Siemens wants to go beyond the traditional supply chain order process © Joerg Koch/Getty Images
Siemens wants to go beyond the traditional supply chain order process © Joerg Koch/Getty Images

How supply chain digital twins 'keep profits flowing'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
15 October 2020

Siemens uses digital twins technology in its supply chain that enables customers to automatically order new products as they come to the end of their lifecycle.

Sven Markert, head of supply chain and logistics management at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, said the collection of data allowed them to build customer profiles and predict orders.

Speaking at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium, Markert said: “Digital twins enable us to have valuable insights into every single aspect of the supply chain processes like never before.

“From supply of warehousing, order processing, up to transportation, we are always able to make better decisions out of this otherwise complex process.”

Markert said digital twins – a virtual double of a product, machine or process that contains all the data and simulation models relevant to its original – improved productivity and operational efficiencies and allowed for “flowing profits”.

“We want to go beyond the traditional supply chain order process to make business easy for our customers,” he said. “We have to collect their ordering behaviour to enable our network to learn and transform this into tailored profiles. We want to create predictive information, for being able to prognose and order before the end of [a product’s] lifecycle.

“We go further and guarantee ease of doing business with us with predictive fulfilment. We deliver wherever the product is needed without the need of placing an order.”

Markert said the technology allowed the use of data from the past, present and future. “We reduce maintenance costs by predicting maintenance issues before the occurrence of breakdowns,” he said.

Markert said digital twins enabled the company to respond quickly to “short-term customer amendments, fast-changing market trends, global megatrends”.

“Nothing is more important than availability in our world. Supply stands for availability.”

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