I’m watching you…

…Or to be more specific, the control tower is watching Ahold. And because the control tower programm of Simacan is doing this so greatly, it provides perfect inspiration for today’s blogpost.

Thanks to one of our guest lectures, we could get a better and real life impression about control tower technology and its abilites. Simacan in this case created a company specific and personalized control tower for Ahold in order to provide them with more traceability and transparency in regard to their trucks delivering goods over the whole Netherlands. But what is actually the system behind? Which information does Simacan need to collect for Ahold to provide them with a relevant and helpful tool in the end? Have a short look at the „calculation“ below, as it provides a clear overview about which data and which sources are required.

simacan1

So basically, Simacan was able to combine their profficiency in route and map calculation with some additional (external) data in order to make a logistics solution out of it. So the key in this process is the translation from random data into a solution every user is able to understand in an easy-to-use tool. Because this is a tool which should be build by data analysts and specalists, but which should be used by ordinary people, managers and truck drivers. Because the goal of this tool, as you already know, is to integrate all participants in one network.

In my opinion it is wise that certain companies decide to make use of an external service providers, such as Simacan. Each business has their specialities and insights, which you cannot just obtain in a short period of time. But, especially nowadays it is important to look outside of your box and outside of your business sector, in order to combine different trends with your business model. And if this requires extra knowledge and skills which are not available inhouse, they need to be acquired from an external source. In addition I am convinced that this does also bring another advantage. Due to the fact, that Ahold is not always operating with their own trucks, but is actually contracting various carriers to transport their goods, data needs to be exchanged. Highly sensitive data, which must not be available for everyone. Hence, if there is a third neutral party, data protection can be brought to another level. Especially because trust is the key aspect in all those cooperations. Therefore, Simacan provides their customers with a supply chain end-to-end visibility and control. And supply chain in this case means, that each and every party has controlled access to the relevant data, but can’t access anything more.

The just explained concept is nicely shown in the following picture. All parties shown, can access the same system, but based on their role and their responsibilities and limitations within the supply chain, they will receive various types of information retrieved from the data.

simacan2

So, overall I think that those third party institutions disregarding their actual specialisation, are able to build the connection between companies. They are able to decrease and smoothen the barriers between companies and enable each party to receive a helicopter view about all ongoing operations and processes within the supply chain. Based on this companies can benefit of transparency and fast decision making in order to cope with continuously changing customer demands and a continously changing market they need to deliver to. Hence, actively deciding to share information and to be „watched“ can bring cooperations and data collection on a next valuable level and prepare for upcoming future trends and challenges.

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