What could the Future Supply Network look like?

Future Supply Network

A look into the networked world of tomorrow

The increasing globalization of supply networks and simultaneous reduction of inventories is leading to an increasing dependence on suppliers and service providers along the supply chain. In order to be able to react in time to unforeseen process deviations, transparency in the supply network is one of the key factors and makes a decisive contribution  to your company's competitive advantage.

Major challenges that are fundamentally changing supply chain management include:

  1. Networking the value chain to integrate suppliers and customers
  2. Continuous data management
  3. The digitalization of order processing
  4. Increased complexity in production and logistics networks
  5. Fast scaling through platform-based system architectures

In order to demonstrate the great advantages of progressive networking and the potential of new technologies, we would like to share our visions for the year 2030 with you. In the selected chapter "Event Management in the Year 2030," you will learn how networking your supply network will lead to greater transparency and responsiveness and how you will be able to react flexibly to events in the future.


Why is Event Management important?


In 2018, 37% of companies were affected by more than five disruptions in their supply chain, the most common consequences of a supply chain interruption being customer complaints (77%), loss of productivity (65%) and loss of sales (63%).


75% of companies lack a complete overview of the criticality and dependencies of their supply chain.


Almost every fifth company (18%) estimates the cost of their worst supply chain interruption at 500,000 euros or more.


Only 26% of the companies surveyed have comprehensive action plans for reacting to the most important threats.

Source: Supply Chain Risk Management: Herausforderungen und Status Quo 2018; Publisher: riskmethods GmbH / Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft Einkauf und Logistik e.V. (BME)

Supply Network of the Future

Event Management in 2030

Smart sensors detect deviations from the target status and report them to the platform

Occurance of an Event

Whether it is an accident, disaster, a storm or even a nuclear accident such as in Fukushima or the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic -  unforeseeable events cannot be avoided in globally networked supply networks. The earlier the occurrence of such an event is detected, the more time remains to reduce or eliminate its effects.

How ?

  • Tracking environmental data (e.g. government statements on border closures, case numbers from the Robert Koch Institute)
  • The use of smart sensors on landing and cargo carriers to localize and monitor the condition (e.g. temperature, air pressure, vibrations)

Event Management System

An Event Management System (EMS) uses various data sources to identify whether deliveries from a specific region or a specific transport are at risk and reports the event to the contact persons stored in the system.

How ?

  • A central platform with interfaces to internal systems / environmental data / suppliers / service providers (operation of the platform by OEM or as service of an external provider)
  • System - linking data sources (e.g. GPS data of the load carriers, traffic data, messages)
  • AI-based analysis of the consolidated data (e.g. high vibration + GPS data during truck transport = possible accident)

EMS derives problematic events from linked data sources and alerts all affected parties.

By linking to supplier structures, orders and bills of material, the effects and the time of occurrence of the event become apparent.

Determine the Impact

The EMS determines what effects the event will have on existing production orders, planned sales orders or bills of material for products and, based on this, calculates the time at which the effects will occur.


  • Analysis and intelligent linking of data sources (e.g. ERP, MES, LVS, etc.)
  • AI-based calculation of the expected arrival time (ETA) of the replacement delivery

Determine alternative actions

If action is required due to an event, the EMS determines possible alternative suppliers, emergency transports or the emergency plans stored in the system. The EMS forwards the possible solutions including recommendations to the decision makers.


  • Maintenance of emergency plans (e.g. alternative suppliers / special transports)
  • AI-based search of suppliers (sourcing portals)
  • Smart contracts with logistics service providers (system blocks resources until a decision is made)

EMS determines contingency plans, as well as possible sourcing alternatives and their available capacities via a central sourcing platform.

EMS initiates the commissioning of the emergency plan by transferring all necessary information to responsible persons / systems.

Transmit order data

Once a decision has been made, the EMS passes on all necessary information to the responsible employees / systems that implement the emergency plan.


  • Consolidating the data for the employees and internal systems
  • Intelligent commissioning of the emergency plan via Smart Contracts


Our Consulting Services Future Supply Network

References Future Supply Network

Insights Future Supply Network

Your Contacts for Future Supply Network:

    • Florian Heffeter

      Managing Director

      UNITY Austria GmbH

      send e-mail


    • Nicolina Litschgi

      Managing Director, Partner

      UNITY Schweiz AG

      send e-mail


    • Moritz Pfeiffer

      Member of the Executive Board

      UNITY Schweiz AG

      send e-mail


    • Ingo Neumann

      Managing Director

      UNITY Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

      send e-mail


    • Ahmed Aglan

      Managing Director

      UNITY Egypt Ltd.

      send e-mail


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