How has Control Towers Turned out to be the New Definition for Borderless Logistics?
On account of globalization and fluctuation in prices of goods and materials, the supply chain system is facing a serious problem in real-time information visibility of various businesses. To manage the arising issues in the supply chain, an innovative concept comes into the role, which is known as the control tower system. The introduction of a control tower system has a significant result in better visibility and transparency in the logistics world.
In every supply chain system, there exists lots of layers between the customer and manufacturer. On an average there is a minimum of six to seven inventory points between the end customer and the raw material supplier. To track the real-time information at every point is a necessary thing for supply chain partners, which is indeed a tough job. Nowadays, supply chain management professionals are using control tower systems for better end-to-end visibility and greater performance with high transparency. A control tower system is not a physical product; however, it is a cloud-based solution that performs as a center of data collection and distribution. Before moving forward to know about the functionality of the control tower, let’s know about its fundamentals.
What does a Control Tower Mean?
Traditionally, a control tower in the supply chain is defined as a connected and personalized dashboard of data that includes all the key business metrics and events across a supply chain. The data further makes the organization or the supply chain partners get complete knowledge about the issues and enables them to prioritize them and resolve the critical ones.
There are a lot of challenges for supply chain executives to provide the exact requirements of the customers like what they actually need, when and where they are looking forward to getting the products, etc. This makes executives optimize the supply operations and perform the task cost-effectively. These are the factors that cause lots of inevitable vulnerabilities and unpredictable disruptions. Therefore, the concept of a control tower comes into play smarter. It essentially aims to provide enhanced visibility between trade executives. It collects data from all possible sectors such as businesses, countries, and even various modes of transportation.
Precisely, a control tower acts as a central hub of data collection that organizes data, and distributes it to the supply executives in a consistent format to improve the supply chain operations. Thereafter, it helps in fulfilling consumer demands and expectations, manages exceptions, and ultimately boosts the decision-making skills to respond the unplanned events by improving end-to-end supply chain visibility.
What are the Key Capabilities of Control Tower?
By leveraging advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (MI), a control tower offers greater benefits and considerable capabilities. Some of the major capabilities of a control tower are listed below:
- Eliminates manual errors- By adapting advanced technologies and automation, control tower systems reduce human error in collecting data to a great extent.
- Real-time data extraction- A smart control tower helps in getting real-time actionable insights instantly.
- Broader end-to-end visibility- A control tower system boosts the visibility across different supply chain partners, transportation carriers, contract manufacturers, and also from third-party logistics.
- Gives warning alerts and handles exceptions- An intelligent control tower handles the disruptions and exceptions smartly before they hamper the entire business.
- Smarter decision-making ability- A control tower collaborates across many trading teams and businesses to preserve the quality of organizational knowledge to use it at the time of need.
- Predicting future threats- A smart control tower helps in predicting nearby future threats to the business and helps in taking required decisions to balance the flow.
How has Covid-19 Pandemic Impacted the Control Tower Market?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, there emerged a vital need for end-to-end real-time insights for every supply chain system. In this situation, the control tower can help businesses to examine the area of disruption and to make contingency planning for the continuity of the business. However, the pandemic has had an adverse impact on the global control tower market. There are many manufacturing enterprises that have been forced to temporarily suspend their operations to follow the government guidelines and restrictions. Restrictions on air transportation, port closure, and stringent border control were some key components that caused delays in the delivery of raw materials and also hiked the operational costs. Mostly, developing countries have faced the direct consequences of supply chain disruptions and trade restrictions.
Future Insights of the Global Control Tower Market
Currently, due to the advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and ML, many businesses are getting the benefits of automation and finding it easy to gather real-time feedback from customers. This helps them manage their real-time contracts and the IoT connected devices in the warehouse help businesses to track the volume of deliveries and the performance of the supplier. These are key factors that are going to drive the control tower market. It is envisioned that the global control tower market is going to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% by generating a revenue of $9,881.0 million in the 2021–2028 timeframe.
The Bottom Line
The control tower market is going to thrive in the near future owing to the growing supply chain management needs of contract manufacturers, healthcare, retailers, and logistics providers, and also in the aerospace and defense sector. By implementing the most advanced supply chain management system, increasing real-time visibility, and providing intelligent decision-making, control towers are going to minimize the cost of serving simultaneously.
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