How Data Analytics can Transform Your Supply Chain

How Data Analytics can Transform Your Supply Chain

Data is used by businesses to make strategic decisions regarding their supply chains. Most companies track this crucial data on a spreadsheet, but with supply chains growing in complexity, an evolution in supply chain technology, and huge amounts of data, a simple spreadsheet doesn't cut it anymore.

Enterprises can't monitor supply chain cycles with a spreadsheet that only provides surface level data.

Industries—including manufacturing—are at the mercy of technology. When technology evolves, so do the industries. Now industries are pushing for smart automation in the future, meaning the level of human intervention is reduced, but better decisions are still made. This smart automation can only be accomplished with advanced analytics.

What is Advanced Analytics?

There are eight levels of analytics that range from your basic reports to advanced predictive models.

  • Level 1: Standard reports
  • Level 2: Ad hoc reports that answer the questions how many and how often.
  • Level 3: Query drill down, which provides you with a little bit of insight. This form of analytics allows you to manipulate the data to discover how many, what part, and where.
  • Level 4: Alerts, these can appear electronically through email telling you should react to a particular situation. Alerts are the last of basic reporting on this list. Unlike regular data that tells you what happened and when it happened, advanced data helps you plan for bigger and better things, forecasting trends that can help drive company growth.
  • Level 5: Statistical analysis, This data speaks to why something is happening.
  • Level 6: Forecasting, it answers the questions of trend continuation and when product will be needed.
  • Level 7: Predictive modeling, which addresses what happens next and how it will impact your business. If you want to know how your sales will be affected when a competitor runs a promotion, predictive modeling will be able to tell you.
  • Level 8: Optimization, This level takes your needs and company resources into consideration to help you plan the best way to achieve your goals. Optimization helps you determine what your business can do better.

How Can Advanced Analytics Change Your Supply Chain? 

Businesses that employ advanced data can better understand their supply chain. Advanced data gives you a broader range of in-depth information that you can use to make your processes more effective and your decision making more strategic. With advanced data, you can improve your key metrics, get more value from your assets, and keep your inventory balanced more evenly.

Advanced analytics allows you to see your whole supply chain including its strengths, inefficiencies, and pain points. Conclusions from an IW/SAS Supply Chain Analytics Survey show that companies have greater visibility throughout their supply chain with advanced data. The survey also concluded that advanced analytics helped companies anticipate or avoid challenges and respond accordingly. Traditional supply chains are reactive, but they can't predict issues or highlight opportunities. Instead of being reactive, advanced analytics keep you on the ball and increase your revenue and efficiency.

Related: The Roadmap to Supply Chain Cost Reduction

One of the things that is great about advanced data is that it tells you what's happening in the marketplace. Now you can have the ability to analyze the past, present, and predict future trends and demands. Being able to supply and demand forecast trends will put you a notch higher than your competition and will give you a competitive edge. When your supply chain is supported with this information, you can better control operational costs by producing or storing less when demand for your product is lower or more when demand is higher. Data doesn't lie. It removes bias and subjectivity from decision making, allowing you to see where your business truly stands.

Where would our supply chains be without data? They'd be inefficient, slow, and reactive. By using advanced data, yours can be the opposite. You can blow past your competition by being proactive, increasing your inventory during peak times, and improving your key metrics. Data is key to business growth. Using advanced analytics will propel your company to the next level.


Watch our recorded webinar on reducing supply chain costs here:

Educational Resources Supply Chain Error Reduction