Optimizing, Automating and Managing High Tech Supply Chains

The high tech industry has traditionally been a leader in optimizing supply chain performance, but changes in products and channels are driving the need for new solutions. We explain how multiparty networks can automate and optimize the continuous alignment of supply, logistics, demand, and service networks to dramatically lower IT and operations costs, as well as risk for entire trading partner business networks.

Optimizing High Tech MultiParty Business Networks

One Network Enterprises (ONE) provides a cloud multiparty business network platform with multiparty network control tower applications and services tailored for the High Tech Industry. The high tech industry has been a leader in optimizing supply chain performance but changes in the types and capabilities of high tech products is driving the need for new types of solutions that span a continuum across supply, logistics and product as a service networks. One Network’s NEO platform provides innovative multiparty shared network solutions focused on automating the continuous alignment of supply, logistics, demand and service networks to dramatically lower IT and operations costs, time to value and risk for entire trading partner business networks:

  • Shared solution, shared costs, shared reward
  • Shared business networks – supplier, customer and carrier networks
  • Rapid low risk deployment
  • Highly extensible

The NEO Platform provides fit for purpose solutions for key high tech industry challenges and opportunities including:

  • Rapid evolution of products and features
  • 80% service levels & supply measured in weeks versus days
  • High speed same day and next day product delivery
  • Rapid product repair and proactive repair services
  • Optimizing and aligning both the supply and post sales service networks for new smart connected devices
  • Increased dependencies between supply chain entities and increased number of participating entities
  • Rapid mercurial changes in the extended supply chain network and increased NPI rates
  • Meet in field product service level commitments – monitor device in field performance to drive performance tuning, predictive maintenance, software updates, part replacement, service and warranty processes
  • Security – block counterfeit products and unsecure components from entering the supply chain, protect every endpoint at the production and sourcing level, especially for next-generation smart, connected products

One Network’s multienterprise control tower solutions are focused on optimizing your entire trading partner network, delivering value, services and capabilities for all network participants (suppliers, carriers, channel partners and end customers) and aligning all parties to improve the following KPIs.

  1. On time in full (OTIF) performance outbound to customers and inbound from suppliers
  2. Forecast accuracy at all levels and sites (internal and external) in the network
  3. High speed same day and next day delivery on dynamic micro logistics networks
  4. Reduce inventory risk and improve supply reliability
  5. Improve service levels, reduce inventory excess and obsolescence, improve in store/channel, in stock performance
  6. Enable and improve in field product service optimization and sustenance
  7. Coordinate service and maintenance teams for “product as a service” performance optimization
  8. Decrease frequency and cost of expediting
  9. Reduce global and domestic transportation costs and improve pickup and delivery reliability
  10. Improve product quality and compliance
  11. Reduce risk of unauthorized components from entering the supply chain – eliminate counterfeit leakage
  12. Improve productivity by automating tactical planning and execution decisions

The NEO Platform services and modules are built on industry tuned cores that are designed to embrace high tech industry specific nuances across workflows, algorithms, machine learning, planning, transaction flows, data models, alerting, KPIs, and reports. The NEO Platform is a full aPaaS platform with multiparty enabled development tools and over 950 public APIs that allow IT and 3rd parties to tailor existing, or build new sophisticated, network applications.

One Network’s platform and solutions are transforming industries and using the vast amount of network data across different industries to train AI and ML agents to make and execute automated decisions and coordinate multiple parties on a single shared version of the truth (SSVOT) on private scalable multiparty ledgers.

One Network has been recognized as a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks. We are also rated as the Leader by Nucleus Research in Control Tower solutions, and have been ranked as a leader every year since the report’s inception in 2016.

Top Tier Consumer Electronics Supplier Case Study

  • Company: Supplier – Top Tier Global Consumer Electronics Supplier
  • Company: Retailer – Top Tier Consumer Electronics Retailer
  • Scope: USA Retail Stores, USA DCs, Global Manufacturing Sites, Domestic and Global


  • Improved Store & DC Forecast Accuracy by 5% to 12%
  • Improved Service Levels by 8 to 10 percentage points
  • Reduced Store and DC Inventory Levels by over 50%
  • Improved Sell Through – 4 to 6% revenue increase
  • Improved Productivity – 100% Autonomous – no manual effort required by retailer or supplier

Connect and Collaborate with Your Supply Network with a Few Clicks

One Network provides a unique multiparty network platform that allows companies to make instant virtual connections on the network. Companies join the network and manage one company node instance regardless of the number or types of partner connections. Once on the network companies can search, invite and virtually connect to other companies on the network using the ONE permissions model to control the partner relationships in terms of shared visibility, collaboration, execution and collaborative planning. Master data is mapped and cross referenced automatically when connections are made between parties.

