Nucleus Research recently published its Control Tower Technology Value Matrix 2023, which provides an overview of the current market for control tower solutions, while also assessing the software providers in this space. Blue Yonder was named a Leader in this year’s Nucleus report, based on an evaluation of its control tower capabilities — which are designed to support visibility, collaboration and network optimization.

Once a standalone product, today Blue Yonder’s control tower capabilities are delivered as a core element of Luminate® Platform. This central platform enables customers to create a living, fluid supply chain ecosystem as they synchronize their solutions across planning, execution, labor, e-commerce, and delivery to optimize their end-to-end business and workforce seamlessly.

This new delivery model for Blue Yonder’s control tower capabilities helps customers gain end-to-end visibility of their supply chains for faster, more accurate and informed decision-making. Embedding control tower capabilities in Luminate Platform also provides collaboration services across business processes to ensure timely resolutions for supply chain disruptions — no matter where they originate in the network.

In his analysis of Blue Yonder’s capabilities, author Isaac Gould wrote, “Blue Yonder’s [control tower] solution provides organizations with a centralized supply chain view. This holistic view helps organizations visualize the entire flow of goods from suppliers to customers and facilitates the generation of actionable insights by connecting internal, partner, and third-party data streams into a unified data set…It empowers users to monitor conditions across the network in near real-time, automatically alert them when disruptions occur, exchange perspectives and feedback with internal and external counterparts to accelerate time to resolution.”

Reimagining the Control Tower Experience

In addition to evaluating current solutions, the Nucleus Control Tower Technology Value Matrix looks at broad industry trends. This year’s report calls control tower capabilities “a vital component of supply chain management and a competitive differentiator for organizations that must manage increasing complexity, disruptions, and costs. Control Tower solutions help organizations control costs by providing early detection of disruptions and resolutions that balance service levels, risk, margins, and emissions.”

This echoes what we hear from our customers every day. As supply chains continue to weather unexpected disruptions such as inflation, demand and supply volatility, natural disasters, and geo-political conflicts, companies need the ability to quickly align upstream and downstream activities to prevent inventory shortages, outages and delayed orders.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Why? Supply chain planning and execution processes today are siloed and reactive, resulting in a slow response — as well as ill-considered resolutions that create excess waste and costs. Disruption management is also hindered by disjointed and disparate data, a lack of visibility across point solutions, and the inherent challenges of sharing information inside and outside the organization.

As disruptions become more challenging and acute, the original requirements for control towers are evolving. Blue Yonder is leading that evolution, by reimagining the control tower experience. Moving forward, we’re making control tower capabilities much broader and easier to access, by delivering them as a next-gen Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) embedded in the flexible, cloud-native Luminate Platform.

As the Nucleus report highlighted, the reimagination of control tower is just one element of Blue Yonder’s $1 billion investment in product innovations over the next three years across its portfolio of products. This investment will re-platform all of Blue Yonder’s supply chain capabilities onto a cloud-native, low-code platform that will host all its next-generation cognitive solutions. Blue Yonder is also building applications natively on top of Microsoft Azure, utilizing the Snowflake Data Cloud — which will eliminate data silos, simplify data management, and support inter- and intra-corporation data sharing. Moving forward, Blue Yonder’s control tower capabilities can be simply and seamlessly deployed across all Blue Yonder planning and execution solutions, leveraging a single source of truth, empowering customers to predict, pivot and execute with greater speed, scale and agility than ever before.

Enabling Three Core Competencies for Disruption Management

Blue Yonder’s new Platform-based approach to control tower enables three core competencies that companies need as they navigate today’s volatile business landscape:

  • End-to-end visibility. Blue Yonder helps customers visualize the end-to-end flow of goods across suppliers, factories, distribution centers, distributors, sales channels, and customers. Blue Yonder’s single data model creates more accurate views that capture real-world, real-time market conditions. While other vendors claim to support a holistic view, it’s typically achieved by stitching together capabilities that leaves gaps in visibility. In contrast, Blue Yonder offers seamless visibility empowering customers to pivot quickly and confidently.
  • End-to-end collaboration. Today’s complex supply chains involve dozens of partners, organized into multiple tiers. Effective disruption management requires companies to collaborate and exchange data with these partners in real time. Blue Yonder’s platform-based approach facilitates that level of collaboration. When a potential disruption is identified, Blue Yonder brings supply chain stakeholders together in a virtual situation room to review alternatives and work together to ensure on-time delivery and optimized profitability. A specialized Blue Yonder capability, Risk Manager, gathers data from internal and external sources, identifies threats and vulnerabilities, assigns a severity score and communicates meaningful events across the partner network.
  • Network optimization. Achieving end-to-end visibility helps improve responsiveness and collaboration across the entire network. But it also helps companies optimize that network — for example, by strategically building a supplier base, identifying cost-saving opportunities, and simplifying the onboarding process for new suppliers like transportation carriers. Blue Yonder customers work with carriers around the world, and Blue Yonder’s new platform-based approach will enable every customer to interact with all these carriers via a single connection to Luminate Platform. It’s just one example of how Blue Yonder is driving end-to-end orchestration and synchronization through its reimagined control tower experience.

Welcome to the Next Age of Control Towers

During the sudden, intense disruptions of the past few years — from the pandemic to port closures and the Suez Canal blockage — control towers, delivered as point solutions, proved their value. Now that we have a collective moment to breathe, it’s time to ask ourselves, “Where do control towers go from here?” 

This year’s Nucleus Control Tower Technology Value Matrix highlights the need for control tower solutions to be more wide-reaching and end-to-end in nature, in order to deliver the greatest possible value: “Comprehensive control towers that monitor supply chains from multi-tier suppliers to last-mile delivery help organizations make decisions that account for the various aspects of the supply chain, helping businesses avoid operational silos and collaborate directly with their trading partners. Furthermore, control towers deliver analytics to identify network design optimization opportunities as the system models upstream and downstream impacts to alternative routes, product mix, and supplier options.” 

This aligns perfectly with Blue Yonder’s own perspective as we reimagine the control tower experience and evolve our capabilities. By transforming our control tower capabilities to a platform-based offering, our goal is to create end-to-end visibility of your supply chain for faster, more accurate and more informed decision-making. By adjusting demand and supply on the fly — based on real-time, end-to-end data — you can ensure that all your supply chain decisions are both strategic and profitable.

Check out the Nucleus Control Tower Technology Value Matrix 2023 and learn more about Blue Yonder’s capabilities: