Supply chain analytics helps you to better understand your business processes end to end. Many organisations in the supply chain industry have lots of data but are not making good use of it. By applying statistical techniques and analysing your data you can certainly make better decisions based on what has happened in the past, and based on what is currently happening, and based on what is likely to happen in the future.
By drawing a diagram that footprints your process from the raw ingredient selection – to the distribution to the machine at the manufacturing factory – to the employee working at the machine – to the quality test – to distribution to the inventory warehouse – distribution to the retail store – to the back office – shelf- teller – transport – customer. Easily more than 10 processes.
As a start, visualization is the best starting point. Simple plots such as bar charts, trend charts, box plots and pie charts of the average time, minimum time, maximum time, standard deviation, time between events, can easily help businesses better understand what has happened.
But the power of supply chain analytics is in what is likely to happen. Knowing this, gives a business the power and time to be proactive and innovatively decide on what to do, based on the forecasts, This will give your business an advantage to differentiate itself from its competition and thereby gain a competitive advantage.
Forecasting models can easily be automated using statistical modelling techniques and deploying these models into the business operations. But it is important that once these forecasting models are deployed in the operating system, they should be monitored and over time, alerts should also be placed in the operating system when there is a change in the direction of the activity or when the quality of a product is below required standards, the machine operator should be alerted.
It is important that operational analytics are shared among all the stakeholders and departments so that all parties have almost real time information and this will allow the whole company to make proactive decisions always using the latest information. This means that better decisions will be made as they are based on the latest data which is the most accurate information.
Supply chain forecasts also allow a business to plan more effectively. Once the forecasting models are built, what if scenarios may be used to compare and adjust the forecasts based on your business goals and constraints.
Using real time insights businesses will be alerted to when they are overstocking or under-stocking, and thereby help businesses to make adjustments early and avoid loss in sales. These overstocking and under-stocking insights can contribute to tremendous savings for the business, which means increased return on investment. And, that is usually the goal of the business…increased return on investments!
Not sure, if I have convinced you enough that measuring and analysing your supply chain data helps you to make decisions faster, smarter and at the right time. Timing is the essence and the key to improving your supply chain operations.
Of course, there is much more that I can discuss here. But, please let me know if you have any questions.