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Supply chain resilience, or the ability of companies to adapt to unforeseen challenges in production and distribution, has come into the spotlight due to COVID-19. Manufacturers are under pressure to prevent and minimize disruptions, and as a result, almost 90 percent of supply chain professionals plan to invest in ways to make their supply chains more resilient, according to a recent survey.1 Manufacturers that succeed in this new normal will be those that improve their supply chain in two key areas: 

  • Planning and optimization. Increase service levels and reduce cost with the flexibility to plan and execute in the cloud and at the edge. Make sure there will be business continuity when a facility gets disconnected from the cloud. 
  • Visibility. Use supply and demand signals to minimize risk and capitalize on future opportunities. 

Learn more in part three of our on-demand webinar series, Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing: Part 3–Supply Chain Resilience. You’ll hear how to make your organization more adaptable and get real-time visibility into your data using the cloud. You’ll also hear how partners like Blue Yonder are helping improve end-to-end supply chain resilience. 

“Increasing transparency across the supply chain to get everyone the insights and answers they need exactly when they need them (without breaking the bank or bogging down IT) is the perfect recipe for the cloud. That’s why Blue Yonder and Microsoft have been working together so closely to develop intelligent solutions that are scalable, mobile, secure, and highly available from anywhere and on any device—at a cost that beats what you might build in a datacenter.”—Hong Mo Yang, Senior Vice President of Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder. 

In this webinar we talk about Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, now available for preview. Learn ways to make your organization more resilient with this industry-specific cloud platform that connects your workflows, processes, people, and assets more securely. 

How to create more resilient supply chains 

Now that we are more than two years into COVID-19, two-thirds of manufacturers are optimistic about the future. However, shipment delays are still a top concern, with lead times twice as long as usual.2 

In response, manufacturers are adopting solutions that streamline processes. “As a manufacturer ourselves, we understand the complexities of a global supply chain and we have, in fact, transformed two very complex ones of our own.” Says Caglayan Arkan, Vice President Manufacturing and Supply Chain, Microsoft, in his new series focused on building a resilient supply chain.

Here are three ways you can use Microsoft technology to make your supply chain stronger: 

  1. Put your data to work. Digitizing your manufacturing processes creates a lot of data, but it’s not necessarily useful. Consider a platform that unifies data from many sources and makes it digestible in real time so decisions are easier. For example, an intelligent priority-based planning tool can help you keep just enough inventory on hand while avoiding stockouts. Learn more by watching our on-demand webinar, Manufacturing resilient and sustainable supply chains.
  2. Increase collaboration and trust. Invest in your relationships with vendors and logistics partners—you may be able to help each other in ways you haven’t thought of yet. For example, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) asked suppliers to share their supply chain data in a vendor collaboration portal to break down siloes. DTNA then analyzed that data using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, part of Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing, to predict supply shortages. 
  3. Predict disruptions independently. Create a digital twin of your supply chain, complete with model scenarios and simulations, to anticipate problems. Then you can automate the best response in advance, saving time when disruptions happen. For example, manufacturers are preventing unexpected equipment downtime using mixed reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) to do proactive equipment maintenance. 

Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 to improve resilience  

Organizations like GN Group and the Microsoft Circular Centers program are making their supply chains more agile with Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing solutions like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Here’s how: 

  • GN Group, which includes audio and video brands like Jabra and ReSound, made delivery estimates more accurate by giving employees real-time visibility into parts on hand. They also streamlined inventory management by building a vendor-managed inventory (VMI) mobile solution that warehouse staff now use to scan products. Learn more about future-proofing from the GN Group customer story.
  • Microsoft Circular Centers, a program that processes e-waste from Microsoft datacenters, needed a way to collect, manage, reuse, and recycle old parts. A Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) development team created a circular, reverse supply chain using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management. Now Microsoft Circular Centers has a streamlined way to process, sort, and route end-of-life materials, from receiving and testing to packing and storage. As a result, the first Circular Center location is reusing 83 percent of critical parts and recycling 17 percent. Learn more about increasing supply chain efficiency and resilience from the Microsoft Circular Centers customer story.

Prepare for the future by making supply chains more resilient 

Those are just a few examples of organizations overcoming today’s supply chain disruptions by using technology. Manufacturers face many challenges, but improving supply chain visibility, planning, and optimization will help you thrive. Specifically, leaders should focus on increasing transparency, unifying data and distilling it into actionable insights, and using intelligent solutions to model scenarios and predict problems. 

Get more details about how your manufacturing organization can strengthen its supply chain in the on-demand webinar, Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing: Part 3–Supply Chain Resilience. You can also join Caglayan Akran and the Microsoft manufacturing and supply chain team at Hannover Messe from May 30 to June 2, 2022, where we’ll be exploring how digitalization and automation can create the industry of tomorrow. And for more insights, download the infographic “Create more resilient supply chains.” With the cloud, we can lower costs and increase service levels while preparing for anything that comes next. 

Follow us on social and visit our website to stay informed about Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing to learn how you can help manufacture a more resilient and sustainable future.


1Building a resilient manufacturing supply chain, Manufacturing Digital

2Covid-19 Round 4 Research: Impact to Supply Chain, Institute for Supply Management.