ICON 2023, the annual Blue Yonder customer conference held May 2-5, 2023, in Las Vegas, will address the most pressing challenges facing supply chain professionals today. One of those urgent challenges is optimal data management — and few people are more qualified to discuss this topic than Frank Slootman, Chairman and CEO of Snowflake, along with Duncan Angove, CEO of Blue Yonder, the leader in end-to-end supply chain management who will share the keynote stage at the event on May 3.

Blue Yonder and Snowflake announced their partnership last year, which has positioned customers to leverage data cloud offerings to access, share and consume live governed data, industry-specific data services at scale — without the latency, cost and effort required with traditional marketplaces.

Data Management: A Critical Piece of the Puzzle

Why is optimal data management so important? One of the greatest benefits of today’s advanced digital solutions is their ability to ingest enormous volumes of data from across the supply chain — as well as from external sources — and apply those insights to course-correct the entire network as conditions change. In today’s fast-moving business environment, immediate end-to-end responsiveness is no longer optional; it’s a requirement to keep pace with shifting conditions on both the supply and demand sides.  

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and real-time connectivity are making this extreme level of agility much easier to achieve. Enabled by AI and ML, modern optimization and execution solutions far exceed the ability of human analysts to ingest all that data, analyze it and choose the best possible response in mere seconds. Whether the disruptive event is a news or weather event, an out-of-service production line or a blocked last-mile delivery route, these solutions are purpose-built to consider multiple factors and scenarios, and achieve the best possible action plan. Once the decision is made, real-time connectivity enables it to be orchestrated across the extended supply network, which allows the entire supply chain to participate in a synchronized, near real-time response.  

There’s no doubt that, as an industry, we’ve come a long way since the days of human planners using Excel spreadsheets and manual analysis to make these kinds of all-important course-corrections, then communicate them to partners via phone calls or emails. Even for companies who have implemented supply chain solutions, the replication of data (with each application having its own data store) and latency in data updates from one solution to another preclude manufacturers from achieving synchronized near real-time response.

That missing capability is optimal data management — and mastering it is absolutely critical in order to maximize the daily performance of advanced digital solutions. After all, the outputs of optimization and execution solutions are only as good as their inputs. The advanced technology solutions that enable near real-time monitoring, course-correction, and communication depend on data for their success.

The Special Challenges Faced by Manufacturers

It’s not surprising that data management is a huge challenge for most businesses — and an especially pressing problem for manufacturers. After all, consider the huge volumes of data that impact the modern manufacturing supply chain, which spans thousands of miles and involves multiple supplier tiers. Across that complex value chain, every second of every day, each partner is digitally contributing information about costs, timing, inventory levels, product availability and other key metrics. Via sensors, production assets are also delivering data related to uptime, downtime, maintenance needs, capacities and other operating parameters in unprecedented scope and scale.

To keep the end-to-end manufacturing value chain running at optimal levels, in which customer service and product availability are optimally balanced with costs, companies need to gather and assess detailed information in real time — which is not an easy task, especially since much of it resides in functional silos.

However, the partnership between Blue Yonder and Snowflake facilitates this process, applying the expertise and technology leadership of both companies in a unique manner. Through Blue Yonder’s Luminate® Platform data services and Snowflake’s combined technologies it is possible to serve up data for Blue Yonder’s supply chain solutions through appropriate configurations that help minimize latency and redundancy. It’s a combination that can’t be found anywhere else in the supply chain Software-as-a-Service industry today. 

Enabling Data-Driven Manufacturing Excellence

How does the Blue Yonder-Snowflake partnership work? First, Snowflake builds a data foundation by delivering a single, fully managed, secure platform for multi-cloud data consolidation — with unified governance and elastic performance that supports virtually any scale of storage, compute and users. Snowflake’s newly launched Manufacturing Data Cloud allows manufacturers to break down data silos by ingesting both IT and OT data and analyzing it alongside third-party partner data.

Next, Blue Yonder solutions — including control tower, platform and supply chain planning and execution solutions — ingest this data to facilitate downstream and upstream visibility across the entire supply chain. Using Snowflake’s data collaboration capabilities, separate teams and solutions can operate together on the same data and build, train and continually refine AI and ML models with confidence to forecast demand, manage inventory, deliver products, manage exceptions, and accomplish other mission-critical tasks.

The end result? Manufacturers can keep operations running and streamline supply chain activities based on both upstream and downstream signals, in real time. They can strategically balance cost and service outcomes, based on an end-to-end supply chain perspective.

The new Snowflake Manufacturing Data Cloud offering will be especially valuable to Blue Yonder customers in the automotive, consumer goods, high-tech, semiconductor, life science, and industrial sectors, who can benefit from real-time visibility into the supply chain and factory floor as they seek to navigate disruption and optimize outcomes.

Learn More at ICON 2023
This blog is only meant to offer a preview of this value-added new offering for Blue Yonder customers. To learn more, register for ICON today and get ready to attend Frank Slootman’s keynote presentation. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!