digital supply chain > Dassault Systèmes

Digital supply chains connect suppliers and clients, maximizing value

More transparency facilitates better, more accurate and more effective work. For tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers, the cloud is the key to unlocking this value.

Supply chains around the world are scrambling to adapt to a new normal. According to IDC, for example, 82% of manufacturers in Europe expect supply chain disruptions to significantly affect them; for a majority (54%) the biggest supply chain gap is collaboration with suppliers. 

How can these suppliers – whether tier 1 or tier 2 – bridge that gap and continue to operate their businesses effectively? 

While tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers differ in the specifics of their day-to-day businesses and customer types, their overall issue remains the same: the need to keep their clients abreast of developments in their operations that might, in turn, affect their clients. If they can do this, they can build and operate more resilient supply chains where agility becomes engrained into every process, while strengthening the bonds of trust with their customers. 

Cloud-based supply chain integration provides a continuous digital connection that allows information to flow across the value chain, helping stakeholders effortlessly collaborate to create more resilient, adaptive systems. 

Being part of a connected ecosystem enabled by the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform allows tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers to collaborate with their OEM customers and each other in a shared environment, speaking the same language, using the same tools, and developing shared solutions. Whether a designer works for a supplier or for the OEM, they can import their work onto the platform, and then collaboratively reveal, analyze and develop follow-up design processes and iterations with their partners in real-time. 

For A. Zahner Company, a Kansas City-based sheet metal fabrication expert, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s collaborative solution was crucial in helping them work closely with other contractors to design and execute a complex and ambitious facade made of swirling structure of stainless steel ribbons for the Chrysalis Amphitheatre in Merriweather Park, Maryland. 

Although Zahner was contracted by the project’s architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), they had to work closely with the project’s general contractor, who was performing the site work and laying the initial concrete pad. Coordination was therefore critical, as Zahner had to demonstrate to the contractor exactly how the complex ribbons were designed to fit together, including the precise location and order in which each piece needed to be installed.

Through a simple tab in the 3DEXPERIENCE dashboard, Zahner easily shared its detailed designs and coordinated the concrete-embed locations with the general contractor in real time. It also allowed them to communicate their own experience of the project with the on-site teams. 

“We’re giving access to the owner and architect, to let them know where we are and how things are moving forward, because design is a tricky process – it’s not always linear and straightforward,” said Shannon Cole, senior project engineer at Zahner. “Decisions that seem relatively small can have big impact, so transparency helps people see why you’re agonizing over, for example, a single clip and why it’s important to you.”

Thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, complex exchanges between multiple stakeholders took place in a shared and collaborative environment, where problems could be identified and solutions developed. 

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