IBM announced the new IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower (ICT), enabled with AI to provide the insights needed to see inventory wherever it is, identify and understand the impact of external events to predict disruptions and take actions based on playbook recommendations to mitigate the upstream and downstream effects.
Supply chain inventory control towers can be used by organizations to get near real-time insights such as:
· In hospitals to provide visibility into supply and demand gaps for critical items at PAR locations to make sure critical lifesaving equipment and supplies are available at the right place and time.
· In automotive to get visibility into aftermarket service parts by SKU, and stocking locations across ERP and other systems, to help ensure critical parts are in stock to meet customer expectations.
The purpose-built Sterling Inventory Control Tower helps organizations see, predict and more effectively act on inventory to help companies better predict disruptions, improve resiliency, manage exceptions and respond to unplanned events. Capabilities include:
· See inventory across the supply chain. Correlates data across silos and disparate systems to provide a single inventory view, while quickly detecting internal and external events that could impact inventory. By establishing end-to-end visibility throughout the entire supply chain all the way from raw material availability and supplier order to the “last mile” of customer delivery, businesses can track days of supply by product to customize safety stock reserves by location and reallocate inventory across locations and channels.
• Predict and assess disruptions. Helps businesses by connecting data between a wide array of internal and external sources. Smart alerts help quickly detect the most relevant and impactful events so disruptions can be predicted sooner, while data drill down enabled by natural language queries helps to understand and assess the supply chain impact. This allows businesses adapt to growing market and customer complexity and meet customer commitments with accurate inventory information and insights.
· Act faster to mitigate potentially disruptive events. Enables businesses to better collaborate across the supply chain to quickly respond to unplanned events. The solution’s AI-powered virtual Resolution Rooms provide a collaboration space that helps teams quick convene and identify the root causes of supply chain disruptions and develop the right solutions faster. Additionally, Digital Playbooks provide guidance on best practices and preserving organizational knowledge to speed issue resolution over time, while natural language capabilities provide immediate answer to questions, driving greater productivity for a wide range of users.
“The past few months have shown us that what was once considered ‘good enough’ inventory management is no longer sufficient. Even as businesses strive to reopen and emerge smarter, inventory remains dynamic because supply, demand and transportation capacity are in flux,” said Jeanette Barlow, VP of Offering Management, IBM Sterling. “As a result, businesses are losing sales, aggravating customers by over promising, losing margins due to markdowns and expedited shipping charges, carrying excess safety stock, all while limiting their ability to enter new sales channels. Enterprises must embrace advanced technologies such as AI to more effectively act on their inventory across all channels in real-time, which helps mitigate fluctuations in demand and supply disruptions in order create smarter, more innovative and resilient supply chains.”
IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower is part of the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite.