December 17, 2019

Overcoming Distribution Chain Challenges with Big Data

One of the biggest buzzwords in supply chain distribution is big data. If you are like many supply chain managers or logisticians, you are likely going to invest in big data and analytics at some point, but haven’t really gotten around to it. Let’s try to demonstrate exactly why you need to fast-track this process.

Statistics and research have shown that the use of big data within the context of supply chain management is going to increase by more than 140 per cent over the next three years. That is a pretty significant leap.

That means if you forgo investing in it now, your competitors are going to be solving problems and managing their distribution chain processes in a way that an analogue company running on legacy systems cannot match. In short, it is going to become feast or famine among those who are still hesitant to jump on board with the twenty-first century.

In this post, we examine how you can use big data and analytics, like data logging, circumstance monitoring, data collection and analysis, to solve the obstacles that your supply chain currently faces and how you can begin implementing the process now.

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Big data and analytics solve big problems

Even if your organization has been slow to adopt newer technologies, it may signal that you or your management teams have not entirely accepted that it is worth the time or investment. However, it is a style that prevents you from realizing the potential of big data and analytics.

Here are a few ways in which they can solve your problems and elevate your performance:

Real-time capabilities mean no more FOMO

Are you experiencing difficulty in coordinating all of the players in your supply chain? That is because you have not seen how powerful real-time data processing and sharing actually is. Transparency is a huge driving factor, and it is coming from every link in the supply chain.

That is because customers are concerned about where their orders are and the conditions under which they are going to arrive. Big data and analytics give you the opportunity to sate their every whim and fancy.

You’ll have more control over external factors

“It is out of our hands, now,” is a mantra that companies, who are falling behind, will say as their more organized competitors are paving the way to success in the market. When you incorporate big data and analytics into your supply chain, you will be able to virtually predict and analyze future problems, such as delays and bottlenecks.

The future is giving us a crystal ball, friends, and the accuracy is unbelievable.

Customers will be much happier

As a result of greater predictability and transparency, you will ultimately have more satisfied customers and buyers, who appreciate your forward-thinking approach. They will be able to understand where their order is within relation to your supply chain.

Therefore, expectation management is far better than previously realized.

And if a problem does crop up, you will be able to respond well in advance. People realize that life isn’t perfect, but they do recognize the efforts of a company who care about the services they provide. Giving them a head’s up is sometimes all it really takes to be the best.

As you can see, there are so many compelling arguments for digitizing your supply chain across the entire line. However, for those of us who work on an integrated team, we are sometimes tasked with being the squeaky wheel that gets the supply chain geared up for big data and analytics.

The process can be intimidating, primarily when a lack of knowledge exists. And that’s okay; the Logmore team has got you covered. We conclude this post by offering you our best tips for ensuring that the transition is smooth and gets buy-in from the top down.

How to get everyone else on board

Digitizing your supply chain is the easy part. Getting everyone else on board is definitely a challenge. We see a shift in management and control that will likely continue through 2030. Waiting that long will cause your organization to fall behind.

Instead, consider the following tips for implementing supply chain analytics in your warehouse:

  1. Begin researching your platform options. Call in a supply chain digitization company, like Logmore, to help you pitch the concept to the team.
  2. Ensure that the resources you use are scalable throughout the entire chain.
  3. Avoid ‘duct-taping’ your systems together. This is not the way of the future, and it will cost you more money in the long-run.
  4. Thoroughly double check that a data migration does not result in lost information. Your company’s historical data is priceless and cannot be forgone.
  5. Examine your customer and vendor patterns and then craft your pitch to demonstrate how the investment in a new system can solve identifiable problems.

You don’t have to develop a feasibility study to show everyone just how useful big data and analytics are toward a more resolute supply chain. You owe it to yourself, your team, vendors, and customers to at least start the conversation.

In conclusion

The time to adopt big data and analytics is now. Doing so is critical to the safety of consumers as well as creating efficiencies within your distribution channels.

Significant growth in this area is on the horizon, particularly for temperature-controlled and refrigerated products. These types of shipments can benefit from data logging, circumstance monitoring, data collection and analysis that produces information and insight to your managers.

We hope that you found this article to be useful and that it provided insight into your organization. Check out our other related posts that you may find helpful as well: Big Data in Supply Chains and Big Data: Using Data Logging for Business Development.

The Logmore team is ready to demonstrate how you can make supply chain management as efficient and effective as possible. If your organisation is prepared to unlock the power of big data and analytics that utilizes data logging, data collection and analysis, and condition monitoring, discover more about how we can help. Let’s talk.