Big data and analytics are necessary and important. Businesses that undertake big data and analytics initiatives have high expectations. Yet investments in many big data and analytics initiatives fall short. And many businesses fail to realize their expectations.
Does that sound familiar? If so, first understand you are not alone. Second, meeting your expectations is not as difficult as it may seem.
The secret lies in targeting your resources on what’s important. Doing that helps you avoid distractions and address what’s important. To maximize your investments, you should focus your big data efforts on three things. They are: (1) improving visibility, (2) increasing velocity, and (3) improving value.
Concentrating on these three areas focuses your limited resources on what’s driving supply chain management today. To do that you need to employ technologies and capture data relevant to these requirements. When you do that, you’ll be on your way to building an agile, resilient and sustainable supply chain.
Let’s examine how targeting each feature can help you build an agile, resilient, and sustainable supply chain.
Increasing Supply Chain Visibility
Today’s world of increasing uncertainty and constant volatility pressured supply chains like never before. We are experiencing that now. Witness the aftermath of Covid-19 and a hyperactive Atlantic storm season. We’ve seen fifteen storms this season, and hurricane season is not over.
Visibility helps to “see” what’s happening all along your supply chain. It allows you to foresee issues before they become problems. It enables you to sense and respond to disruptions. It also allows you to keep costs low by providing information about your cargo, as it moves through each node of the supply chain. End-to-end visibility enables optimized decision making for performance and cost.
That results in a more effective and efficient supply chain. In other words, focusing big data and analytics focuses on improving customer service. Having real-time insight into moving cargo helps you make decisions on-demand. That, in turn, helps you meet customers’ expectations.
In fact, gaining visibility is now deemed critical. In a 2020 annual transportation study, respondents rated it the most important technology in 2020. That’s after not even being rated in 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, according to the same survey, visibility will remain the most important technology through 2023. (29th Annual Study of Transportation Trends).
Visibility is a must-have capability when operating in a more competitive and unforgiving ecosystem.
Now, let’s look at another must-have capability.
Increasing Supply Chain Velocity
The need for speed has always characterized the supply chain industry. That may be true. But
today it’s even more true. E-Commerce championed by Amazon and reinforced by the
pandemic, has made speed a competitive necessity.
Consumers in both the B2B and B2C world want their products sooner rather than later. Time is of the essence. It can make the difference between profit and loss. It can mean the difference between success and failure. It can make the difference between survival and extinction.
Focusing your big data and analytics program on achieving maximum velocity helps ensure you meet customer expectations. But meeting expectations isn’t simple. For example, you contend with multiple issues daily that prevent on-time delivery. And velocity can mitigate those issues.
When you focus data and analytics on visibility and velocity, you’ll enjoy a synergy that will make your business more competitive.
Increasing Supply Chain Value
Increasing supply chain value means providing tangible benefits that accrue to your customers. Achieving value may also seem elusive. But with a targeted data and analytics program, it’s achievable.
It with both tactical and strategic components. First, big data and analytics help contribute to value creation by focusing on performance as well as cost. That is, a sound program will offer you real-time data for managing in-transit cargo. Another example is the use of historical data to conduct “what-if” scenarios to determine the optimal outcome of a course of action.
Beyond that, more sophisticated capabilities, such as data mining, will reveal patterns in data that weren’t apparent. This takes data and analytics to a strategic level. You’ll see the Big Picture more clearly. That will enable you to build more sustainable solutions.
In short, big data an analytics will drive future supply chain development focused on creating value.
Building a Competitive Supply Chain for the Future
All in all, developing a big data and analytics program is critical to the success of your supply chain. Increasing competitiveness and volatility have made supply chains critical to business success.
So, when building a big data and analytics program, it’s critical to remain focused on what makes an impact. Today’s unpredictable and unstable world, calls for robust supply chains. In fact, only the most robust supply chains will thrive.
The wave of the future will demand supply chains that are agile, resilient and create value.
That’s a tall order.
Nonetheless, a targeted data and analytics program, can result in a resilient, cost-efficient, and durable supply chain. Future supply chains must: (1) improve resilience, (2) reduce cost, and
(3) improve sustainability.
If you’re unsure about how to meet your customers’ future needs and expectations, we’d love to talk to you.
Contact us at Terra Worldwide Logistics to find out how you can maximize your resources, optimize your supply chain, and increase profits.