Transparency And Trust: The Hallmarks Of Digital Twins In Logistics

Markus Rosemann

This is the fourth blog in our Network of Digital Twins series. Check out our previous post to learn how digital twins can deliver individualization.

Supply chains need a makeover. In a world where ensuring product quality is increasingly vital, supply chains must become more trustworthy.

To spur this change, supply chain organizations need to provide greater transparency to partners and consumers. And they must understand what both want: Partners seek insight on how supply chain collaborators operate, while consumers crave information on the products they buy.

Digital twins enable logistics providers and other supply chain enterprises to offer the increased transparency partners and consumers demand. And in doing so, companies earn one of the most valuable, hard-to-come-by commodities in business: trust.

Giving partners a peek behind the curtain

While many supply chain organizations leverage digital twins to improve products or assets, logistics companies use the innovative technology to transform processes.

By creating digital twins of end-to-end supply chain processes, businesses can offer their partners complete visibility into a product’s lifecycle and increase operational efficiency.

In the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, visibility is key.

Drug manufacturers want insight on the vehicles delivering their products and status updates on when medications will arrive at pharmacies for purchase. Logistics providers seek granular information, such as product identification and serialization, production schedules, and pickup times.

With greater supply chain transparency, partners can more easily recognize inefficiencies and work together to improve processes and streamline operations.

Not only does more network visibility ensure better partner collaboration, it engenders trust. And when partners know they can depend on other organizations to responsibly produce or distribute goods, they’re more likely to continue doing business with them.

Putting consumers’ minds at ease

Logistics providers are responsible for coordinating material flow. It’s their job to get the right goods to the right location at the right time.

One category of goods logistics companies transport is groceries – which often take long, eventful journeys before winding up on a family’s dinner table.

A digital twin of supply chain processes offers logistics providers and other supply chain organizations a complete picture of a food item’s trek, whether from a manufacturer or a farm. It also gives buyers the chance to see how a product arrived at the grocery store and ultimately made its way into their home.

By scanning a QR code on the packaging in a grocery store, consumers can get a glimpse of an item’s logistical journey. They can see where their coffee beans were harvested. They can find out how long a loaf of bread sat in a warehouse before it shipped. They can confirm their ice cream was transported in a refrigerated truck.

This transparency results in higher buyer confidence. When customers can accurately trace where their food came from and how it was handled during transport, they develop trust in a brand and a willingness to buy from that company in the future.

Building stronger partner and consumer relationships

The best relationships are built on trust and respect.

By making the production and distribution of goods more transparent with digital twins, logistics providers and other supply chain organizations can earn greater trust and respect from partners and consumers – and forge long-lasting, successful relationships that result in undeniable business outcomes.

To learn more about the Network of Digital Twins, register to read the Infobrief by IDC.

Markus Rosemann

About Markus Rosemann

Markus Rosemann is Global Vice President for Digital Logistics and Order Fulfillment at SAP SE, based in Walldorf, Germany. Markus is responsible for the global solution strategy and go-to-market of SAP’s logistics solutions, an important building block of SAP’s Digital Supply Chain solutions. He works with customers, thought leaders and partners on building solutions for the line of business logistics, covering transportation, warehousing, and the logistics network including track & trace. Markus joined SAP in 1997 and successfully introduced solutions to the market for Supply Chain Execution as well as for Project, Portfolio and Innovation Management.