Skip to Content

Leveraging small tech and nanoservices to drive a frictionless supply chain


The modern supply chain environment can be a difficult and often uncharted space – one in which a digital application landscape is necessary to both operate and facilitate optimization and automation of your supply chain operations.

In a recent blog, I discussed the five pillars of the Capgemini Industrialized Operations Platform (CIOP) required for the successful transformation of supply chain operations. One of these pillars is the extensive partner ecosystem that complements Capgemini’s own “small tech” proprietary tooling with the necessary support from specialist expertise and technology.

Macro-, micro-, and nanoservices

These end-to-end supply chain digital capabilities are characterized by full enablement from three different groups of applications:

  • Macroservices – monolithic applications such as an ERP, which serve to not only streamline and digitalize supply chain operations, but also enterprise services
  • Microservices – smaller applications that deliver specialized functionality for individual functions such as order fulfillment or planning
  • Nanoservices – applications that tackle individual pain points within macro- or microservices functions, such as order validation.

By way of an analogy, imagine the digital application landscape is a lunar base – a complex, modular system designed with sufficient resilience to weather and tame the adverse conditions it has to operate in. The main building of the base is connected to several additional facilities equipped with cutting-edge tools that provide vital services, which improve the performance of each component and, when combined, the entire base.

Integrating supply chain operations

Your supply chain organization requires an integrated approach to solutions, spanning all crucial components from expertise in processes operations, through consulting, to the right technology implementation – all of which support successful transformation in an as-a-service model.

Leveraging macro-, micro-, and nanoservices enables such a broad and agile approach, helping you choose the right tools for the right task and scaling up or down as necessary. A planned and structured application of these services, regardless of their size, enable you to stay focused on your supply chain operations. The key is to integrate the solutions with the right methodology, talent, and organization – either building up from the most detailed nanoservice or augmenting a macroservice with additional capabilities.

The CIOP acts to integrate functions, identifying and addressing friction points through transformation, and supporting your digital capabilities.

Nanoservices as “digital patches”

The ability to deliver nanoservices and integrated operations is a critical characteristic of an end-to-end supply chain partner. An organization’s existing technology stack receives complementary treatment for its “nano challenges” that can be limited to just one process or even a fraction of it.

Order capture, validation, or supply chain data entry are great examples of nanoservice use. Such integrations increase the overall system flexibility in an ever-changing supply chain environment, where targeted nanoservices serve as a final digital “patch” to larger scale enterprise solutions.

A frictionless supply chain drives value

Most supply chains don’t set out to construct a complex digital application landscape, similar to a lunar base, but often end up just as complex and heavy. Supply chain digitalization requires you to not only pick the right macro- and micro-tools for your general operations, but also understand how leveraging nanoservices can deliver tailor-made solutions for individual “nano challenges.”

While this may sound tedious, the immediate value creation makes such a supply chain transformation worth the effort. To maximize the chances of enjoying frictionless supply chain operations, your digital transformation needs to work on a macro-, micro-, and nanoservice level.

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Digital Supply Chain Practice  can help your organization implement smart and flexible supply chain processes, contact:

Jörg Junghanns leverages innovation and a strategic and service mindset to help clients transform their supply chain operations into a growth enabler.