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Enhance visibility with Dynamics 365 digital supply chain solutions

The concept of the global control tower first appeared on the radar of supply chain leaders around 15 years ago. As more and more companies pursued end-to-end visibility for increasingly globalized supply chains, the idea quickly gained momentum. IndustryWeek noted global control towers as one of the hottest supply chain buzzwords of 2008.1 Still, for an idea that has…

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The concept of the global control tower first appeared on the radar of supply chain leaders around 15 years ago. As more and more companies pursued end-to-end visibility for increasingly globalized supply chains, the idea quickly gained momentum. IndustryWeek noted global control towers as one of the hottest supply chain buzzwords of 2008.1 Still, for an idea that has been buzzing for over a decade, many companies have been challenged to move from concept to reality.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is helping companies overcome these challenges by equipping them with the tools necessary to create digital supply chains that are highly collaborative, coordinated, agile, and demand-driven. With these new supply chain solutions in place, businesses can achieve real-time, end-to-end visibility across the supply chain, breathing new life into concepts like supply chain control towers in the process.

Supply chain control towers

It has quickly become essential for businesses to invest in technology that can help them sense and predict supply chain constraints and disruptions and spikes and troughs in demand. From using advanced forecasting techniques to real-time collaboration between trading partners and commercial teams, business processes are increasingly geared to generate and proactively shape customer demand. Companies must also integrate the agility to continuously optimize supply and production plans in real-time, as forecast and predictions shift into actual customer order receipts. Supply chains control towers help in these efforts by building both agility and resiliency into the supply chain by delivering end-to-end operational visibility, all the way from planning to delivery and back.

Resiliency in this context is about driving business continuity. This can take the form of digitizing production in factories, automating operations on the shop floor, and providing unparallel transparency, in real-time, to leadership. By utilizing Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insightspreview to create a digital representation of the physical supply chain, whether called a control tower, digital twin, or supply chain nerve center, businesses can reach new levels of agility­ and gain the ability to sense and proactively mitigate disruptions before they occur. And to respond faster when the inevitable happens, such as an unpredictable or unforeseen event.

McKinsey & Company estimates that a $10 billion business with a high-performing supply chain can reduce cost by as much as $50 million annually through digital initiatives such as supply chain nerve centers.2 This is because control towers enable supply chain organizations to blur the lines between planning and execution, allowing businesses to uncover and exploit improvement opportunities faster than ever before.

Building blocks

Visibility

Starting with the end in mind, regardless of the mixture of people, processes, data, organization, and technology used to erect a control tower, it must deliver end-to-end visibility across all supply chain nodes to be successful. This visibility should penetrate beyond tier 1 and tier 2 partners.

Agility

While visibility is the starting point, visibility by itself is not sufficient. Supply chain solutions must also deliver improvements to agility so companies can more effectively respond to changing customer demands. In practice, this means going beyond the ability to immediately grasp what is happening (system-wide visibility) and on to making predictions of what is likely to happen next. This way, business leaders can adapt and overcome challenges as they are identified in real-time.

Unified data

The value that a construct such as a supply chain control tower can deliver is proportional to the organizations’ ability to unify data from disparate sources. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, legacy business applications, supplier systems of records, siloed hard drives, PLCs, and even IoT data streams­ all must be incorporated and unified.

Automation

Businesses also need supply chain solutions that incorporate rules-based orchestration to model and automate responses to fulfillment constraints. By leveraging automation in this manner, organizations can proactively address issues with actionable, data-driven insights, allowing them to adapt faster to disruptions and constraints.

Vision

At Microsoft, we see supply chain control towers as a shared service process that can be brought together from a mix of supply chain solutions. For example, a control tower can be assembled using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights preview together with Microsoft Power Platform, and our rapidly growing ecosystem of digital supply chain applications.

A supply chain control tower enabled by Dynamics 365 in this fashion positions organizations to respond faster and more intelligently to disruptions and opportunities. With seamless integration to many market-leading API-enabled applications using our configurable pre-built partner connectors, businesses can convert the action signals from what-if analysis into directives sent to the applications that guide day-to-day operational execution.

Organizational benefits

When organizations use Dynamics 365 to create a supply chain control tower, they can realize the benefits of a single platform. One version of truth brings together internal and external stakeholders to visualize constraints and disruptions at any point in the value stream. Then, affected agents and authorities can work together to analyze the upstream or downstream impacts, collaborate in near real-time to formulate and enact optimal responses—all from one location and one pane of glass.

In this way, a supply chain control tower created with Dynamics 365 enables organizations to adapt quickly to demand shifts by deliberately blurring the lines between planning and execution and effectively creating a continuous digital feedback loop across entities and distinct business processes.

Let’s now look at how a customer, Breville Group, is creating a resilient supply chain of the future with Dynamics 365.

Looking forward

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management provides manufacturers, distributors, and retailers with the real-time visibility and intelligence they need to move from reactive to proactive. It unifies data and uses predictive insights—across order fulfillment, planning, procurement, production, inventory, warehousing, and transportation—to maximize operational efficiency, product quality, and profitability. And, with innovative technologies, such as AI and machine learning integrated into the solution, it helps organizations accelerate performance even further.

Learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management, and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights preview enable companies to strengthen and expand the Four Pillars of the Digital Supply Chain. To learn more, check out our recent webinar Create Agile and Digital Supply Chains with Dynamics 365, and join a panel of Microsoft Experts in the live Ask the Expert session scheduled for December 7, 2021, at 10AM Pacific Time.

1- IndustryWeek, A Guide to the Hottest Supply Chain Buzzwords of 2008, January 2008

2- McKinsey & Company, Building a digital bridge across the supply chain with nerve centers, January 2021

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Facebook: Our Largest Ever Climate Survey Can Inform Policies, Research and Campaigns Around the World

Today, Meta and researchers at Yale University are publishing the results of our biggest ever global survey about public views towards climate change. In March and April this year, a sample of more than 100,000 Facebook users from nearly 200 countries and territories were asked about their knowledge of, and attitudes and behavior towards, climate change…

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Today, Meta and researchers at Yale University are publishing the results of our biggest ever global survey about public views towards climate change. In March and April this year, a sample of more than 100,000 Facebook users from nearly 200 countries and territories were asked about their knowledge of, and attitudes and behavior towards, climate change issues and what should be done to address them. The results paint a picture of deep concern around the world and the desire of a significant majority of people to see governments and others take meaningful action.

 

Infograph about climate change survey results

 

The survey is a collaboration between Meta and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, as part of Meta’s Data for Good program. It is hoped its findings can be used to inform policy decisions and priorities for governments, especially in many countries where surveys of this sort have not taken place before. The findings should also be valuable for researchers around the world, as well as a resource to inform public information or awareness raising campaigns by activists and NGOs, and help journalists with nationally-relevant data. For example, the Social Progress Imperative is using data from this survey to develop a new Climate Perception Index, which will serve as a tool to better understand the societal implications of climate change and will provide insights for policy makers on where to focus most in order to deliver tangible societal outcomes to their citizens.

The survey found:

  • The majority of people in nearly all countries surveyed say they are somewhat or very worried about climate change, including more than 9 in 10 respondents in many countries in Central and South America. In almost every country, majorities saw climate change as a threat to their country or territory over the next two decades.
  • A majority in two-thirds of the countries and territories surveyed think climate change will harm future generations a great deal. 
  • Majorities in nearly all countries think climate change is caused at least partially by human activity. Europeans were most likely to correctly answer that climate change is caused by human activities, led by Spain (65%) and Sweden (61%).
  • In most countries, a majority say they don’t hear about climate change at least once a week in their daily lives. Europeans are more likely to say they hear about climate change at least once a week compared to other regions.
  • Most people say their country should reduce pollution causing climate change, either on their own or if other countries also do so. However, people have different views on who is primarily responsible for reducing pollution — majorities in 43 countries said their government is responsible, 42 countries said individual people and 25 said businesses. 
  • People everywhere think climate change should be a high priority for their government. Majorities in most countries in North and South America say it should be a “very high” priority.
  • A majority in almost all areas surveyed think action to reduce climate change will either improve or have no negative impact on the economy.
  • People support using more renewable energy and less fossil fuels. About 9 in 10 people in Hungary, Portugal and Spain think their country should use somewhat or much more renewable energy.

The Data for Good program is an unprecedented collaboration between technology companies, the public sector, universities, nonprofits and others using privacy-protected datasets for social good, including disaster relief and recovery. Many of our humanitarian partners operate in some of the most challenging environments in the world. By sharing free tools that provide fast insights, Meta data has made decision-making on the ground easier, cheaper and more effective. In recent years, this collaboration has informed policies governing things like the delivery of vaccines and aid to Ukrainian refugees, and been utilized for environmental campaigns in the US, Germany, Belgium, Croatia and the UK.

Alongside the survey, Meta has also published its annual Sustainability Report, detailing the solid progress we’re making in minimizing the environmental impact of our business, supply chain and wider community. This includes:

  • Setting an ambitious goal to be water positive by 2030, meaning we will restore more water than our global operations consume. In 2021, Meta helped restore more than 2.3 million cubic meters of water through investments in water restoration projects.  
  • Progress towards our goal of reaching net zero emissions across our value chain, and maintaining 100% renewable energy for our global operations.
  • Expanding our Climate Science Center to more than 150 countries.
  • Supporting key policies to advance sustainable policies and climate action, such as joining the European Climate Pact and participating in organizations advocating for clean energy policies in the United States.

Read the full climate opinion survey report and sustainability report.

