Procter & Gamble (P&G) has one of the best supply chains in the world. But when their top supply chain executives talk about supply chain management, it can be hard to understand what they are talking about. P&G has rather forgone talking about supply chain systems and instead talks about their investments in analytics. They believe their supply chain systems are too siloed and they are missing global optimization opportunities. They are looking for a “fully interconnected platform” that delivers “holistic optimization.” If they can get to a “real-time instrumented supply chain,” P&G believes the upside is a 1-2% sales increase, 2-5% margin improvement, and 5-10% improvements in asset utilization. (See Procter & Gamble Speaks at the 3PL Summit).
But what could a real-time instrumented supply chain actually be? Some hints are starting to emerge. One thing it appears to mean is a cross functional control tower that exists in a “visually immersive data environment.” P&G does not call it a control tower, they call it a Business Sphere. But if you read the description, and look at some pictures, it sure looks like a control tower environment.
One of the partners they list that helped them build this “patent-pending integration of technology, visualization, and information” is BOI Solutions. The BOI technology is really cool. In science fiction movies we see users manipulating computer images with their hands, stretching some images, swatting other images off the screen. That is pretty close to what BOI’s technology allows users to do.