IBM: New suite tackles the complexity of global supply chains
The new suite named ‘IBM Sterl...
IBM has announced its new integrated supply chain suite to help make global supply chains smarter and more efficient.
The new suite named ‘IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite’ has been built on the foundations of Sterling B2B Network and Sterling Order Management. It will enable businesses to integrate critical data, business networks and supply chain processes with IBM’s Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and IoT to provide new competitive advantages as it learns from experience.
In addition to the suite IBM will provide a secure, open platform with hybrid-cloud support that will enable users to integrate data and networks from suppliers, customers and the company itself into the suite for greater reliability, transparency and security.
"Supply chains are now mission-critical systems for all businesses to drive success and profitability," said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications and Developer Ecosystems, IBM. "Many organisations have risen to the top of their industries by building efficient and agile supply chains. By modernising supply chains on top of open, hybrid-cloud platforms and infusing Watson AI, IBM Blockchain and IoT into their networks, the IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite can help companies across all industries enter a new era of global competitiveness.''
Current IBM Sterling clients include: Adidas, AmerisourceBergen, Fossil, Greenworks, Home Depot, Lenovo, Li & Fung, Misumi, Parker Hannifin, Scotiabank, Whirlpool Corporation and El Corte Ingles.
"The complex, global nature of our omni-channel operations presents a significant supply chain challenge that could be turned into a business opportunity, if the right technology is applied," said Juan Andres Pro Dios, CIO, El Corte Ingles. "The IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite provides open development capabilities that let us quickly tailor solutions to meet our unique business needs. This allows us to embrace operational complexity while optimizing operational performance and improving omni-channel customer experiences."
IBM believes in the importance of open, trusted collaboration. “The global economy is becoming more reliant on the interaction between connected companies. The potential business value of the modern supply chain has never been higher” said IBM.
Did you know? IBM Watson was No. 5 in Supply Chain Digital’s October edition for Top 10 software companies.
For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.