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Facebook: Uplifting Tribal Communities in India Through Digital Entrepreneurship

Inspired by the rich culture and talent represented by the tribal and indigenous communities of India, we are extending our collaboration with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to launch the second phase of the Going Online As Leaders (GOAL) program. GOAL 2.0 will look to digitally upskill, connect and empower 10 lakh youth and women…

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Inspired by the rich culture and talent represented by the tribal and indigenous communities of India, we are extending our collaboration with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to launch the second phase of the Going Online As Leaders (GOAL) program. GOAL 2.0 will look to digitally upskill, connect and empower 10 lakh youth and women from the tribal communities of the country and will act as a bridge for the socially marginalized youth with a vast canvas of opportunities using technology that they otherwise may not have access to.

Through this program, the identified GOAL participants will have access to Meta Business Coach — a WhatsApp based learning bot — that will give the participants an opportunity to learn skills on how to build and grow their business using Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. To empower the participants to play an active role in the digital economy, the program will also include Facebook Live sessions in nine languages by master trainers on topics like Anti Scamming education, staying safe online, how to combat misinformation and being a good digital citizen. 

​Sh. Arjun Munda, Hon’ble Minister of Tribal Affairs launched the second phase of the GOAL program.

Speaking on the occasion, Sh. Munda said: 

“Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has always spoken about bridging the digital divide. Digitally empowering India’s tribal communities would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country and an important step towards creating a flourishing community of tribal leaders. The first phase of GOAL has seen changing the lives of tribal youth through the digital mentorship program. In the second phase, we will reach out to 10 lakh women and youth entrepreneurs and will also create a platform for more than 50,000 self-help groups and 10 lakh families associated with TRIFED to take their products global.” 

Sharing his views on the importance of digital empowerment for the tribal communities, Ajit Mohan, Vice President & Managing Director, Facebook India (Meta) said: 

“India’s massive digital transformation can be complete when even the most vulnerable communities of our society are digitally empowered. We are deeply inspired by the stories of some of the Tribal leaders who benefitted from the first phase of GOAL that we kicked off in 2020. We recognize the wide canvas of opportunity that gets unlocked when these tribal communities have access to digital tools and technologies, and that is why we are excited to launch the next phase of this program. In collaboration with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GOAL 2.0 will upskill and empower 10 lakh women and youth across tribal communities to harness the full potential of digital platforms and tools.”

Tribal population constitutes about 8.6% of the total population in India. Digitally empowering India’s tribal communities could contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development of the country and an important step towards creating a flourishing community of tribal leaders.  The first phase of GOAL included inspiring, connecting and upskilling tribal youth from across the country. As a result of GOAL, 75% of the participants from the tribal community admitted to being able to better articulate their thoughts to words and saw an improvement in their interpersonal skills. About 69% were able to leverage digital commerce for increased reach and about 63% said that it helped them understand how to set up their business. 

The program is aimed at empowering youth and women from tribal and indigenous communities to harness the full potential of digital platforms and enhancing their leadership skills for driving community development. Along with digital inclusion, the program aims to actively contribute to the economy by continuing to support the most vulnerable communities in tribal districts with a focus on tribal youth and on businesses led by tribal women in rural areas. 

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Facebook: Introducing Features to Quickly Find and Connect with Facebook Groups

New Ways to Organize Your Groups On Facebook, we’re testing a new sidebar that helps you easily find your favorite groups more quickly. It will list your groups and the latest activity within them, like new posts or chats you haven’t yet seen. You can also pin your favorite groups so they show up first,…

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New Ways to Organize Your Groups

Product mock of Community Panel on Facebook Groups

On Facebook, we’re testing a new sidebar that helps you easily find your favorite groups more quickly. It will list your groups and the latest activity within them, like new posts or chats you haven’t yet seen. You can also pin your favorite groups so they show up first, discover new groups or even create your own. For example, if you want quick access to the latest recipes in your cooking group, you can now pin it to the top, find related groups and be inspired to start your own.

Product mock of Community Panel Menu on Facebook Groups

We’re improving how each group is organized, so you can jump right into what’s happening. Within your group, you’ll see a new menu that includes things like events, shops and a variety of channels to make it easier to connect with others around the topics you care about. So, once you’re in your cooking group, you’ll be able to stay up to date with the group’s upcoming events, buy their latest swag and seamlessly join conversations. 

Connect in Smaller Spaces

Admins can begin to create channels to connect with their groups in smaller, more casual settings where they can have deeper discussions on common interests or organize their communities around topics in different formats:

Product mock of spaces on Facebook Groups

  • Community chat channels: a place for people to message, collaborate and form deeper relationships around topics in a more real-time way across both Facebook Groups and Messenger. So when you’re in your new BBQ lovers group and need real-time feedback while attempting your first brisket, an admin can create a chat for that.

Product mock of audio creation on Facebook Groups

  • Community audio channels: a feature where admins and members can casually jump in and out of audio conversations in real time. If you’re looking to hear best practices from other grill masters in your BBQ lovers group, there could be an audio channel created that’s available within your Facebook Group and on Messenger.

Product mock of Community Feed on Facebook Groups

  • Community feed channels: a way for community members to connect when it’s most convenient for them. Admins can organize their communities around topics within the group for members to connect around more specific interests. For example, if you’re in a BBQ lovers group, there could be a feed channel where you can post and comment on the topic of smokers.

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