CSCOs ignoring customers in digital-twin drive - Gartner

Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice report shows that too many CSCOs not investing in digital twins of customers (DToC) tech

Most supply chain chiefs are ignoring customers when creating digital twins of operations, new research from Gartner suggests.

The study looks at an emerging subset of digital twin technology, called Digital Twin of the Customer (DToC).

DToC is a dynamic, virtual representation that simulates customer behaviour, the goal being that businesses can use data to anticipate problems and optimise relationships. Customers can be individuals, groups of people or even machines.

DToC is an emerging technology that can help businesses mitigate risk, manage supply and demand and enhance the customer experience. But Gartner’s report says chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) need to accelerate investment in DToC tech.

The report, Building a Digital Twin of the Customer, says CSCOs’ current digitalisation plans fail to account for customers. Findings suggest the transformative potential of DToCs are being ignored. 

DToC benefits include forecasting accuracy

Such benefits include better demand forecasting accuracy, improved customer experiences and also a means to enhance the use of AI and ML tools. 

Gartner surveyed 380 supply chain leaders and found that although 60% are piloting – or planning to implement – a supply chain twin digital, just 27% plan to incorporate DToC as part of that strategy.

Beth Coppinger, Senior Director Analyst in Gartner’s Supply Chain Practice, says: “Supply chain leaders understand the importance of the customer in their physical supply chains, but most have not yet translated this lesson to the digital realm.

“The opportunity for transformational benefits from a digital twin of the customer far exceeds the potential that most supply chain leaders see today. 

“A digital supply chain twin that includes a digital twin of the customer can account for changing customer behaviours under a variety of conditions and support the growth plans of the organisation.” 

“Without an effective digital representation of their customers CSCOs will be disadvantaged in driving growth.” 

Gartner report Fig 1
Gartner report Fig 2

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