Microsoft’s supply chain platform ‘transformative’ says CEO Satya Nadella

Supply chains across the globe have been buckling under the strain of economic slowdown. Microsoft’s new supply chain platform aims to ease supply crisis by bringing together data and AI

Supply chains across the globe have been buckling under the strain of economic slowdown. For nearly three years, the global economy has been witnessing a downward trend due to a multitude of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

There have been disruptions on the logistics front, delays in production, over reliance on third parties, and so on. All this combined has exposed the weaknesses of today’s global supply chains.

We witnessed how the shortage of microprocessors and semiconductors disrupted the automotive industry. Today, concerns have been raised about everything, from lithium supply for electric vehicle batteries to restaurant food supplies.

According to McKinsey, global supply chains are faced with three critical challenges: labor shortages, equipment availability and the ripple effect of the global bottlenecks. The supply chain concerns are of a steeper magnitude and uncertain duration.

Reimagining supply chain

Microsoft recently announced its supply chain platform to help drive efficiency and agility for enterprise users.

The platform will help organizations maximize their existing supply chain investments with an open approach, bringing together Microsoft’s AI, collaboration, low code, security, and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications to a composable platform.

Following the launch, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella posted on LinkedIn: “It’s time to transform supply chain operations. That’s why we’re bringing together data, AI, and collaboration – to tackle customers’ most urgent supply chain issues.”

According to a Microsoft blog post, consumer packaged goods company Kraft-Heinz, Daimler Trucks North America and fitness firm iFit are already using the tech as part of the preview period.

“We have hundreds of thousands of parts that we are sourcing from suppliers globally. Our customers, dealers and partners expect excellence in all we do, which also means looking closely at all aspects of our supply chain. The Microsoft Supply Chain Platform and Supply Chain Center will enable us to make processes more efficient end-to-end,” said Lutz Beck, CIO, Daimler Truck North America.

The platform will also allow Microsoft partners to “bring their industry and domain expertise to create integrated solutions.”

Building sustainable supply chains

According to Microsoft, sustainable supply chains are one of the biggest opportunities for organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. However, it is one of the most challenging areas to address because decision makers lack the data and insights to optimize the selection of suppliers, routes, fulfilment and products.

“Supply chain agility is critical to persevere in today’s economic climate. This means understanding and taking real-time actions based on supply chain data, securely and with sustainable business practices. We’re excited to deliver on this first step in our commitment to reimagine the supply chain with our customers and partners,” wrote Charles Lamanna, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Platform, Microsoft.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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