May 20, 2024

Gartner Roundtable Session Summary

Topic - In the pursuit of industry-leading resilience, the integration of digital twins emerges as a transformative accelerator in driving effective supplier


Gartner Roundtable Session Summary

At the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain XPO, TADA hosted a roundtable where industry leaders gathered to discuss “Supplier Collaboration for Industry-Leading Resiliency.” This article summarizes the key topics and takeaways from that discussion, showing that in the pursuit of industry-leading resilience, the integration of digital twins emerges as a transformative accelerator in driving effective supplier collaboration.

Question: Please enter the company that you work for and industry that you work in?


At our recent Gartner roundtable on the integration of digital twins emerging as a transformative accelerator in driving effective supplier collaboration, we had approximately 11 participants spanning diverse industries including manufacturing, CPG, industrial, retail, and others. This broad representation enriched our discussions, offering unique perspectives on the application and potential of digital twins.

Question: Are you using digital twins for your supply chain?


In terms of current adoption, it was interesting to note that while 2 participants are actively leveraging digital twins for their supply chains, 9 participants have yet to integrate this technology into their operations. This discrepancy sparked insightful conversations regarding the perceived benefits and challenges associated with digital twin implementation.

Question: In which areas have you incorporated Digital Twins into your Supply Chain to enhance supplier collaboration or areas you are considering to implement Digital Twins? (You can pick multiple options)


During our exploration of areas where digital twins could enhance supplier collaboration, several key themes emerged. Participants highlighted seven primary areas of consideration, ranging from scenario planning and real-time supply chain visibility to supplier performance management and collaboration on capacity across short, mid, and long terms. These discussions highlighted the multifaceted nature of digital twin applications within supply chain management.

Question: What challenges did you encounter or anticipate in implementing Digital Twins? (You can pick multiple options)


On the other hand, when delving into challenges associated with implementing digital twins, common hurdles surfaced. These included issues such as data readiness, ROI uncertainty, resource constraints, supplier onboarding and adoption, integration with multiple systems, data privacy and security, as well as the cost to implement and potential budgetary constraints. Recognizing these challenges is crucial for organizations embarking on digital twin initiatives.

Open Discussion Summary

In our open discussion segment, participants explored various capabilities and challenges in greater detail.

Capabilities Discussed in Open Discussion

We discussed capabilities in detail and went round the table and asked where digital twins would be highly effective?

Capabilities discussed encompassed a wide spectrum, from risk mitigation and end-to-end integration to the balance between use cases and value creation, along side concerns regarding risk, resiliency, manufacturing command centers, day-to-day planning, and monitoring performance.

Capabilities discussed:
  • Risk mitigation - Ability to collaborate with suppliers to manage risk mitigation plans.
  • End-to-end integration – Ability to integrate with every system, data source, persona and process in the system.
  • Use cases vs value created – ROI and business case for each use case.
  • Risk and resiliency - Monitor external distress signals and internal operational risks across multi-tier supply base and proactively signal supply chain teams to drive mitigation actions.
  • Manufacturing command center - Optimize production plans based on products and parts available, build with existing inventory and highlight lists, manage capacity, and improve daily KPIs and cadence for collaboration.
  • Day-to-day planning - Compare build plan vs actuals. Week over week schedule changes and unplanned starts/stops.
  • Monitoring performance – Monitor operational performance across various domains(manufacturing, supplier, shipping etc.).

Challenges Discussed in Open Discussion

Equally important were the challenges highlighted during the open discussion, including the complexities of change management, security considerations, and ensuring a tangible return on investment. These candid exchanges provided valuable insights into the practical considerations and potential pitfalls associated with digital twin adoption.

Challenges discussed:
  • Change management – Systematic approach to deal with the transition and transform an organization’s process and technologies.
  • Security – Platform and data security.
  • ROI – Return on investment and business case .

Magic Wand Wishes From the Participants

Finally, when prompted with the question of what they would wish for if given a magic wand, participants expressed a range of desires, including enhanced scenario planning, streamlined production scheduling, optimized supply planning, improved supplier performance, and the creation of a comprehensive, one-stop-shop solution. These aspirations reflect the overarching goal of leveraging digital twins to drive efficiency, agility, and collaboration throughout the supply chain.

Magic wand wishes:
  • Scenario plans - Ability to run scenarios on total cost of ownership, demand, inventory, impact, shipments, service levels etc.
  • Production scheduling - Ability to do day to day and week over week dynamic schedule adjustments and compare build plans vs actual plans.
  • Supply planning - Review reallocated capacity and supply risk gap to demand (units and dollars).
  • Supplier performance - One stop shop for all performance metrics such as cost, delivery, supplier relationship, carbon, capacity, quality etc.
  • Bringing metrics for sourcing strategy - Using metrics such as TCO, market indicators/benchmarks, capacity, cost and RFPs to define sourcing strategies.