The Connected Supply Chain comes to Life!

25 May, 2017 by Patrick Parfrey | IoTConnected Supply Chain

After months of hard work, lively debates, early mornings fuelled by caffeine and late nights fuelled by pizza, the final touches to the Connected Supply Chain experience have been made. This immersive experience follows the story of a coffee cherry, from bean to cup, and highlights how existing and emerging technologies are disrupting traditionally linear supply chains and business models. It provides an in-depth look at each stage of the supply chain and showcases the power of sharing relevant data between parties, helping each other to optimise processes and decrease risks.
The Connected Supply Chain comes to Life!

Initial inspiration behind this experience came from a most credible place, a client conversation. Our client, a major global retailer, was wondering how they could continue to compete with the industry leader. It is a question we get asked quite often across industries at Deloitte, so we decided to build something that we could ‘show, not tell’. The initial designs were finalised in November 2016 and a cross consulting wide team, led by our firm wide IoT Shed team, came together to draw on a plethora of skills and knowledge.

The Connected Supply Chain experience is an industry agnostic demonstrator that every business can relate to. Each stage of the supply chain is represented by a small physical white pod, complete with LEGO models, emerging technologies (Such as Hololens, 3D printing and Augmented Reality) and relevant sounds and smells that are emitted once the pod is connected. Associated dashboards on TV Screens and iPads also begin to populate, showcasing the power of connecting assets, processes and people. Display boards outlining some of the key challenges and statistics impacting that section of the supply chain accompany the pods and are used, in addition to some industry leading case studies, to fuel discussion between the core team and visitors.

Upon completing a Minimal Viable Product we then held some internal sessions, gathering feedback and iterating the experience and how it is delivered, before a final presentation to our U.K. Consulting Partners. Our first client sessions took place on May 17th and it was warmly received by a variety of key clients across a number of industries. They discussed some of the biggest supply chain challenges and where opportunities might exist. When I hear about the complexity of these challenges it is clear why Deloitte is continuing to lead the market – the breadth of our capabilities coupled with deep industry expertise enable us to deliver outstanding end to end solutions for our clients.

A final note on my role throughout the process for any graduates or those with an interest in the Internet of Things or Supply Chain. While I was involved from the concept and design phase, the vision was primarily shaped by our leadership team. I then worked closely with one of our Strategy and Operations consultants, Nils Van De Winkel, to shape the narrative and content of the journey and understand how we could best weave in various emerging technologies that impact the various stages of the supply chain. We identified some of the pain points being experienced by our clients and some industry leading examples of how technologies and data are being utilised to increase efficiencies. It was a thoroughly enjoyable project working with a variety of colleagues from across our consulting practice, including Deloitte Digital. Going forward, I will be involved in iterating the experience based on client feedback and will also be part of the team delivering and supporting the experience during sessions. 

If you would like to know more, or would like to invite a client to our next session, please get in touch with Patrick Parfrey or email