CEOOne word summarizes the state of today’s supply chains: disruption. Supply chain disruption, caused by everything from geopolitical events to trade tensions to environmental disasters, is causing major shocks to supply and demand across the globe. According to a Gartner Supply Chain Executive Report, nearly 70 percent of supply chain leaders have constantly been responding to disruptions since the beginning of 2019.i

Consumers are feeling the impact in a big way. New car sales have screeched to a halt as a semiconductor shortage has shut down auto plants. Food supply shortages, meanwhile, have led to empty grocery shelves and rising restaurant menu prices. These disruptions have exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains, even as many organizations have gained operational efficiencies. Many organizations face critical barriers that prevent them from overcoming supply chain disruptions. These barriers include: 

  • Limited visibility.

  • Inability to predict.

  • Data exchange limitations. 

These barriers affect each step of the product journey: planning, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, order orchestration, and delivery.

Creating a resilient and agile supply chain 

Retailers, manufacturers, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are trying to solve their supply chain problems by investing in machine learning, AI, advanced analytics, and automation technologies. In a recent Gartner survey, 87 percent of supply chain professionals reported they are planning investments in supply chain resiliency, with 89 percent reporting they want to invest in agility.ii According to Forrester, 47 percent of retail and CPG decision-makers are focused on improving analytics capabilities to turn their data into insights.iii By using these modern technology solutions to enable more resilient and agile supply chains, companies can drive the following business outcomes:

  • Enhanced supply chain visibility. Companies can respond intelligently to dynamic shifts in supply and demand by creating a digital twin: an accurate, real-time virtual model that performs what-if simulations, revealing the upstream and downstream impacts of decisions. Additionally, organizations can increase visibility by unifying supply chain data from multiple sources.

  • Proactively overcoming disruptions. By inviting suppliers, partners, and customers to receive and share information in one place and collaborate in real time, companies can identify risks early. Companies can also automate risk response by taking advantage of machine learning and AI to drive process automation.

  • Getting operational, fast. Getting up and running quickly requires that new investments in supply chain technology integrate seamlessly with existing systems and simplify onboarding for internal users, suppliers, and partners.

Enhancing visibility and mitigating risk with Microsoft Dynamics 365 supply chain insights 

Organizations can increase visibility and proactively overcome disruptions by implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, an out-of-the-box solution built on Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Platform, and Microsoft Azure. With more than 200 built-in connectors, Supply Chain Insights integrates with existing ERP and supply chain execution systems, helping businesses avoid complex development and become operational in weeks instead of months. Supply Chain Insights ingests operations, finance, and inventory data from existing systems and brings it into Microsoft Dataverse. Dataverse uses proven industry data models to harmonize and enrich the data so it can drive a digital twin of the physical supply chain.

Predicting supply chain issues before they happen

By using Supply Chain Insights, businesses can make better supply chain decisions quickly by enhancing visibility and proactively mitigating risk. For example, Daimler Trucks North America needed better visibility into its supply chain, which tracks hundreds of thousands of parts sourced from global suppliers. Daimler implemented Supply Chain Insights and can now predict supply chain issues earlier than ever before. “Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights will enable us to make the process more efficient end-to-end, reducing down time, reducing parts shortages, and helping us to automate more and more,” says Lutz Beck, the organization’s CIO.

By deploying Supply Chain Insights, businesses like Daimler can increase their supply chain visibility and proactively overcome disruptions. As a result, companies can reach their ultimate goal: getting products to customers on time, every time.

What’s next:

Listen to the Connected and Ready Podcast [Supply-chain technology for an excellent customer experience, with Microsoft’s Ashley Haynes-Gaspar | Connected & Ready (connectedandready.com)]

Contact us at supplychainexperts@microsoft.com to discuss your supply chain transformation needs with a Microsoft representative or partner. 


i Gartner® Supply Chain Executive Report: Shaping Supply Chain Disruption in a Volatile Risk Environment, May 2021. 

ii Gartner®, Survey Finds 87% of Supply Chain Professionals Plan to Invest in Resilience Within the Next 2 Years, Feb 2021. 

iii Forrester, The Digital Commerce Imperative. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned by Microsoft. January 2021.