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ParkourSC has expanded its supply chain digital twin technology line to make it easier to digitize more supply chain components into live behavioral models and share them across supply chain partners. The 8-year-old company recently rebranded from Cloudleaf, which focused on improving supply chain visibility. The new intelligent digital twin promises to improve supply chain resilience, planning, execution, collaboration and growth.
The existing ParkourSC platform used IoT (internet of things) technologies to provide continuous visibility and intelligence into inventory, assets and logistics. “While visibility is still a key component of the ParkourSC solution, the newly expanded platform will move beyond digital visibility by enabling enterprises to digitize their entire end-to-end supply chains, embed intelligence and automation for optimized operations and increase on-time, in-full delivery,” ParkourSC CTO Alok Bhanot told VentureBeat.
Connecting the dots
Digital twins can also reduce some of the complexity in developing and running predictive analytics that provide insight into ongoing operations and help simulate the impact of any disruptions. The new platform also makes it easier to automate processes such as manager approvals, confirmations that packages have arrived, and preparing customs documentation, invoices and shipping labels.
Enterprises compose supply chain objects into a virtual representation of their end-to-end supply chain. ParkourSC has developed integrations that help collect signals and data from any entity, system or device both within and across organizations. Enterprises can connect supply chain objects to AI/ML models, business rules, queries and business intelligence dashboards. The live components can also be integrated into business, supply and demand plans to improve the predictability and reliability of forecasts.
The platform also allows enterprises to securely share live digital twins with others in their supply chain. This allows each partner within the network to construct a digital twin representing its own extended supply chain network. “This capability allows the entire supply chain to have shared insight into the status of their inventory, assets, logistics and so on – and the ability to react in concert when issues arise,” Bhanot said.
Supply chain objects
All the major supply chain management platforms, including Blue Yonder, Kinaxis and Logility, are starting to support digital twin capabilities. Bhanot argues that these companies all started with a planning-first approach, which constrained their ability to evolve into digital twins.
In contrast, ParkourSC started with an object-oriented approach. This allows teams to create digital objects representing the properties, state and behavior of supply chain elements such as products, shipping lanes and facilities, which can be composed to represent supply chain operations. Teams create definitions of all supply chain elements, including behaviors encapsulated within the individual entities that are stored in a catalog. The instances of the catalog entities and the relationships between them are collectively referred to as the “digital twin of the supply chain.”
“This enables a very flexible way to build, operate and extend the digital version of your supply chain, something very unique to our platform,” Bhanot said.
Down the road, digital twins could also simplify data integration across supply chain systems from different vendors. Various cloud services and supply chain service providers use different approaches for representing supply chain data, which can be hard to stitch together. Digital twins combine schemas and ontologies to help translate data across these different systems.
“Digital twins can be an excellent connective tissue to provide seamless solutions across multiple providers, participants and roles,” Bhanot said.