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The implementation of supply chain technology and analytics is staggered: 59.6% of companies use Big Data analytics, 47.7% use the Internet of Things (IoT), 31.2% use artificial intelligence (AI) and 27.5% use geospatial and location intelligence.

On the whole, implementation of these emerging technologies is increasing, measuring in at 42.7% in 2019 compared with 36.9% in 2017 (BCI Supply Chain Resilience Report 2019).

These tools can help companies gain greater visibility into their supply chains, facilitating proactive business decisions using data and forecasting. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is a valuable tool for advancing and managing such new technologies that optimize your operations.

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is an application of the Dynamics 365 suite that enables enterprises to simplify, manage and enhance their supply chain processes. Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, which was previously part of the Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations application, can help you modernize your supply chain as it uses data, analytics and AI across your operations to help you make smarter, more efficient business decisions from an all-inclusive vantage point. Many of these decisions would be nearly impossible otherwise, as they involve advanced technologies like machine learning and activities like advanced forecasting.

What can you accomplish with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management?

Everything is integrated. For example, the possibilities to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) data into supply chain management extend to multiple areas of your business such as inventory, transport and even equipment maintenance. The resulting benefits of this cross-functional approach are:

Supply Chain Visibility

One of the top advantages of using this application is the incredible visibility you gain over every aspect of the supply chain. Depending on how you use the technology and which add-ons you package with your application, you’ll have a view of:

  • Your supply chain from end to end
  • Your current inventory and inventory expectations
  • Activities and processes on the warehouse floor and production line
  • Transportation of products and materials
  • Resources like your workforce and equipment

With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you can access and manage the data from these traditionally disparate functions in one place; this data can be used cross-functionally to enhance operations across your supply chain. This visibility helps spotlight opportunities to improve inefficiencies, inconsistencies and eliminate needless detours. Such improvements can have a massive impact on your bottom line and beyond.

Warehouse Automation and Machine Learning

Implementing IoT technologies with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management means you can turn your traditional warehouse into a smart one. With a modern setup, you won’t just have access to information across your supply chain; your connected devices will be able to interact with one another, use machine learning to adapt for greater efficiency, and even perform automated functions to reduce ‘busy work’ from your factory floor. In performing these tasks and learning your processes, these technologies can continually suggest and execute changes to enhance performance.

A significant component of this is the Materials and Inventory Management component. IoT sensors, automation and machine learning give you a full view over your supply chain, from the necessary ingredients or parts coming in, to the inventory on the warehouse shelves, to the product going out. Having such oversight and up-to-date data can help you make more accurate, efficient and confident decisions about procurement and stocking.

Supply Chain Predictive Analytics and Forecasting

The analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities that accompany Supply Chain Management enable you to be proactive in:

  • Asset maintenance: These technologies can identify patterns in asset lifecycles, signal potential issues and even participate in resolving them or performing preventative maintenance.
  • Field maintenance: Predictive maintenance capabilities extend beyond equipment in your factory to those in the field (including products). Some of these functions depend on the asset management add-in.
  • Demand forecasting: Predictive analytics help you measure and forecast demand so you can keep the appropriate supply at hand.

Workforce Empowerment

The capabilities of this supply chain management software can extend directly to your workforce, empowering them further to do the right thing.

  • Customize a mobile app (or multiple apps) for employee use that will streamline their workflow and give them efficient visibility over pertinent information.
  • Automate the tasks that keep them from being able to perform higher-level functions.
  • Use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Guides and mixed reality to enhance their training on various tasks, maintenance activities and products.

Improved customer experiences

As you use Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management to transform processes, you start noticing a significant impact on your customer experiences in terms of:

  • Delivery: A full-scope perspective on your supply chain, demand forecasting and intelligent warehouse management means you can better plan your entire production process and cut out delays and shortages that would otherwise lead to postponed deliveries for your customers. You can maximize this capability with the Planning Optimization Add-in.
  • Quality: Supply Chain Management has built-in quality control capabilities that help you manage product quality which directly impacts customer satisfaction.
  • Experience: You can use customer data and analytics to improve their experiences and better meet expectations.

Optimized processes and cashflow

Finally, this software and add-ins like Planning Optimization give you multi-dimensional opportunities to streamline processes and improve cashflow. There are significant conveniences and cost savings when you have the ideal inventory at hand, functions are synchronized and can interact across your supply chain, and you can manage vital functions and transactions end-to-end from one place.

Learn more about this software’s capabilities via Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management overview.

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