AWS Supply Chain lets cloud customers wield Amazon’s logistics power

Talk about rings of power. Amazon Web Services (AWS) debuted a new Supply Chain application which will allow cloud customers to visualize their operational data in real-time to spot risks and react accordingly. And it all starts with location health status rings displayed on a map.

Speaking at the company’s annual re:Invent conference on Tuesday, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky said many cloud customers have been begging the company to let them tap into the logistics expertise has developed for its retail operation over the years. Thus, AWS Supply Chain was born.

“Businesses need to plan for supply chain disruptions, respond rapidly to ensure the right levels of inventory are available and keep costs manageable,” he said. “Even when you have identified the most impactful problems, you still need to figure out the best actions to take to solve issues, like rebalancing your inventory quickly.” And today, that means phone calls and emails to different locations to get a handle on where inventory is available.

AWS Supply Chain, however, integrates data from various sources to give companies a holistic view of their supply chain operations. A quick overview is available via a map, which displays the supply chain health of each company location in the form of a colored ring. When clicked, the rings allow companies to dig down into a given location’s data. Via the application’s main dashboard, companies can set product alerts, use machine learning to predict lead times, view potential risks flagged by the system and see recommended options for inventory rebalancing which are ranked based on risk reduction potential.

Strategy, consulting and operations company Accenture will be among the first to use AWS Supply Chain. Kris Timmermans, Accenture’s global supply chain and operations lead, said in a statement it will leverage the application for its “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.”

For now, AWS Supply Chain is only available in preview in the U.S. East (N. Virginia), U.S. West (Oregon) and Europe (Frankfurt) regions. But Amazon is planning to make it available in additional locations soon. And Selipsky noted “we’re going to continue to invest here and work to solve your hardest supply chain problems.”