March 25, 2022
March 25, 2022
Contributor: Ashutosh Gupta
To better navigate vendor offerings, you need a thorough understanding of a control tower and its capabilities.
There is a lot of confusion in the market about what a control tower actually means and offers to supply chain organizations. Rather than just looking at it from a technology perspective, supply chain technology leaders would be wise to consider its underlying capabilities.
Gartner defines a supply chain control tower as a concept that results in combining people, process, data, organization and technology. Control towers capture and use (close to) real-time operational data from across the business ecosystem to provide enhanced visibility and improve decision making.
“Supply chain control tower is not a stand-alone SCM application, but an integrated capability embedded in a broader SCM suite or tool. It could be an intelligent data platform providing use-case specific insights, predictions and suggestions”, says Christian Titze, VP Analyst at Gartner.
Download now: The Top 8 Supply Chain Technology Trends
Establish a central hub as an integrated part of a broader SCM platform using these building blocks: people, process, data, organization and technology. The idea is to capture and use data to provide enhanced real-time visibility and in-depth analysis. This can enable better short- and midterm decision making aligned with strategic organizational objectives.
Read more: Your Ultimate Guide to Supply Chain Management
There are two major deployment options to consider:
Learn more: Supply Chain Planning — Your Strategic Guide to What, Why and How
Supply chain technology leaders primarily see control towers as extensively visual dashboards and, at times, fail to leverage them as analytics-driven, decision-support tools.
Many companies lack end-to-end visibility, process orchestration and aligned decision making.
Visibility is a necessary foundation and first step, but you will also need advanced deep analytics (predicting), providing scenario-based options for the next best action (prescriptive) and decision support to optimize the outcome.
Read more: Your Ultimate Guide to Data and Analytics
These are both business- and technology-related challenges when starting a control tower initiative:
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Quick Answer: These Are the Characteristics of a Supply Chain Control Tower
Which Logistics Control Tower Operating Model Is Right for Your Business?
The Importance of Identifying and Classifying Assets Across the Supply Chain Post-COVID-19
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.