Heavy-Duty Analytics: Are You Equipped With Enough In Your Supply Chain?

Posted on November 30, 2016

With increasing volatility in the markets, coupled with the ever-changing customer demands and globalization, supply-chain efficiency is indispensable when a company works toward success. Supply chains, if managed with the right resources can deliver immense value to an organization. If companies are able to simplify complex supply-chain procedures in ways that lead to reduced time, higher quality, and greater customer satisfaction, they can enjoy great competitive advantage. Supply chains play a significant role in the company’s cost structure, making it an important business function.

The hyper-competitiveness of manufacturing markets, coupled with pricing pressures and customers’ changing expectations, relying on traditional execution systems simply isn’t enough. Potential waste in your supply chain can be more detrimental than before. In order to survive in today’s market, analytics is a must-have. Analytics has evolved from a technology into a culture. If you are one of those companies effectively leveraging data to take business decisions, you are on the right track. By implementing the latest analytics technologies, you can now fine-tune your supply chains in ways that simply weren’t possible in the past.

You have an updated system, so why supply chain analytics?

Commodity volatility, changing market conditions and supplier challenges have negatively impacted many organizations, including those associated with leading names in the world. The biggest drawback companies face with their analytics is hindsight. Even top performers have dealt with embarrassing situations and under-performance by not being able to predict demand—and thus kept going out of stock.

Founding decisions based only on what happened in the past no longer provides competitive advantage. To overcome this hindrance, you may need a heavy analytics set-up in your organization. It must deal with analysis of the future and not simply consider historical data. You need to make use of the millions of data points floating in your organization.

Supply chain analytics can transform data into valuable real-time, predictive insights. Let’s look at how heavy-duty analytics can help your business step one notch higher in terms of growth, sustainability, profits, and customer satisfaction. It can help use historical enterprise data to access predictive models that support valuable information. It helps you to capture, analyze, and understand hidden efficiencies. And more importantly, advanced tools link supply chain models to customer and pricing analytics, giving you an entire picture of the business’ profitability.

The road ahead

According to a survey, 73% of its executives indicated that supply chain analytics is important to meet company goals. And with 71% of respondents, noting that current analytics tools need to be more predictive and go beyond providing information about prior performance, there’s an equal amount of respondents—73 percent—who are planning to upgrade or replace their analytics tools within two years to gain these more predictive analytics features. This clearly points out the immense demand for heavy analytics among organizations.

If you have still not defined a clear supply chain agenda, it’s imperative to do so now. Before implementing analytics, ensure that you don’t have a ‘siloed’ network. Focusing on any one link in the supply chain will not deliver the value. In order to derive value out of your analytics, your business must have collaborated forecasting and modeling tools, distribution models, pricing models, and even tax strategies.

That way, your business can reap real benefits in terms of opportunities in inventory management or channel management. Supply chain improvements happen both ways, bottom-up and top-down. You need to have a well-defined supply chain objective, driven by business goals in order to leverage heavy-duty analytics for business outcomes.

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