September 12, 2022

Optimising Retail and Supply Chain Processes | A case study of DIH4CPS

With higher demand for online shopping due to the Corona-Crisis, retailers and the supply chain actors have to even more efficiently cope with increasingly customized/individual products and ever shorter delivery times. In the context of the DIH4CPS project, the partners AI4BD, SSF, and TTech will conduct an application experiment that aims at closing the gap between online based retailing with the underlying supply chain processes with the overall objective to reduce all non-value-adding processes.

The Problem

More people than ever are opting to online shopping due to the Corona-Crisis, ordering everything online, from entertainment items to groceries. While large retailing platforms (such as Amazon) could drastically increase their profits during the crises, smaller retailers have more difficulties to take advantage of this trend. In order to compete with large online platforms, SME retailers need to find niche markets and provide unique online-based services to their customers. Offering custom-made products can be a great competitive edge on the online market, but it requires mastering the complexity of distributed supply chains.

The Solution

To exploit the full potential of a custom-made retailing strategy, retailers and supply chain actors have to closely collaborate and seamlessly integrate their business processes. Current online platforms are (1) not seamlessly integrated to the real-world and (2) do not fully cover the complexity of the supply chain. The experiment addresses these shortcomings by (1) using CPS as real-world connectors and (2) introducing cognitive business robotics to cope with the complexity of supply chain optimization (Cognitive ERP).

The experiment will be implemented in the test and experimentation facility of SSF that already offers the required business environment: SSF acts as an online retailer for made-to-order drones that can be customised and ordered via an intuitive online platform. AI4BD will develop an innovative business-scenario to demonstrate the integration of cognitive ERP functionalities into the existing IT systems of retailers and suppliers taking advantage of CPS-enabled interoperability. TTech will set up an easy-to-implement retrofitting-scenario to establish the required level of interoperability to enable cognitive ERP functionalities. The gained knowledge will help TTTech to adapt its edge computing IoT platform into use cases relevant to SMEs, thus unleashing new market potentials.


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