Alyssa Futterer, Senior Marketing Technology Manager at Blytheco, has over 12 years of digital, communications and content marketing experience with 5 years in software tech specializing in the ERP, EDI, and SaaS space. Alyssa leverages her relevant experience to create content that educates and informs customers and industry professionals, and helps to improve their businesses through innovative software technologies. Connect with Alyssa on Linkedin.
Leverage Big Data in Supply Chain Management to Overcome Disruptions
Historically, the evolution of supply chain management has seen the limited movement of goods and services managed by information captured on paper ledgers grow to global operations managed using advanced software. With advances in trucking, shipping, computers, and more, supply chain management has expanded to deliver more products and services to more customers. Advances are a natural occurrence, but there are always challenges when moving large numbers of products from one place to another. In other words, there are disruptions because consumer and company demand continue to grow, often putting companies in precarious positions when working to manage their supply chains properly.
Supply Chain Challenges
While company supply chains are extensive and often stretched thin, they deliver goods and services essential to everyday life. Supply chain issues will not disappear overnight because there is growing global demand for everything from automobiles to clothing. There are several challenges supply chain managers face regularly.
There are vast amounts of data in any given enterprise system. With disparate organizational systems lacking integration, organizations struggle with capturing and analyzing data in ways that foster insight and action. This lack of data management has a ripple effect, causing continued inefficiencies throughout the supply chain.
Allocating financial resources within a supply chain has always been a challenge. With a growing number of channels and inconsistent ways to pay and receive payment, companies simultaneously struggle to keep track of expenses with millions of items in play.
Extensive consumer choice has led to increased pressure on the supply chain. The Amazon Effect, where goods and services are delivered overnight or the same day, places an added burden on competitors who struggle to keep up.
As more customers pressure the supply chain, demanding more volume and faster delivery, costs can skyrocket. When you add the rise in fuel costs, higher labor costs, international logistics, and the global health crises, expenses continue to go up with no end in sight.
Global supply chains are subject to risks not applicable to local supply chains. Changes in monetary policy, political instability, and questions around labor availability and potential shortages present risks that are often unforeseen. Mitigating these risks is time-consuming and requires a lot of data to manage correctly.
The Use of Big Data in Supply Chain Management
With a great deal of uncertainty associated with today’s supply chain management, big data has a significant role in addressing those challenges and can help ensure companies are equipped to meet them head-on.
Big data is necessary for handling several supply chain difficulties, including:
Big data helps organizations accurately forecast demand, thereby anticipating changes and potential disruptions to the supply chain. Companies can reduce or eliminate stock shortages by ensuring inventory and replenishment systems connect and communicate.
Sourcing and Development
Selecting and leveraging solutions offered by suppliers can be complicated, and big data can help companies understand and evaluate supplier performance in real-time. Leveraging big data and analytics allows companies to assess and quantify suppliers' cost structure in ways that result in transparency and the ability to identify hidden costs.
Gaining insight provided by big data allows companies to balance multiple moving associated with global supply chains. Whether it be staff, tools, or raw materials, getting real-time data can help any operation optimize performance and gain needed flexibility.
A properly managed supply chain ensures the right product is shipped on time and delivered to the correct location. Assessing delivery data, along with weather, traffic, and customs information, can provide the relevant insight to improve logistics.
As most companies know, it’s a very costly proposition to return packages, restock shelves, and accurately account for inventory when it comes to returns. Maintaining accurate accounting of all products in all areas under all circumstances requires embracing and proper management of big data.
Examples of Big Data in Supply Chain Management
Big data can and should be leveraged across different industries and disciplines within the supply chain. Examples include:
There are multiple examples of big data used in manufacturing to predict when equipment needs to be maintained, forecast demand, and leverage contextual intelligence to remove chokepoints and streamline production and delivery.
The food industry relies heavily on advancements made in supply chain management. With a high rate of perishables and multiple challenges to moving food from manufacturer to shelf, big data is essential. Companies can leverage big data by combining real-time and historical data to streamline processes and reduce cycle times.
Supply chain management regarding consumer goods is as complex an area as any other. Companies making the most of big data can plan for several contingencies and determine whether marketing, sales, and delivery initiatives provide the desired return on investment.
Improve Supply Chain Visibility and Analytics with an ERP Solution
Companies must make the most of big data to drive efficiency and gain mastery over their supply chain. Incorporating the capability of a robust ERP solution goes a long way in helping organizations take control of their supply chain.
Capable ERP solutions can integrate disciplines around order management, delivery, CRM, marketing, accounting, and more. ERP solutions can help companies embrace big data and provide the supply chain visibility and analytics needed to manage their operation and eliminate waste.
How Blytheco Can Help
While most ERP solutions feature the same core capabilities and functionality, Blytheco focuses on providing guidance for the key differentiators between the industry’s leading ERP solutions.
Speak to a Blytheco ERP expert, and transform your company’s supply chain visibility and analytics to drive efficiency moving forward.