Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled AWS Supply Chain, a new application that helps businesses increase supply chain visibility to make faster, more informed decisions that mitigate risks, lower costs, and improve customer experiences.
AWS Supply Chain combines and analyzes data across multiple supply chain systems so businesses can observe their operations in real-time, find trends more quickly, and generate more accurate demand forecasts that ensure adequate inventory to meet customer expectations.
Based on nearly 30 years of Amazon.com logistics network experience, AWS Supply Chain improves supply chain resiliency by providing a unified data lake, machine-learning-powered insights, recommended actions, and in-application collaboration capabilities.
In recent years, supply chains have experienced unprecedented supply and demand volatility accelerated by widespread resource shortages, geopolitics, and natural events. These disruptions put pressure on businesses to plan for potential supply chain uncertainty, respond quickly to changes in customer demand, and keep costs low.
When businesses inadequately forecast for supply chain risks—such as component shortages, shipping port congestion, unanticipated demand spikes, or weather disruptions—they face excess inventory costs, or stockouts that cause poor customer experiences. To gain visibility into their supply chain network, businesses must build custom integrations that can access and process data across an array of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management systems.
These projects introduce expensive third-party engagements and long-term development cycles, and they struggle to detect patterns that reveal supply chain problems as they occur. Without real-time context, businesses rely on outdated information or best guesses that make it difficult to respond effectively to unexpected issues.
Even when a business has identified the most impactful problems and decided what to do next, supply chain teams often coordinate the resolution across multiple phone calls and emails—without all the needed information to resolve the issue. As a result, businesses are less prepared to respond to supply chain risks that impact customer promises and operational costs.
AWS Supply Chain is an application that improves supply chain visibility and provides actionable insights to help businesses optimize supply chain processes and improve service levels. Customers can set up a unified supply chain data lake using AWS Supply Chain’s built-in connectors, which use pre-trained machine learning models based on Amazon.com’s nearly 30 years of supply chain experience, to understand, extract, and aggregate data from ERP and supply chain management systems.
AWS Supply Chain then contextualizes that information in a real-time visual map highlighting current inventory selection and quantity at each location. Inventory managers, demand planners, and supply chain leaders can view machine learning-generated insights for potential inventory shortages or delays, and create watchlists to receive alerts to take action as risks appear.
Once a risk is identified, application will automatically provide recommended actions, such as moving inventory between locations, to take based on the percentage of risk resolved, the distance between facilities, and the sustainability impact. Teams can solve problems and collaborate using built-in chat and messaging functionality.
With AWS Supply Chain, businesses can more accurately anticipate supply chain risks, take inventory rebalancing actions to save costs, and meet customer expectations.
“Customers tell us that the undifferentiated heavy lifting required in connecting data between different supply chain solutions has inhibited their ability to quickly see and respond to potential supply chain disruptions,” said Diego Pantoja-Navajas, vice president of AWS Supply Chain.
“AWS Supply Chain aggregates this data and provides visual, interactive dashboards that provide the insights and recommendations customers need to take actions toward more resilient supply chains. And this is just the beginning—we will continue our investment in AWS Supply Chain to help our customers solve their toughest supply chain problems.”, Pantoja-Navajas continued.
“As supply chain disruptions continue for the foreseeable future, companies need to stay focused on balancing cost efficiency, sustainability and relevancy across their supply networks to support growth. Executing a cloud-based digital strategy can enable an agile, resilient supply chain that is responsive to market changes and customer demands,” said Kris Timmermans, global supply chain & operations lead at Accenture.
“We will leverage AWS Supply Chain across our supply chain offerings, including our SynOps platform, to bring pre-built solutions that allow companies to move at speed, delivering automation into complex processes to realize value faster.”, Timmermans added.
“Our global focus and multi-tier access to customers motivates us to continually look for ways to increase our forecast accuracy so that we can better position supply in anticipation of our customers’ orders,” said Cliff Siegel, executive vice president of Global Supply at Lifetime Brands.
“We are delighted that AWS Supply Chain demonstrated a significant improvement in our statistical forecast baseline. We are keenly interested in leveraging the supplier lead time insights from AWS Supply Chain to further improve our customer fill rates.”, Siegel continued.
“At Traeger, our mission is to bring people together to create a more flavorful world. Yet, the last several years have put unprecedented supply chain pressure on our ability to keep pace with customer demand in distributing the world’s No. 1 wood-fired grill,” said Bryan Carey, head of operations and analytics at Traeger Grills.
“We are excited to have a solution that helps us make nimble rebalancing decisions based on supplier inventory and customer orders. By leveraging AWS Supply Chain we have been able to increase the accuracy of order forecasts by more than 35%.”, Carey added.
“We wanted a better view of when new inventory would arrive at our distribution centers nationwide,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer and senior vice president at Whole Foods Market.
“AWS Supply Chain combined data from our existing systems without disrupting them. AWS Supply Chain’s visual map then made it easy to see product-level inventory movement in real time. We expect AWS Supply Chain’s integrated view and predictive planning analytics to materially improve inventory management at our distribution centers.”, Balbinot continued.