Enables the standardisation and harmonisation of processes and systems across regions/countries and/or divisions/business units

  • Can be outsourced to a logistics service provider (4PL)

A Supply Chain Control Tower solution consists of 4 elements: organisation & people, process & business rules, technology & data and collaboration
container trains ,commercial freight car

How to develop, implement and run SC Control Tower solutions?

Explore & 

Decide on the SCCT concept and implementation approach 

Define & 

Define how the SCCT solution in detail will look like and will be implemented

Proof & 

Develop a proof of concept and prepare the SCCT solution for use at a larger scale 

Scale & 
Roll Out

Implement the SCCT solution at a larger scale

Assess & 

Assess and improve the performance of a running SCCT

Key topics when designing or running SC Control Towers

How the scope and set-up of a SC Control Tower looks like

How to decide on the supply chain, geographic and service scope based on the expected benefits of a SC Control Tower initiative? Next, how to agree on the high-level solution in terms of governance and organisation, processes, application landscape, collaboration with external and internal stakeholders and implementation road map?

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2. How to calculate the business case for a SC Control Tower?

How to quantify the potential savings and other benefits of a SC Control Tower initiative. And, how to calculate related implementation and additional running costs and summarize benefits and costs in a business case to support decision making?

2. Outsource a SC Control Tower to a 4PL.png

A Control Tower can be operated by the shipper's SC organization, can be outsourced to a 4PL or a hybrid setup can be implemented. What is the best solution for your situation based on the benefits and risks of outsourcing?

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How is a provider selected based on service scope, capabilities and cost when the decision is made to outsource a Supply Chain Control Tower or parts of it to one or more 4PLs?

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For orchestration and improvement of their supply chain, shippers and logistic service providers are running Supply Chain Control Towers. Technology and data are crucial for the success of a Control Tower set-up. IT vendors offer control tower functionality as part of TMS, OMS, Sourcing and Planning systems and SC Business Network and RTTV platforms. Also, dedicated Control Tower solutions and tools for specific functions are available. How to select the core system and additional tools for your SC Control Tower that best fit your objectives and requirements?

5. Which real-time transportation visibility solution to use.png

For Supply Chain Control Towers to provide end-to-end supply chain visibility, real-time transportation visibility (RTTV) solutions play an important role. The core functionality of these solutions is to provide in-transit tracking information and ETA predictions during transport of shipments, from pick-up till delivery. Benefits in terms of improving supply chain performance and reducing costs are obvious, but which solution best supports your Control Tower?

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7. How can SC Control Towers benefit from a Digital Twin?

Technology and data are crucial to the success of a Control Tower setup. Digital Twin is a relatively new concept that has emerged recently. How can this be beneficial for Supply Chain Control Towers and how can a Digital Twin be implemented?

6. How can SC Control Towers_4PL contribute to sustainability objectives.png

Companies today have overall sustainability goals and supply chain managers are asked to develop strategies and plans to contribute to related objectives. If a business runs a Supply Chain Control Tower and/or has outsourced this function to a 4PL, this entity will play a critical role in achieving these often ambitious sustainability objectives. How to realize this?

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The SC performance very much depends on the performance of the SC Control Tower(s) and the SC partners. How to measure, assess and (when needed) improve the SC performance when a SC Control Tower solution is operated by your SC organisation or 4PL being used?

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10. What is the role of a SC Control Tower / 4PL in international transport?

International supply chains can be very complex due to pre-carriage, main and on-carriage legs, consolidation and deconsolidation of shipments, the use of different transport modes, and the involvement of many different parties. What are the services/processes and roles of a Supply Chain Control Tower or 4PL in the case of international transport, and what capabilities are required for this?

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11. Importance of CM when implementing a SC Control Tower?

Implementation projects of SC Control Towers require, among other things, changes in the field of organization and working methods. People are crucial to the success of these changes. Projects often focus on the technical side rather than the people side of the transition from the current state to the future state. Also, responsibilities for driving these changes are often not clear between shippers and solution providers, impacting project planning and outcome. Which change management approach and capabilities are needed?

  (facilitated by Rob van Doesburg, see explore & scope for more info regarding the content of this session)  

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Why and how this SCCT knowledge platform can support you

SCCT expertise

  • Insights gained during numerous global SCCT solution development projects in manufacturing, retail and the logistic service industry

  • Amended with latest SCCT specific studies of well known research institutes and proprietary research 

  • Knowledge captured in SCCT specific methodologies, templates, tools and benchmark data

  • Supported by (global) experts in the different areas

SCCT Approach

  • Result oriented: during all activities focus is on expected benefits

  • Digital: use of the latest tools to collect and analyse data, present results and communicate

  • Fast: insights available in a couple of days up to a couple of weeks

SCCT Value

  • Reduction of supply chain costs, working capital and/or improvement of services on a short term and with a low effort

  • Decision making based on a concrete business case

  • Identification and support of projects to implement the SCCT solution(s)

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