In addition, parties can create micro communities between multiple companies to optimize network dimensions that involve those parties. Network hub instances can choose to share application capabilities and data with their partners.

The NEO Platform is designed to allow each party to create communities quickly using trusted connections with both trusted and “un-trusted” partners with precise and malleable control over information sharing. Network partnerships must be accepted by all parties entering into a bilateral or multiparty micro-network community. Partnerships are categorized and created in the context of business processes such as any combination of visibility, shared planning or shared execution (workflows, order management, and process controls) including demand planning (promotions, events, forecasting, marketing collateral distribution), POS visibility, order management, fulfillment, transportation planning, delivery, supply planning, replenishment, inventory, allocation, production, chain of custody, recall, returns, procurement, invoicing, and claims. Types of partnerships can be tailored and customized using the NEO Platform’s SDK.

“Orders are automatically fed into our system upon receipt. We don’t have to ask someone to create a sales order manually. The system has increased efficiency for us, as well as for our customers.”

– Director of Supply Chain Solutions, Electronics Manufacturer

Multiparty Permissions Control All Dimensions of the Platform

The NEO Platform and network functions are all controlled with patented multiparty permissions algorithms. These algorithms control everything from the development tools on the aPaaS layer to how data is stored to workflow branching to the GUI and cloud to cloud, cloud to mobile and cloud to internal IT network data transfers, data mapping. Geo-permissions and permissions also apply to physical models such as Network BOMs, physical supply chain entities (sites, lanes, ports, and more). This allows multiple parties to maintain the segments of master data that represent the real world such as Network BOMs, supply and logistics models, catalogs, capacities, stores, store areas, warehouse sites, warehouse bays, production sites, and production lines.

A Multiparty Master Data Model is Foundational to the Network

The permissions model applies to both the community master data and connectivity and cross referencing across model dimensions. Companies map their master data into the ONE Platform’s data model’s one time (with incremental bidirectional synchronization as needed). When partnerships are created or activities between parties are in motion the platform dynamically maps the master data between each party’s models to enable each party to see the world through their master data perspective. Compare this with the legacy point to point, costly and error prone, mapping required for legacy B2B solutions.

This capability is invaluable for efficiently enabling large, fast-changing business networks. For example, if you have 1000’s of customers, channels and 3rd party retail and online sales outlets and you desire forecast and sales visibility, or some form of shared planning and execution capability, it is not practical to cross reference, pair by pair, each parties master part, catalog, packaging data into your companies model. Instead, the NEO Platform uses a standard on boarding process that each party goes through, which includes tools for each party to map and load their models to the platform’s canonical models. Once this is done the cross referencing and mapping is performed automatically and continuously based on the types of partnerships are established between the parties on the network.

Intelligent Control Towers for Supply Chain Business Networks

We typically talk about four levels:

  1. Visibility
  2. Alerts and Reporting
  3. Predictive Analytics
  4. Autonomous and Prescriptive

Operating across any combination or slice of:

  1. Multi Tier Inbound Supply Networks
  2. Multi Tier Outbound Distribution Networks
  3. Product-as-a-Service Networks
  4. Inbound + Outbound + Service Networks

Each control tower layer builds on the previous layers providing a transformational path to automation and dramatic improvements in network performance. Each control tower layer is designed to be used by multiple companies and operate across any number of internal IT systems across each company on the network.

Asset Tracking, Chain of Custody, Track and Trace in High Tech Supply Chains

Detailed lifecycle tracking of assets from manufacturing through configuration, service and returns is becoming more important as configure to order and in field services become important growth areas. Asset tracking includes serialized asset tracking, asset BOM, associated accessories, associated documents, hardware tracking with associated installed software and configurations, asset usage, performance and service history. As assets flow through the production, transportation and distribution networks all key events, transactions, order and shipment associations, environmental conditions (such as vibration, humidity, orientation, and temperature), custody transfers, ownership transfers, proof of delivery, physical locations, packaging are tracked with supporting traceability, alerting and recall services.

Simultaneous Optimization of Supply, Logistics and Service Business Networks

The NEO Platform is designed to optimize processes that span companies and supply, logistics and service (product as a service) networks unlocking tremendous value. The solutions bring continuity, alignment and optimization between traditionally silo – one company at a time solutions and processes.

