by Anthony Noguera

Supply chains are the lifeblood of high-tech companies – getting the right materials to the right people in the right places at the right time is a critical task.

As NVIDIA’s business has expanded into markets such as mobility and high-performance computing, our supply chain has become increasingly complex. Each year we sell more than a hundred million chips involving state-of-the-art processes, subcontracted services and difficult-to-predict capacity constraints. Other challenges include yield variations, the proliferation of part numbers, potential delays at multiple points in the production process and long lead times for materials such as wafers.

Working with enterprise consultancy Intrigo Systems, we have completed a comprehensive blueprint for a supply chain tool redesign that will bring a whole raft of benefits.

This complicated chart shows how CODE works

Our redesign is called “CODE” – a Complete, Optimized Data Engine that is built on our SAP backend systems with a business-facing interface. CODE moves us away from a spreadsheet-driven capacity model to a supply chain tool that dynamically accounts for changing priorities, changing capacities and optimizing costs.

For our customers, the improved supply chain will respond to their changing needs faster. For NVIDIA, CODE will enable us to deploy production plans that optimize our production cost, capacity and flexibility by incorporating capacity constraints, build strategies and business rules into our SAP planning engine. CODE also is designed to easily adapt as we grow and enter new market segments.

The implementation itself takes a phased approach as it integrates with existing business processes and platforms to minimize risks and ease adoption within the company. We expect the final phase – the launch of CODE – to go live by spring next year. When it does, our supply chain tools will be centralized on SAP with multiple international sites seeing requirements simultaneously.

The re-architected supply chain tools will be easier to maintain and use master data across the business with easily explainable results – all in all, creating a supply chain that enables, rather than hinders, NVIDIA’s growth.