Disruptions in global supply chains have significantly increased over the last decade, fueled by a myriad of triggers ranging from trade wars, demand surges from social marketing, natural disasters, and most recently, the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Updates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management in the 2020 release wave 1 help organizations proactively transform every aspect of manufacturing and supply chain operations to reduce disruptions. These new and updated capabilities drive automation and reduce downtime using IoT and mixed reality, and provide the agility to re-plan production in real time to dynamically changing demand. In fact, the agility enabled by Supply Chain Management is currently being leveraged by a consortium of major UK industrial, technology, and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors that has come together to produce medical ventilators for the NHS.

Reducing the risk of supply chain disruptions

As the threat of disruptions increase, companies are pressured to ask if the supply chain is ready for the next event, pushing them to build a more resilient supply chain to ensure business continuity for them and their customers in the most cost-effective manner. More companies will start buffering for risks and move from a “Just-in time” mentality to a “Just-in case” mentality. Factories will need to transform rapidly to adapt to change, serving a wider range of products produced in smaller batches with lower set up time, faster throughput, and the ability to quickly respond to fluctuating demand and customer expectations. Companies are likely to move from single supplier to multi-supplier and single location to multi-location models for mission critical parts even if it is cost prohibitive in order to reduce the impact of supply chain disruptions.

To reach this optimal state of agility and delivery speed, manufacturers need to adapt every aspect of the supply chain to enable tools, equipment, and people to become instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent—a state of persistent adaptive learning and optimization as more data is available to tighten links between manufacturers, suppliers, and customers.

The latest release from Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables customers to reach this optimal state by proactively transforming their manufacturing and supply chain with predictive insights and intelligence from AI, IoT, and mixed reality—across planning, production, inventory, warehouse, and transportation management—to maximize operational efficiency, product quality, and profitability.

Train workers faster with integrated mixed reality learning experiences

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Dynamics 365 Guides to help mainstream mixed reality for manufacturing. Companies can deliver a faster ROI by getting the workforce trained sooner with fewer trainers and with an interactive learning experience. Workforce efficiency can skyrocket with step-by-step instructions that guide employees to the tools and parts they need and how to use them in real work situations, available at a glance on a Microsoft HoloLens device that keeps their hands free to do the work.

Dynamics 365 Guides can not only eliminate costly errors in production but also improve workforce safety. Companies can significantly reduce asset downtime by making asset maintenance skillset-agnostic and avoid costly waiting time for a specific expert to perform maintenance on an asset. The guides are extremely easy to author and do not require any coding. A guide can be authored by simply writing the step-by-step instructions on a PC followed by picking and placing the holographic parts and inbuilt icons on the machine where the work is happening.

Learn how to use Dynamics 365 Guides
Introducing Dynamics 365 Guides for HoloLens 2

Dispatch the right resources at the right time

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management is now integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service. Customers can significantly reduce downtime of geographically dispersed mission critical assets by automating field service operations so that the right resources—workforce, machines, parts, and tools—are available at the right place, at the right time, to proactively maintain them.

Companies can improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of their geographically dispersed mission critical assets by performing predictive maintenance based on real-time performance data from IoT and field data from Dynamics 365 Field Service. Traditionally, disparate systems hinder the ability to accurately forecast demand for critical and expensive parts frequently used in both service and new production. Due to lack of forecasting for service demand, companies constantly take parts from production to fulfill the service demand, and vice versa, to deliver good customer service. This often creates a shortage for new production and significantly impacts on time delivery to new customers. As a result, the company is unable to deliver a delightful customer experience on both fronts. This integration will eliminate the need for disparate systems and significantly improve the forecast accuracy of these mission-critical parts due to real time tracking in the service supply chain.

Seamlessly integrate IoT capabilities

Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management now offers out-of-the-box IoT capabilities that leverage Microsoft Azure IoT Hub to connect signals from mission-critical assets with business transaction data. Manufacturers can improve uptime, throughput, and quality by proactively managing shop floor and equipment operations with a real-time view of their entire production and stock. This will significantly reduce costly downtime of business-critical equipment by performing predictive maintenance before disruptive failures occur. There is no coding required to implement these out-of-the-box IoT scenarios on your manufacturing floor today.

Learn more on how Majan is using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management
Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management and IoT Intelligence customer spotlight with Majans

Improve on-time delivery with real-time production planning

The Planning Optimization Add-in for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management enables companies to improve on-time delivery by performing production planning in real time, accounting for dynamically changing customer demand, material availability, and capacity constraints across multiple sites and warehouses. It also enables customers to improve inventory turns by right-sizing inventory levels based on dynamically changing customer demand and capacity constraints. This helps eliminate excess and reduces slow moving inventory. Planning Optimization Add-in for Retail and Distribution is available and Production planning is currently in preview.