What are you getting out of your business’s supply chain analytics? If it’s been years since you looked into updating, you’ve missed out on big advancements. But you’re not the only one who’s fallen behind: it’s estimated that most companies – with some stating a whopping 9 out 10 – could stand to improve their supply chain performance.
That’s mostly because they don’t quite understand what can and needs to be done. Today, let’s get a quick overview of what supply chain analytics can do for your companies’ performance.
Supply chain analytics are so predictive, one could consider them your businesses’ personal crystal ball. With the secret weapon known as demand planning, you can receive key insights into what’s coming up. This area in particular has improved dramatically from the supply chain systems of yore.
For example, with traditional or outdated supply chain management, a clothing retailer may be able to predict that they’ll have low stock on a particular item in the next few weeks. But this information is of moderate use when it takes the retailer a month to restock. They did cut the amount of time they’d be out of stock, which is great, but they’re still going to have multiple weeks where they cannot meet a demand.
New systems not only sense this lapse, but can help work out ways to remedy it. Orders and manufacturing can be rearranged, or an alternate shipping protocol can be deployed to cut this lapse time further.
Meeting demand, however, involves more than ordering and shipping. More modern supply chain analytics can change the very way products are manufactured for the better by identifying and alerting you to snags in the process.
In many cases, these alerts can help everyone in the organization act quicker, providing a beneficial boost in productivity. It can also help companies identify ways to make manufacturing times shorter and more cost effective.
It can also keep sales flowing more seamlessly with the aforementioned predictive capabilities. Complex algorithms can not only help you understand what exactly is underperforming, but what would be most beneficial to offer instead. This leads to fewer “slumps” in orders and the capability to promptly re-strategize and move forward.
In recent years, this has been the case with companies like Boeing and the denim brand True Religion. With so much invaluable data available, we’re coming up with systems that can use it to the fullest extent currently possible. This often involves saving money by trimming away steps and extraneous players in the process.
Having the appropriate knowledge and responding accordingly has always been a primary goal of supply chain management. But things have come to a precipice where knowing and acting are no longer the gold standard in evaluating and planning. Rather, the future of supply chain analytics lies in learning and intuiting.
We are already aware that data has changed everything. With systems expanding to analyze even more data, we can expect supply chain systems to become more and more intelligent, giving businesses the ability to plan wisely and make safer on-the-spot decisions.