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Dynamics 365 drives improvement in manufacturing supply chains

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is helping manufacturing organizations tackle the challenges they face today while also preparing them for tomorrow’s opportunities. Whether enabling workforce transformation and enterprise resource planning (ERP) modernization, helping navigate disruptions by increasing supply chain visibility and improving insights, or standing up reverse supply chains and circular economies––we are dedicated to helping manufacturers…

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Microsoft Dynamics 365 is helping manufacturing organizations tackle the challenges they face today while also preparing them for tomorrow’s opportunities. Whether enabling workforce transformation and enterprise resource planning (ERP) modernization, helping navigate disruptions by increasing supply chain visibility and improving insights, or standing up reverse supply chains and circular economies––we are dedicated to helping manufacturers build the resiliency and agility they need to succeed. The following three success stories showcase how our modern, cloud-based, intelligent business applications are driving improvements in manufacturing supply chains.

Workforce transformation and ERP modernization

The manufacturing sector has faced labor shortages for some time now, but the pandemic has exacerbated this challenge. This has led many to double down on efforts to utilize technology as a means of offsetting the headwinds caused by ongoing labor shortages.

We see this in manufacturers accelerating workforce transformation of shop floor operations and increasing their utilization of industrial robotics, IoT sensors, AI, and intelligent automation. As these organizations create smarter and more connected factories, they are, in effect, increasing the workforce’s productivity, and this is one means of easing the constraint that labor shortages can have on output.

In addition to easing constraints on labor, manufacturers such as ChemTreat are also benefiting from ERP modernization initiatives. ChemTreat, a water treatment systems company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and in business since 1968, was challenged to overcome the limitations of their in-house, custom-coded, desktop-bound ERP system. While the legacy system had served them well for many years, it now required laborious additional workflows, kept data trapped in spreadsheets, and needed nightly downtime. To keep pace with technology changes in the industry and support its growth, the company implemented Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Today, ChemTreat benefits from real-time, end-to-end supply chain visibility that spans everything from its customers and suppliers to its inventory, expenses, and demand. Direct data visibility is also helping management proactively identify raw material shortages and improve their planning and execution processes. Plus, by modernizing their ERP, ChemTreat has the flexible and composable platform they need to support other digital transformation efforts in the future.

“Dynamics 365 helps us get ahead of challenges, identify potential customer impacts, and determine the best path to the best service.”––Katie Journigan, Director of Business Systems, ChemTreat.

Learn more in our blog, Enhance visibility with Dynamics 365 supply chain solutions.

Supply chain visibility and insights

As businesses continue to forge a path out of the pandemic, many find that their current supply chain technologies are ill-equipped for an environment characterized by ongoing disruptions, constraints, and shortages. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company found that successfully implementing AI-enabled supply-chain management has enabled early adopters to improve logistics costs by 15 percent, inventory levels by 35 percent, and service levels by 65 percent, compared with slower-moving competitors.1 This has led to increased investment in advanced supply chain solutions that can connect disparate systems, unify data, increase supply chain visibility, and utilize artificial intelligence to push actionable insights to decision-makers. One company benefiting from investments like these is Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA).

DTNA is the leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in the U.S., with a portfolio of distinctive brands like Freightliner and Western Star Trucks. The company has more than 20,000 employees in 91 locations and sources hundreds of thousands of parts from its global supply base. To add to this complexity, DTNA collects data from trucks on the road, its in-house ERP system and supply chain applications, and across its operations and production floor.

Breaking down the siloes of these disparate data sources became necessary for DTNA to meet customer and dealer demand and provide accurate delivery dates. To accomplish this, they needed early visibility into potential time constraints and the ability to collect and share real-time supply chain data with suppliers. With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights, DTNA can make better supply chain decisions with proactive risk mitigation via prescriptive insights powered by AI.

Learn more in our recent blog, Mitigate disruptions with Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Insights––now in preview.

Reverse supply chains and circular economies

“Sustainability has become an integral part of all world-class supply chains, and circularity is a leading supply chain sustainability strategy that enables recycling and reuse for the majority of a supply chain’s products.” —Jodi Larson, General Manager of Strategy and Transformation at Microsoft.

More and more companies are working to make our world sustainable by embracing environmental, social, and governance goals. One way that manufacturing organizations are improving sustainability is by standing up circular economies. Circular economy, or circularity, is rooted in reverse supply chain management, which deals with what happens after a product’s useful life. According to a 2022 report from Gartner®, 51 percent of supply chain professionals expect the emphasis on the circular economy to increase in the two years following the COVID-19 crisis.2

As focus ramps up on circular economy strategies, it’s important to understand that reverse supply chain management in manufacturing requires different operational processes. To state the obvious, manufacturers cannot simply accept end-of-life products at existing factories and warehouses. Depending on the complexity of the product and its recoverable raw materials, separate operations are needed to receive, inspect, sort, and refurbish raw materials before they can be reused.

Setting up these circular economy flows can be challenging without an agile and composable supply chain management application. Here at Microsoft, we have first-hand knowledge of the challenges involved as we have recently delivered our first Microsoft Circular Center. The Microsoft Circular Center program is designed to facilitate the reuse and recycling of servers and hardware within our datacenters, which is part of our commitment to achieving zero-waste and carbon-negative operations by 2030.

When planning the pilot of our Circular Center program, we needed a robust and flexible supply chain management platform to support an optimized warehouse routing and processing system to intercept decommissioned servers from Microsoft datacenters. To date, the Circular Centers model has achieved 83 percent reuse and 17 percent recycling of critical parts while contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions by 145,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent.

“We were looking for a warehouse management system that would allow us to model all the product flows that we needed while also connecting to datacenters and other systems used to manage our cloud assets. Dynamics 365 had all of these functionalities to build exactly what we needed.”—Anand Narasimhan, General Manager of Cloud Supply Chain Sustainability, Microsoft.

What’s next?

As we have seen through these customer stories, Dynamics 365 drives improvement in manufacturing supply chains by enabling companies to revamp their existing ERP platform, considerably increase supply chain visibility and insights, and stand-up circular economies through reverse supply chain management practices. It also empowers users to plan better, improves organizational agility, and maximizes asset uptime, allowing companies to operate smoothly and profitably.

If you are ready to see what our modern, cloud-based supply chain management solution can do for your organization, we invite you to start today with a free Dynamics 365 trial. You can watch the on-demand webinar on how to create a resilient and sustainable supply chain and the total economic impact of implementing Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Sources:

1- McKinsey & Company, 2021. Succeeding in the AI supply-chain revolution.

2- Gartner®, 2022. Gartner for Supply Chain 3 Key Trends in Supply Chain Sustainability

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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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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