Pitch-In hosted webinar sees leading industry manufacturers explore potential of supply chain digital twin


On 16 April, an online workshop hosted by the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) provided the opportunity for academia and industry to explore how collaboration and future partnerships could maximise the potential value offered by supply chain digital twins.

The workshop, led by Dr Alexandra Brintrup (Pitch-In manufacturing theme lead and Lecturer in Digital Manufacturing Analytics Research Group, IfM, University of Cambridge) and Dr Ani Calinescu (University of Oxford), was an opportunity for the 25 participants from across industry and higher education to discuss whether the promise of supply chain digital twins – to utilise real-time data along the supply chain to monitor operations and conduce ‘what-if’ scenario planning – can deliver value and be operationalised and maintained.

The participatory workshop included insights from leading manufacturers including John Lewis, Unilever, Tesco and Siemens, on the potential benefits of supply chain digital twins and of the challenges faced by both small to medium sized companies and large corporates.

Discussions re-enforced the importance of successful partnerships, and how the main driver for these is the need to demonstrate common values, such as sustainability, health, well- being and ethics.

The workshop forms part of the ‘IoT-based supply chain digital twin to optimise supply chain’ project which is funded by Pitch-In. Pitch-In aims to identify ways to encourage the successful development, introduction and further exploitation of the Internet of Things (IoT).