Planning and AI agents run in parallel directly on transaction streams across corporate boundaries enabling fast response to unexpected conditions and to automate everyday decisions that drive continuous improvements. This allows different types of agents to make or recommend decisions and, in near real time, create or modify transactions and objects across any combination of parties tied into the network.

Consumer Driven Distribution and Sales Networks

Customers and channel partners can permit Brand/OEM partner access to OEM product sales orders/POS, replenishment orders, inventory and forecast visibility. Customer and OEMs can engage in shared demand and replenishment planning and share forecast scenarios. Autonomous AI agents continuously sense and learn sales and replenishment patterns and tune forecasts (DC forecasts, store/site forecasts, regional and product group aggregate forecasts) (hour to hour, day to day) considering customer, channel and OEM promotions and events as well as detect and predict store/site and store/site cluster sales patterns.

Customer and OEM sales (or consumption) predictions are directed by machine learning driven correlation of demand patterns with external environmental information including weather and foot traffic patterns.

OEMs can permit customers and channel partners access to order status, delivery status, order commitments, forecast commitments and delivery ETAs, alerts, predicted late supply, late deliveries, stock out predictions and associated issue mitigation case status and resolution strategy.

Channel partners collaborate with the Brand/OEM and their customers to approve or adjust shared planning and execution decisions regarding demand forecasting, promotional events, inventory service levels, replenishment plans, order fulfillment and delivery commitments along with carrier transportation timing. Hybrid fulfillment models are supported, including: DC to Store, DC to Customer, Supplier to Store/Customer.

Replenishment and inventory agents continuously adjust replenishment orders to ensure orders are fulfilled on time and to ensure that inventory is positioned optimally across the network. Inventory and replenishment agents make decisions on where and how much inventory should be stocked at each inventory buffer across internal, VMI and consigned inventory stocking points. Replenishment agents can also remove the need for customers and channel partners to create orders by leveraging predicted consumption, sales, and pickup/delivery schedules to automatically create store and channel orders.

Replenishment, inventory and order fulfillment planning agents consider projected in bound supply, carrier pickup and delivery schedules or available fleet capacity (captive and/or on demand) on the network to ensure feasible delivery commitments. Inventory levels are adjusted based on service levels, real transportation times, carrier appointment schedules, and service level targets. Alternatively, stocking levels and order fulfillment times are optimized based on flexible delivery scheduling based on real time carrier availability and fleet capacity. Carriers see real time changes to order commitments, scheduled pickup and delivery times, and recommended loading instructions. Carriers can also collaborate via soft appointment scheduling which in turn is reflected in adjusted order fulfillment and delivery timing.

Demand Driven Autonomous Logistics Control Towers

The platform includes network logistics control tower capabilities enabling first mile to last mile transportation control, orchestration, automation and optimization. The logistics control tower includes the network’s thousands of domestic and global carriers operating on the Global Logistics Gateway. Automation and optimization planning and execution digital agents coordinate all parties (global and domestic carriers, port operations, 3PL/4PLs, warehouse operations) across all transport modes (truck, sea, air, and rail). Logistics control tower capabilities can be activated with other types of control tower capabilities. Please refer to the “Logistics Control Tower” white paper for further details.

Consumer Demand Driven Supply & Production Networks

Customer demand is continuously translated across each tier and site in the network providing real time visibility shaped by real consumer demand for each site on the network. Demand propagation across the supply network considers the current end customer demand forecast, inventory, production schedules, in transit supply, supply commitments, Network BOMs, NPI, carrier pickup and delivery schedules, and the transportation network between sites. This provides each site (across N-Tiers) with accurate real time demand visibility, as permitted by the network relationships each party has agreed to, at each site, upstream and downstream to the end customer.

Supply planning agents generate procurement orders, order forecasts and production plans constrained by time-phased site manufacturing equipment and line constraints, Network BOM/Supply Chain model constraints, time-phased capacity contract parameters, manufacturing throughput and process times, site to site transportation capacity, carrier pickup and delivery schedules, actual site to site transport times, lane capacity, material component availability constraints. Digital learning, planning and execution (called NEO agents) consider purchase orders, order commitments, transport orders, production orders, replenishment orders, carrier capacity, and carrier pickup and delivery schedules. Supply and manufacturing partners can use the same shared applications and shared SVOT to collaboratively plan and override agent-generated order and forecast commit dates, production order schedules, procurement order schedules, shipping schedules, and more.

