Supply Chain Solutions Made Smarter by One of the World’s Top Supply Chains

Rahil Arora, Senior Worldwide Brand Manager
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  • A company’s supply chain plays an essential role in delivering strong customer experience. Even one weak link in the chain can result in delays and order errors.
  • Lenovo manages a highly complex global supply chain that manufactures and delivers more than 100 million Lenovo products to over 180 markets.
  • Lenovo’s smarter supply chain incorporates big data analytics, AI, AR, IoT, 5G, and blockchain.
  • A smarter supply chain can integrate customer data through the entirety of the system with real-time sharing and feedback.
  • Lenovo’s one-stop warehousing solution combines IoT and AI to transform cameras into smart sensors that can understand their physical environments and help reduce errors.
  • Lenovo can build out the infrastructure, from the cameras to the computers to the software making sense of it all. We can be your one-stop partner and are able to scale and customize the tech with in-house expertise.

Exceptional customer experience (CX) is the holy grail of any business today. And it is now a well-established fact that a company’s supply chain plays a pivotal role in delivering a positive customer experience. Even a single weak link in the chain can lead to major breakdowns in the customer experience.

At Lenovo, we manage a highly complex global supply chain network – of 30-plus manufacturing sites and 2,000 suppliers worldwide — that develops and deliver more than 100 million Lenovo products to end-customers, partners and retailers in over 180 markets.

Lenovo is consistently ranked among the world’s top 25 supply chains across industries. And as part of our commitment to CX, we spearheaded a massive transformation of our supply chain operations, with support from innovative technologies, like big data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), internet of things (IoT), 5G and blockchain. We have tried and tested some of our own technology solutions, even more so during the recent global challenges, to successfully build predictability, security, visibility and agility into our supply chain.

Lenovo employee checking racks of PCs in the Whitsett warehouse

We believe a smarter supply chain can transform every link in the connection to find data, insights, and synergies — even during major disruptions. It knows customers’ consumption patterns so deeply that it can predict them and with time, learn to reach the optimum balance of inventories and purchase orders. All of this adds to measurable savings and resource optimization for the company.

A smarter supply chain can access customer data through the entirety of the system with real-time sharing and feedback, reducing redundancy and lag response while achieving more reasonable planning, network layout, and order delivery. The goal is to find and prevent quality problems before they happen by looking forward. In all, this targeted foresight achieves a substantial reduction in the after-sales costs of the entire chain.

We’ve transmuted our learnings directly into smarter supply chain solutions — to the ultimate benefit of our customers. An example is the one-stop Lenovo smart warehousing solution, called the Digital Distribution Center (DDC).

Most warehouses were designed to enable companies to ship large orders to physical stores — not the high volumes of small packages they are expected to ship to consumers’ homes today, in a fraction of the time. In a traditional warehouse, the probability of errors and delays in fulfilling such orders is high.

The Lenovo DDC solution comprises smart cameras, smart feedback lights and a gateway with a device management solution that integrates seamlessly to a customer’s back office systems, regardless of edge, cloud or hybrid environments. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft and NVIDIA, the solution uses multi-video stream analytics with AI and machine learning inferencing to detect, track, and validate packages, find missing products on a shelf or identify damaged goods in real-time. It is able to self-learn, optimize, and scale. Additional releases are expected to include geofencing alerts, palletization, depalletization, and last-mile sorting.

Automated package scanning in Whitsett

Lenovo can design and construct the entire infrastructure — from cameras to computers to software — and create a cohesive ecosystem throughout. We are able to scale and customize our one-stop solution with in-house expertise. Our track record of enterprise-scale success makes us reliable in a young industry.

Our smarter supply chain solutions can empower your business to innovate its customer experience from the inside out, making your company more agile and proactive, and wowing customers in the process. A smarter supply network means fewer errors, disruptions, and greater efficiency so your products get to where they need to be, come what may.

Read more: Taking supply chain excellence to the next level with blockchain.

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