IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower

Gain intelligent, predictive inventory insights to respond quickly to change, deliver better customer experiences, and reduce costs.

Services & Solutions > Capabilities > Supply Chain > IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower

Achieve greater inventory visibility and control across your supply chain

As a supply chain professional, yours is a world of supply and demand. You work very hard to ensure that every person who wants your product can obtain it – when and where they want it. Because if they can’t, they might feel compelled to try a competitive product. Then, you’ll have to work doubly hard to reclaim the customer you’ve lost.

This is why inventory is so critically important to you…and to everyone else in your supply chain. Without inventory, there are no transactions.  And without transactions, business comes to a halt. It’s reported that:

  • $1 Trillion is the cost of out-of-stock situations for retailers annually.
  • 12% of revenue is left on the table as a result of inventory markdowns.
  • 20-30% of inventory is dead or obsolete, even in well-run companies.


The most significant problem with inventory is that stock levels are very challenging to track. And they’re becoming more and more difficult every day when you deal with widely dispersed sales locations, multiple warehouses, goods in transit, and disparate systems that monitor and manage movement.

Gain unprecedented inventory visibility
and actionable insights

IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower helps to overcome these challenges and more.

This AI-powered solution delivers the intelligent end-to-end insights you need to see, manage and act more effectively on inventory.

AppDev-Build_80px
See

Get end-to-end supply chain visibility across silos and processes

Step2-Planning-and-Consulting
Predict

Detect external events and discover disruption impacts

Development-and-Migration
Act

Manage exceptions across your workflows to drive performance.

It correlates data across silos and disparate systems to deliver a single, accurate view of your inventory. It provides insights that help you see where your inventory is at all times, understand how external events may impact it, predict and mitigate disruptions, and take the right actions. It helps you meet current demand more effectively while enabling you to pivot quickly when circumstances call for adjustment.

Our team can help you unleash the power of this solution to help you respond faster to change, reduce costs, and deliver better customer experiences.

How can you deliver on customer expectations if you can’t locate your inventory?

Customers are demanding more products at more affordable pricing, with easier and more convenient ordering and delivery processes. They’re demanding a better and more rewarding customer experience from every organization they patronize, however they choose to interact with them. Standards set by one organization may greatly impact the expectations they have for everyone – even in unrelated industries. If you can’t deliver it tomorrow, they might find someone who can.

In recent times, we’ve seen the pressure to provide better customer experiences converge with unpredictable disruptions to demand, supply, and logistics. The black swan event has exposed the vulnerabilities and fragility of supply chains and has made many industry managers rededicate themselves to optimizing operations while containing costs. Those who succeed will achieve a profound point of differentiation among their competitors. Those who don’t will suffer the consequences of becoming second-best.

Are you facing these inventory challenges?

This volatile market has created multiple challenges for you, your organization, and your supply chain partners. How many of these seem familiar?

  • Shifts in demand have left excess inventory languishing in some retail outlets, while others have empty shelves.
  • Weather, traffic, or health and safety concerns have caused unanticipated late deliveries at warehouses.
  • Time is wasted trying to locate inventory across multiple stocking locations
  • Productivity is lost in making telephone calls or sending emails to check on inventory availability or transfers.
  • Critical equipment is in short supply due to a lack of visibility with lower-tier providers, which is where 40% of supply chain disruptions occur.
  • Gaps between real-time demand and actual inventory availability result in over-promising to customers – and disappointment.
Two key issues are at the root of these inventory challenges:

  1. Inability to access and analyze disparate data

Organizations deal with massive amounts of internal and external data scattered across siloed systems from disparate sources and in different formats. Traditional data integration approaches are time-consuming and costly, and it’s difficult to correlate and analyze all of the relevant data fast enough to course-correct and be responsive.  

  1. Poor visibility into systems

A lack of end-to-end, real-time visibility into inventory and workflow activities across their organization. This includes visibility across multiple departments and divisions, as well as across their extended supplier and partner ecosystem.

Traditional inventory management systems just aren’t keeping up with the global expansion of supply chains, rising volumes of trading partners, and channel proliferation. They’re simply not built for the challenge. 

What’s needed now is a comprehensive solution that provides inventory visibility and control in a highly volatile, extremely complex, globally expanding marketplace.

See your inventory wherever it may be.

Understand the threats to your supply chain and avert disruption before it occurs.

IBM Sterling Inventory Control Tower provides the insights you need to see your inventory wherever it is, identify and understand the impact of external events to predict disruptions, and take actions based on recommendations to mitigate the upstream and downstream effects.

This allows you to respond faster to market changes and deliver better customer experiences while reducing costs.

Leverage AI to analyze and leverage inputs from a wide variety of data sources.

The solution correlates data across silos and disparate systems to provide a single view of your inventory – from raw material availability and supplier orders to the last mile of customer delivery. 

It includes out-of-the-box connectors for various data sources and provides smart-alerts to help you quickly detect internal and external events that could impact your inventory. 

 

Cognitive Technologies

Provide guidance and recommendations to empower your staff.

Virtual Resolution Rooms allow you to easily collaborate with the right team members across organizations and partners, and embedded AI enables natural language conversations, giving you immediate access to information and recommendations to take corrective action. Digital Playbooks provide guidance on best practices and preserve organizational knowledge to speed issue resolution over time.