Constrained site supply plans are continuously matched to site demand. Demand plans and orders are used to generate pull signals to direct the propagation of supply through the network to the best warehouse/DC and post postponement buffer locations down to the end customer sites. Channel allocation can be used to reserve and direct supply to regions of the network. Allocated supply is in turn used to promise order deliveries to customers and channel partners.

Autonomous Intelligent Agents Help Optimize and Automate the High Tech Supply Chain

NEO execution agents continually monitor plans (demand, supply, transportation, service) create and adjust execution orders, plans and schedules to direct all parties to achieve the target plans including order fulfillment commitments, production, procurement, allocation, inventory staging and rebalancing, domestic and global transportation, device service and maintenance schedules.

NEO replenishment agents monitor demand, carrier pickup and delivery schedules, inbound and outbound supply, projected stock outs, inventory buffers to automatically generate optimal replenishment orders between sites anywhere in the network including to customer sites. A range of replenishment and inventory policies can be defined by individual inventory buffer.

NEO learning agents monitor inbound and outbound supply plans, forecasts, pickup and delivery history, actual transportation timing, lead time variances, demand variances, to recommend or continuously adjust replenishment and inventory policies and policy parameters.

Continuous multi tier tactical planning and automated execution agents automatically create and adjust procurement and production orders, transportation orders, shipping and loading Instructions, pickup and delivery carrier appointments.

NEO planning agents continuously monitor execution streams in real time to adjust plans and respond to changing conditions including predicted weather impacts on site capacity and transport lanes, missed shipments, delayed production, cancelled orders, unexpected demand fluctuations, and other possible problems and sources of disruption.

Examples of the types of automated decisions NEO agents make or recommend for approval before execution are:

  1. When, how much and where to procure or make product
  2. Predictive detection and pro-active mitigation of stock outs, late supply, supply delays, plan to actual deviations, cost overruns, revenue shortfall
  3. Cancel, change and create transport, replenishment, procurement, production orders directly with partners on the network, to execute agent decisions immediately.
  4. Decide how (transport lane, mode) and when to move product from site to site
  5. Scheduled movement of products from site to site directly with carriers
  6. Pickup and delivery aware last minute allocation of supply to site or store orders in cases of supply shortage
  7. Automated creation of cancelation of transport orders to carriers to align transport with order commitments and inventory positioning
  8. Proactive detection of environmental impact (weather, traffic) on supply, demand and transport
  9. Proactive response to environmental impacts via reshaping supply movement, allocation, stocking and distribution.
  10. Automated order expediting, aggregation, consolidation
  11. In field product performance monitoring with device service scheduling, part procurement and delivery and service coordination

“The Real Time Value Network went live in three months. Migrating customers from the old platform to the new platform was easy because the system is web-based, and almost all of the implementation is done remotely.”

CM / EMS Perspectives on Supply and Demand

Contract Manufacturers (CM) and Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) providers can be provided with real time visibility into site capacity and material constrained translation of customer or consumer demand (forecast and orders) for each site as well as upstream component inbound supply with accurate ETAs to each factory. Brand owners have clear visibility into production status, production capacities, production schedules, Tier 2 component inventory, Tier 3 materials, projected inventory and inbound supply. Brand, CM and EMS planners can deploy NEO agents to automate processes such as supply allocation, factory forecast commits, factory order promising, order prioritization, inventory optimization, and carrier pickup appointment scheduling to orchestrate factory to port or factory to warehouse movements.

The NEO Platform also provides 3rd party embedded network services for factory lot tracking, optimized factory master planning and scheduling, detailed sequencing and scheduling, real time shop floor sequencing and scheduling. CMs and EMS providers gain visibility into their performance KPIs, improvement trajectories and network performance KPIs.

Users and Autonomous Agents Collaborate to Optimize Shared and Internal Decisions

All decisions made by NEO autonomous agents are tracked and visible with full transparency to the reasons behind each decision. Users can control which types of decisions (and on what subnets) are executed automatically, and which require user approval before being executed on the network. Sample workbenches include:

  1. Buyer/Procurement Workbench
  2. Seller/Distribution Workbench
  3. Transportation Planning and Execution Workbench
  4. Supply/Demand planning and Allocation Workbench
  5. User configurable workbenches allow merging of capabilities across roles and networks

In summary, the NEO Platform is designed to simultaneously optimize and automate business networks and enterprise processes delivering optimal value to all parties participating on the network.