Jianxin "Steven" Chen

Excutive Director, Lenovo SSG Group —— International Service Supply Chain

Supernova Award Category: 
Data to Decisions
The Organization: 

Lenovo International Service Supply Chain (ISSC) belongs to Lenovo Solution & Service Group. It is a critical department within Lenovo, responsible for managing the global after-sales service supply chain. Its responsibilities include managing service parts supply, distribution of after-sales service parts and equipment, constructing and managing after-sales service centers, operating customer support centers, and more. Lenovo ISSC is committed to providing fast, efficient, and professional after-sales service solutions to meet the needs of global customers.  Currently, ISSC is working hard to promote a digital supply chain for service spare parts by sharing real-time data on materials, parts, and inventory levels.

The Problem: 

As our service supply chain business expands, we have encountered several challenges.

Firstly, there is a lack of data consistency among different functions, leading to poor overall data integrity and requiring significant manpower and time to reconcile.  The decentralized data management and the sheer volume of data require significant human and time resources to ensure data accuracy, impacting organizational efficiency and limiting the support for in-depth data analysis.

Secondly, the lack of end-to-end data visibility due to independent systems hinders information communication between departments, affecting decision-making accuracy and responsiveness. Although each function appears to be digitized, there is a lack of integration from a chain perspective and a lack of comprehensive end-to-end management. This leads to delays in information communication between departments, resulting in information lags that affect the accuracy of decision-making. 

Lastly, the rapidly changing external environment, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the need for supply chain digitalization. Restrictions on personnel and transportation, as well as resource shortages, have led to logistics delays, supply shortages, and demand fluctuations.  We recognize that organizations need to track and assess supply chain risks more effectively through digital tools and technologies and develop corresponding risk management strategies

The Solution: 

We adopted a multi-faceted approach to build a digital control tower.

First , we established a centralized data platform to connect various functions with three modules - Operations Control Tower, Customer Interception Tool, and Reverse Data Chain; then digitized all ISSC functions' flows, including All-in-One Planning, Procurement QMS/PMS, Logistics WMS/TMS, Billing PMT System, and Reverse Data Chain, enabling end-to-end visibility.

The second layer of the control tower - Alert Prediction serves as a radar, connecting us with the industry and providing real-time alerts. 

At the top of the supply chain control tower are Intelligent Technologies. Including:

  • Parts Engineering Model: The AI Substitution System automated material and substitute matching.
  • Logistics Model: The AI Network Optimization implements global logistics network visualization.
  • Field Service Model: The AR/VR self-repair system utilizes to assist customers in self-repair.
The Results: 

he achievements of our supply chain control tower can be summarized as follows:

Firstly, we have established the ISSC Data Center as a centralized platform for consistent and accurate data across departments. This has eliminated data discrepancies and improved decision-making processes, allowing us to make more informed and strategic supply chain decisions.

Secondly, the implementation of the ISSC Big Data Platform has provided a foundation for advanced technologies in the supply chain. Leveraging machine learning, predictive analysis, and AI capabilities, we gain valuable insights and make data-driven predictions. This helps us proactively identify risks, forecast demand patterns, and optimize inventory levels, improving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, we have integrated and streamlined business processes across departments, treating the supply chain as a unified value chain. This end-to-end visibility and control enable us to identify bottlenecks, optimize workflows, and improve overall performance.

Lastly, our supply chain control tower covers both forward and reverse logistics, providing complete visibility and management capabilities. This allows us to effectively manage the entire product lifecycle, minimize waste, and enhance sustainability efforts.

In conclusion, these achievements have improved data quality, enabled advanced analytics, enhanced operational efficiency, and strengthened supply chain management.

  • Operations Efficiency:
  • End-to End material and substitution matching process automation increased from 70% to 90%
  • Parts substitution matching accuracy rate increased from 85% to 99%
  • End-to-end route design and price comparison working efficiency raised by 40%
  • Logistics Efficiency:
  • On-Time Shipment Rate achieved 97%
  • Lead-time flexibility increased to 50%
  • Cost
  • Purchasing cost reduced by 29.5%
The Technology: 

Apache Kafka technology to transfer data between systems. The data is then processed using Hive SQL and SQL Server;

Machine learning is adopted in AI Substitution System, the team trained the model via BERT Model to achieve an accurate training result.

Hierarchical clustering algorithm and Branch and bound algorithm are adapted in AI Network Optimization.

Large-scale Calculation and Initiative Real-time Tuning Tech used in All-In-One Plannning.

Disruptive Factor: 

The construction of the supply chain control tower took several years and eventually led to a digitized value chain. Horizontally, it connected various links in the supply chain and achieved end-to-end digitization. Vertically, it built a digitized control tower with data visibility as the foundation, advanced analysis as its function, and high-technology engagement as its intelligent command center, completely changing the traditional IT-driven, labor-intensive digital management model. This has created a brand-new digital management model in the PC service supply chain field, which uniquely includes the management of reverse data.

Shining Moment: 

(1) All departments work together in unity, breaking down departmental barriers and achieving digital information sharing.

(2) It is the first digital control tower that links the entire supply network of PC after-sales service supply chain, including not only normally forward pipeline, but also cost analysis and reverse—which is unique in service supply chain.

About Lenovo SSG Group —— International Service Supply Chain

Lenovo is a global technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells a wide range of innovative products, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, and servers. International Service Supply Chain is a young team belong to Lenovo SSG, supportIng all hardwares and solutions' supply chain management.