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Amazon’s cloud services platform pilots hosted supply chain solution

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Amazon Web Services is rolling out a new supply chain service.

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit of Amazon is previewing an application designed to increase supply chain visibility.

The e-tail colossus is releasing AWS Supply Chain, a solution that automatically combines and analyzes data across multiple supply chain systems. As a result, Amazon intends for users to be able to observe their operations in real-time, find trends more quickly, and generate more accurate demand forecasts that ensure adequate inventory to meet customer expectations.

Users are enabled to set up a unified supply chain data lake using AWS Supply Chain’s built-in connectors, which use pre-trained machine learning models based on Amazon’s supply chain experience, to help understand, extract, and aggregate data from ERP and supply chain management systems.

AWS Supply Chain then contextualizes that information in a real-time visual map highlighting current inventory selection and quantity at each location, so users can create watchlists to receive alerts of as risks. Once a risk is identified, AWS Supply Chain will automatically provide recommended actions, such as moving inventory between locations, based on factors such as the percentage of risk resolved, the distance between facilities, and sustainability impact.

[Read more: Resolving excess inventory over the holiday season—and beyond]

The solution also offers built-in chat and messaging functionality. Amazon developed AWS Supply Chain in partnership with Accenture AWS Business Group. One beta user of AWS Supply Chain is Whole Foods, the Amazon-owned natural and organic grocery chain.

“We wanted a better view of when new inventory would arrive at our distribution centers nationwide,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer and senior vice president at Whole Foods Market. “AWS Supply Chain combined data from our existing systems without disrupting them. AWS Supply Chain’s visual map then made it easy to see product-level inventory movement in real time. We expect AWS Supply Chain’s integrated view and predictive planning analytics to materially improve inventory management at our distribution centers.”

AWS Supply Chain is available in preview in Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Frankfurt, Germany, with availability in additional markets coming soon.

“Customers tell us that the undifferentiated heavy lifting required in connecting data between different supply chain solutions has inhibited their ability to quickly see and respond to potential supply chain disruptions,” said Diego Pantoja-Navajas, VP of AWS Supply Chain. “AWS Supply Chain aggregates this data and provides visual, interactive dashboards that provide the insights and recommendations customers need to take actions toward more resilient supply chains. And this is just the beginning—we will continue our investment in AWS Supply Chain to help our customers solve their toughest supply chain problems.”

“As supply chain disruptions continue for the foreseeable future, companies need to stay focused on balancing cost efficiency, sustainability and relevancy across their supply networks to support growth. Executing a cloud-based digital strategy can enable an agile, resilient supply chain that is responsive to market changes and customer demands,” said Kris Timmermans, global supply chain & operations lead at Accenture. “We will leverage AWS Supply Chain across our supply chain offerings, including our SynOps platform, to bring pre-built solutions that allow companies to move at speed, delivering automation into complex processes to realize value faster.”

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