Supply chain management is a field where Big Data and analytics have obvious applications. Until recently, however, businesses have been less quick to implement big data analytics in supply chain management than in other areas of operation such as marketing or manufacturing.
Of course supply chains have for a long time now been driven by statistics and quantifiable performance indicators. But the sort of analytics which are really revolutionising industry today – real time analytics of huge, rapidly growing and very messy unstructured datasets – were largely absent.
This was clearly a situation that couldn’t last. Many factors can clearly impact on supply chain management – from weather to the condition of vehicles and machinery, and so recently executives in the field have thought long and hard about how this could be harnessed to drive efficiencies
Why is it so Important?
Relying on traditional supply chain execution systems is becoming increasingly more difficult, with a mix of global operating systems, pricing pressures and ever increasing customer expectations. There are also recent economic impacts such as rising fuel costs, the global recession, supplier bases that have shrunk or moved off-shore, as well as increased competition from low-cost outsourcers. All of these challenges potentially create waste in your supply chain. That’s where data analytics comes in.
Data analytics is the science of examining raw data to help draw conclusions about information. It is used in many industries to allow companies and organization to make better business decisions and in the sciences to verify (or disprove) existing models or theories.
All businesses with a supply chain devote a fair amount of time to making sure it adds value, but these new advanced analytic tools and disciplines make it possible to dig deeper into supply chain data in search of savings and efficiencies.
The supply chain is a great place to use analytic tools to look for a competitive advantage, because of its complexity and also because of the prominent role supply chain plays in a company’s cost structure and profitability. Supply chains can appear simple compared to other parts of a business, even though they are not. If we keep an open mind, we can always do better by digging deeper into data as well as by thinking about a predictive instead of reactive view of the data.
- Q) What are the applications of analytics in supply chain?
- Q) What are some of the pain points in supply chain addressed by analytics