  • Consolidate and analyze data across sources, locations, and channels.
  • View customized dashboards to easily see and understand inventory levels.
  • Gain AI-powered insights to you mitigate the upstream and downstream impact.
  • Leverage the power of AI for learning best practices and empowering stakeholders.
  • Leverage digital playbooks to improve response to recurring supply chain challenges.
  • Use Resolution Rooms to resolve issues faster with associates and partners.
  • Accelerate time-to-value with fast deployment and customization capabilities.
  • Access, unify, and understand information from disparate systems for a more complete picture.
  • Correlate inventory-related data with external event information, like weather and news.

Results

  • Save time and money by unifying information from different systems, including third parties.
  • Rely upon accurate, up-to-the-minute information to make decisions about inventory.
  • Create customized dashboards of KPIs and events for stakeholders.
  • Get accurate, 360-degree visibility of your inventory – from raw material availability and supplier orders to the last mile of customer delivery.
  • See which inventory is in different internal locations, held by channel partners, in transit, or already committed.

Results

  • Leverage a single, trusted source to access relevant information quickly.
  • Proactively monitor and manage inventory availability across your entire system.
  • Track days of supply by product to customize safety stock by location and reallocate across locations and channels.
  • Drive better KPI performance
  • Leverage AI to understand a broad array of internal and external data, at speed and scale.
  • Get real-time actionable insights that can only be achieved through the power of AI.
  • Receive smart, contextual alerts that flag the most relevant and impactful events, based on your own criteria.
  • Get answers quickly: Enables users to use natural language search to ask questions like “Where is safety stock the lowest?” or “What’s in transit?”

Results

  • Understand, prioritize, and resolve critical issues in real-time.
  • See, predict, and take action faster when unplanned events threaten the flow of your inventory.
  • Improve resiliency: manage exceptions and mitigate disruptions before they become problems. 
  • Brings clarity so you can prioritize based on upstream and downstream impact
  • Allows you to make fully informed, inventory-related decisions
  • Deliver better customer and partner experiences.
  • Reduce costs.
  • AI automatically learns what’s working and builds knowledge base over time.
  • Becomes more intelligent over time as it analyzes more data
  • Provides AI-directed recommendations and alternatives based on past history and successes
  • Choose to automate certain actions where practical.

Results

  • Confidently apply AI to extend human capabilities in areas such as resource allocation, and managing and monitoring recurring activities.
  • Act on recommendations provided by AI learning and experiences
  • Gain greater confidence in addressing nonconforming issues.
  • Capture, leverage, and preserve organizational knowledge in the system.
  • Provide proactive guidance on best practices and issue resolution.

Results

  • Captures knowledge that might otherwise be lost.
  • Improves and accelerates decision-making and outcomes.
  • Speeds resolution over time.
  • Reduces expedited shipping costs.
  • Improves fulfilment experiences.
  • AI recommends the right people for issue resolution, arms them with relevant information, and pulls related insights from prior events.
  • Brings the right experts from your organization together with experts from your partner organizations.
  • Provides relevant data as background information.
  • Recommends who should attend based on past experiences.
  • Enables productive discussions in a Watson-powered collaboration space.

Results

  • Enable your extended team to come together to identify the root causes of disruptions quickly.
  • Engage in collaborative discussions to determine the right solutions faster.
  • Deploys quickly using pre-built connectors and easily customizable components.
  • Includes dozens of out-of-the-box connectors for data sources.
  • Provides customizable components and APIs.
  • Can be customized and configured for the unique characteristics of your supply chain.
  • Provides AI building blocks that can be tailored to your unique needs.
  • Allows custom configurations that are based on your own unique criteria and objectives.
  • Integrates with the other IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions and provides connectivity to an extensive ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and partners.
  • Integrates with third-party solutions and services.

Results

  • Get up and running in just weeks.
  • Achieve connectivity quickly to a vast network of organizations throughout the world.
  • Start seeing the benefits faster.
  • Enhance your existing investments.
  • Gain a competitive edge.
Enterprise Architecture

IBM provides the powerful technology. Lightwell will help you get the most from it.

For over 20 years, Lightwell consultants have helped organizations select and implement the tools they need to manage their supply chains and business partnerships effectively. We’ve built strong relationships with industry leaders worldwide while helping them advance to the next level of efficiency. 

With the strength of IBM, we’re helping our clients improve inventory management using innovative tools and approaches.

As a result of working with us, you’ll gain extensive visibility and insights to empower your decision makers, improve supply chain performance, and optimize outcomes for your customers, company, and partners.

Comprehensive services and solutions for digital supply chains

IBM Sterling Supply Chain: This suite of industry-leading solutions provides critical capabilities for digitizing supply chains. This includes:

Supply chain complexity

Lightwell Supply Chain Services and Innovations: Our comprehensive, end-to-end services and innovations will help you accelerate, streamline, and optimize.  This includes:

Learn about supply chain solutions for your industry

IBM Sterling Supply Chain solutions address for the unique needs of various business sectors, ensuring that standards are met for privacy, security, and other important areas related to business transactions and transmissions:

Application Development Solution IMplementation

Illuminating Resources​

Let’s Get Started

Don’t wait until your next inventory crisis.

Contact us today to discuss your inventory challenges and to learn how we can help you gain better control of your inventory – wherever it may be.

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