How to Use Data to Better Your Supply Chain Efficiency

How to Use Data to Better Your Supply Chain Efficiency

Data is one of the most powerful tools companies have today for many reasons. With data, companies can better estimate product costs, reducing inventory levels to sustainable levels, improve customer results, and even minimize the costs associated with running a supply chain. The problem is, data is too big and hard to navigate for many companies. This is where many companies get stuck. You’ve heard a great deal about what data is, where it comes from, and even that it is so valuable, but you may not realize how it can directly impact your company and supply chain. What can big data do for you?

Answering the question about what data can do for your supply chain requires taking a look at your organization and finding areas that can benefit from it specifically. With the right supply chain management solution in place, you can easily accomplish these goals. Take a look at a few ways David Kiger has seen data support and improve efficiencies in supply chains.

It Solves Complex Problems

One of the most important and valuable ways data can work for you is by making complex problems easier to improve. Data helps solve bigger and more complex problems most supply chains face. This is because these systems have the ability and increased computing power to take massive amounts of information and organize it, allowing people to manipulate it and pull it into various scenarios to test it and determine the overall best result. In the supply chain, this can work in many sectors including in:

  • Raw material cost management and computing
  • Import tax concerns
  • Sourcing
  • Scheduling
  • Routing
  • Design

The list is truly endless. Some models created by supply chain management have helped to reduce costs by 10 to 20%, depending on individual company needs. In today’s world where every dollar matters, this type of savings can make or break a company. David Kiger often recommends the investment in supply chain management for these reasons.

For example, data can help improve routing and logistics. With thousands of data points coming in from all directions, humans simply cannot make the very best decisions possible. However, the information for piecing together routes to create a streamlined, efficient route is available. With supply chain management solutions, it is possible to achieve this. These systems can help to not only use a wide range of data to formulate the most efficient route, but also change it as data changes and becomes available.

How Else Can Data Support Supply Chains?

small business owner with customer
Business owner and customer – Image courtesy Didriks on Flickr | CC

With a supply chain management system in place, it is possible to see the options available in any scenario more clearly. While it is quite the human instinct to do it yourself knowing the system, routes, customers, and products well, data can help make the job of the manager more efficient, easier, and safer. Some other applications data can play a role in through the supply chain include the following, all of which can improve efficiencies within the company.

  • Customer relationship management. Many companies are implementing data-based systems to improve segmentation in customers and products and, in doing so, reducing the amount of excess inventory in the wrong place.
  • Process integration. When processes are integrated, such as the functional silos that exist and disrupt the performance of the supply chain, the results can be impressive. For example, integrating logistics and purchasing is more important than ever. This is one area that is easy to see improvements in for most supply chains.
  • Collaborative relationships. Collaborations between companies and suppliers aren’t always easy. However, collaborations are possible when data shows their value. In most cases, this type of link can help to reduce costs and improve revenue.
  • Demand management. Your supply chain management solution can help you to make better decisions in all aspects including in forecasting. It can improve forecasting accuracy, therefore improving efficiencies. Improving forecasting by integrating supply and demand functions that drive revenue.
  • Driver-based metrics. Another area data becomes valuable is in driver-based metrics. Specifically, by making modifications to performance management and goals, overall performance can improve significantly.

When data is utilized, results happen. David Kiger provides ongoing support and resources that suggest the value of supply chain management. Any company in the supply chain industry can significantly improve their efficiency by implementing such a system, especially when it spreads over various sectors and components of that company. Supply chain management solutions simply make sense since they save money and enhance efficiencies. The right system can enhance any company’s bottom line as a direct result of these improved efficiencies.

For those looking for a way to cut costs and improve functionality, turn to data. Supply chain management solutions can better use data to solve in the most complex problems, improving the bottom line.

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