Is Virtual Reality Coming to the Supply Chain Thinkstock

Is Virtual Reality Coming to the Supply Chain?

Virtual reality (VR) has evolved to where it is now being applied to supply chain operations. A VR supply chain allows manufacturers to design and architect in 3-D, evaluate designs and make critical decisions about new products and customer buying decisions.

Terence T. Burton, CEO of the Center for Excellence in Operations, and Paula Martin, CEO of Teowin USA discuss the value proposition of VR supply chains in an article on IndustyWeek.

The benefits of this new configuration include:

  • Increased “on the spot” sales configurations and upselling opportunities;
  • A 3-D visual and high resolution 360o 3-D rendering enable the customer a “walk-thru” experience prior to making buy decisions;
  • A complete 3-D visual of the parts list, components, quotes and pricing for the proposed design or purchase option;
  • Full supply chain integration from design, manufacturing, supplier management, distribution, customer delivery and installation;
  • Improved velocity, quality and simplification in the order fulfillment cycle;
  • Realization of significant revenue growth, profitability and a superior customer experience.

The authors suggest that the  way to bring this to an organization is to first create a complete digitalized product directory (i.e., every SKU that is sold). The directory includes all product manufacturing and/or supplier data, including pricing, lead times, availability and delivery dates. Customers have the option of in-home or in-store commerce (or both).

Customers are able to make design changes and visualize their changes and pricing in real time via an iPad, laptop, or other technology. They can also walk through their digitalized room and experience the VR look and feel of their choices. Once the final “on the spot” purchase decision is approved, the configured order is released immediately to the respective manufacturers, suppliers and distributors that provide the products. In real time the customer receives their delivery and installation schedule.

More on VR supply chains on IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an MHL companion site within Penton’s Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group. 

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