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Jabil’s InControl SaaS Solution Leads Digital Transformation for the Supply Chain

Tue May 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017

Imagine that your company could slash its time-to-market by 50 percent or more. 

What would this mean for your business’s competitiveness during a time when the pace of global commerce is accelerating and consumers are demanding instant gratification?

This dramatic speed to market—along with a slew of other benefits—now is within reach to global organizations with today’s introduction of Jabil’s InControl supply chain SaaS platform and suite of applications.

InControl is an intelligent digital supply chain decision support platform that delivers unmatched  visibility, advanced risk management and instant collaboration throughout the entire supply chain ecosystem. This cloud-based, multi-tenant, software-as-a-service solution provides connectivity, advanced analytics and machine learning technologies. InControl is designed to enable the world’s best supply chains by enhancing agility, flexibility and productivity to deliver reduced cost and compressed time to market. 

“Today’s supply chains and tools aren’t architected to effectively address the innovation, speed, agility and risk requirements to compete and win across an increasingly digital ecosystem,” said Don Hnatyshin, SVP and chief supply chain and procurement officer for Jabil. “InControl was designed for and by supply chain practitioners to provide the real time intelligence, visibility and analytics companies need to move with B2C speed and agility in a B2B world.”

The digital transformation is on

InControl’s capabilities allow companies to conduct digital transformations of their supply chains, replacing outdated manual management and communications techniques with intelligent automated processes that deliver enhanced visibility, collaboration and business insights with actionable recommendations. This digital transformation is unleashing dramatic improvements in efficiency at every step of the global supply chain.

“Consider the disruptive impact of Uber,” said Mudit Bajaj, vice president of advanced analytics solutions at Jabil. “Uber has unlocked the massive capacity potential of automobiles by enabling people to take their own private cars and repurpose them as a transportation system for other people. In a similar fashion, digital supply chain platforms like InControl are unleashing the untapped potential of the supply chain by leveraging embedded technology, connectivity and advanced predictive analytics. Using InControl to drive fact-based decision-making, supply-chain practitioners can drive smarter strategies that improve everything from manufacturing, to warehousing, to transportation.”

For example, global supply chains presently maintain trillions-of-square-feet of storage space in warehouses, distribution centers and other facilities. This space is far from fully utilized, representing an enormous waste of money and resources dedicated to empty shelves. However, as the digital transformation of the supply chain continues, technology, analytics and deep connectivity, will allow supply chain practitioners to optimize this empty space, improving efficiency and cutting costs. 

Efficiency and time to market

This efficiency also accelerates product development and delivery times. Reducing time-to-market has long been a priority for businesses. However, the issue has been exacerbated by the arrival of on-demand transactions.

Consumers today can order products via their smartphones and receive them almost immediately. For example, Amazon’s Prime Now service promises delivery within two hours. Many consumers, particularly younger buyers, have come to expect this speed of service, accelerating the pace of commerce for companies in all industries.

One industry particularly affected by time-to-market concerns is the apparel business. which has always struggled with long lead times. For items like clothes or shoes, it can take 400 days from the time a product is conceptualized to the point when it’s brought to market.

Such a delay can present a major challenge to sellers of goods like winter coats. When designing a coat, an apparel brand needs to anticipate factors like weather, volume, color and style a full two seasons in advance. With businesses struggling to forecast just one month into the future, predicting outcomes over such a lengthy period leads to high-volume production of goods that aren’t in high demand. This, in turn, leads to the creation of some high-profile symbols of supply-chain inefficiency.

“When you look at outlet malls, you might not think of them as monuments to supply-chain failures—but in many ways, that’s what they are,” Bajaj said. “Items that couldn’t be sold at a higher margin need to be sent to an outlet mall because the forecast was wrong, or the season didn’t play out the way that was expected, or the fashions changed.”

If the time-to-market could be compressed, apparel makers could forecast trends with much greater accuracy. With its capability to digitize the supply chain and promote collaboration among supply-chain professionals, InControl applications such as Design for Supply Chain and Supply Chain Visibility can help reduce time-to-market. Furthermore, when combined with technologies like additive manufacturing, this time could be compressed significantly in the future.

InControl also includes integrated applications with features specifically designed to speed up key processes within the supply chain to accelerate time-to-market. For example, InControl’s integrated Design for Supply Chain application gives companies a greater understanding of the impact of different product decisions and helps avoid the selection of high-risk components during the product design and prototyping stages. Moreover, the Supply Chain visibility app delivers real-time reports and alerts on factors including orders, compliance, event risk and problem resolution. 

Some supply-chain leaders in the apparel industry already are making major strides in accelerating time-to-market through the digital transformation of their supply chains. Those companies that are successful in compressing time-to-market in a dramatic fashion would become true market disruptors, potentially changing the shape of clothing retailing. 

Built for Practitioners by Practitioners

While InControl is new to the commercial market, the technologies that comprise the platform have been in use for Jabil and its customers many years. Because of that, InControl embodies the company’s experience and expertise in managing extremely complex supply chains. InControl demonstrates Jabil’s knowhow with its extensive capabilities in automating and streamlining supply-chain processes. 

With InControl on the job, customers don’t need to devote so much time and so many resources to supply-chain management. This frees companies to focus on what they do best: developing innovative products and services for their individual markets.

The technology, analytics and connectivity delivered by InControl will have a major impact on the global supply chain, Jabil predicts.

“The impact of the digital transformation of the supply chain can be compared to the disruption wrought by Uber,” Bajaj said. “However, Uber has only affected automotive transportation, while the global supply chain represents a much larger industry comprising a vast array of endeavors. Because of this, the digital transformation of the supply chain in the future could have an economic impact that’s 10 to 100 times greater than Uber.”

The commercial introduction of InControl represents an exciting moment for Jabil, culminating years of effort and realizing the company’s long-held vision of productizing its supply-chain management expertise.

“For Jabil, InControl represents many great things,” Bajaj said. “InControl is about competitive advantage the digitalization of the supply chain and how Jabil can leverage technology and analytics to bring the digital transformation of the entire supply chain to our customers. Most importantly, it’s about how to make our customers successful in what they want to do.”

Leading the digital supply chain transformation, Jabil is enhancing the value of its end-to-end manufacturing solutions with the InControl cloud-based platform and supply chain applications. Built for practitioners by practitioners, these applications deliver unmatched visibility, instant collaboration, and risk management across the entire supply chain.

To learn more about InControl or Jabil’s Procurement and Supply Chain Managed Services portfolio, visit www.jabil.com/IDSC