At a certain moment, risks and challenges need to be put on the table. I always have the feeling that the initiative taking person rather ignores them whereas all remaining parties always like to search for more and more unclarities and challenges to be especially critical towards any kind of change.
I must admit, looking at the risks of the control tower concept, I could personally not identify much more than the usual risks in a logistics business. External as well as internal factors and risk factors are remaining and the companies are still dependent on their production capacity and can still face out-of-stock situations. Nevertheless, data collection and analysis provides new solutions for old problems but does also create new challenges. Just to give you a few examples:
- Never has it been more difficult to meet the customer demand than now. However, in the past companies were not able to monitor customer wishes and trend changes and therefore needed to build up expensive stock in order to balance out uncertainties. Today, forecasting and planning is supported by high class data mining tools that almost allow looking into the future, because data is available and can be treated and analysed accordingly.
- Looking at the system dependency we as private persons, but also companies are having, system failure turns into one of the biggest risks, one would have not even considered in the past, where information and knowledge was mostly collected on paper. Hence, other safety regulations apply for all the data saved on servers and clouds all over the world, which leads to the third aspect:
- Another major fear nowadays is data leakage. In general loosing confidential clients, but also sales data, which could provide competitors with insider information about the companies strategy and procedures. Therefore, more money and manpower than ever is spent on online safety walls and regulations to keep internal information as internally as it can be.
Looking at all risks mentioned in the lecture but also using my own knowledge and input about control tower concepts in general, I am convinced that such a concept has actually been designed to decrease the risks of failure within the chain caused by a lack of visibility. And this is exactly what such a control tower is providing a company with. Information is centralized and becomes a transparent bigger picture of the end-to-end supply chain, as this view becomes increasingly more important in order to ensure fast responses and agility to the market. In addition immediate changes and amendments can be made in order to keep the goods moving and the customer happy at the end of the chain.