“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”
The words come from a 1624 meditative prose work, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, by the English poet John Donne. His sentiment about the human condition applies equally to the modern corporation: no longer company-centric, an island unto itself, but a network of value providers ringing the globe in an orchestrated effort to design, produce and deliver products.
Like any orchestra, the value network needs a venue to perform. In business, today’s venue of choice is a single, unified, digital collaboration platform. This is the virtual space where every “instrument” in the orchestra plays its assigned part in the symphony of design, analysis, simulation, production, supply chain and analytics that goes into the finished work—a product that will fill a customer need, and provide a captivating experience.
The digital collaboration platform is both venue and conductor, a place where the firm developing the product posts the models, specifications and individual duties of each supplier in the ensemble. The platform is increasingly hosted in the cloud, to simplify ease of access for network participants, and ensure that everyone is dealing with a single source of truth, constantly updated to reflect the current status of the overall product development effort.
The digital collaboration platform on the cloud also provides a sandbox for innovation, where each node in the network can not only execute to task, but also put forward ideas, initiatives and innovations that enhance the product or the product development process.
The cloud is also a repository for advanced applications that can be accessed by members of the value network that might be unable or unwilling to own and maintain those apps themselves. One example is machine learning, which can unscramble the data coming in from the value network nodes to find information and patterns that no individual network participant could possibly uncover on their own. These insights, predictions and suggestions—sometimes autonomously taken actions—can aid in the constantly refreshed work-in-progress that is the Digital Twin, to improve the product design, the processes needed to produce it, and the supply chain puzzle of how to anticipate and fulfill demand.
When a unified, digital collaborative platform orchestrates a value network, it also enables a Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach to product development. Model-Based Systems Engineering lets value network teams work simultaneously on the simulated model of the product. This can be utilized by the core product development team and shared—with appropriate governance and authorizations—with network suppliers that have particular domain expertise. The goal is speed and accuracy: move quickly, find problems, fix them.
The successful orchestration of a value network is one of the central pillars of success in the modern globalized economy. And the digital collaboration platform is both the rehearsal studio and final stage for the network’s product performance which, when properly orchestrated, will delight your audience of customers.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about digital collaboration platforms and fueling innovation by registering for Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey. Our series of online, on-demand episodes deliver thought leadership, actionable content from industry influencers, Dassault Systemes experts, and customers who have implemented 3DEXPERIENCE to meet today’s manufacturing challenges.
Episode 1 is now available on demand. Check out the session agendas, and register to watch anytime, anywhere.
We’ll continue to add new episodes to 3DEXPERIENCE: A Virtual Journey during 2020. The full schedule is below:
- July 29th: Episode 1, Manufacturing and Supply Chain.
- August 26th: Episode 2, Fueling Innovation in the New Agile Enterprise.
- September 23rd: Episode 3, Modeling & Simulation.
- October 14th: Episode 4, Enabling Business Continuity Via the Cloud.