Analytics: Supply Chain’s Next Big Thing


February 8, 2017

As we’re all connected and responding round the clock via various devices, of course people will ask for “real-time supply chain,” too.

A complicated world, running mainly on follow-the-sun supply chains, requires a super responsive and hyper-connected operation that goes beyond best-predicted demand planning and forecasting.

Some industry experts claim that era of real-time supply chain practices has come and is on the verge of being more common, thanks to an increased corporate adoption of new supply chain software platforms and multitude of cloud data management tools coming to the market. Yet, there’s also affirmation that a necessary foundation for moving efficiently at real-time speed, supply chain analytics solution, is still at beginner’s stage at many organizations, and will take time to build out.

A real-time upgrade

There’s evidence of increased interest in real-time supply chain solutions to address things like multi-level inventory optimization, supply chain traceability, sales and operations planning, demand signal repository and leveraging point of sale data. And yes, forecasting improvement remains top of mind.

Upgrades and new tool implementation take time but we are expected to see software tool upgrades and replacement cycles pick up steam in the next couple years.

One interesting observation in all this is the interest in real-time supply chain management. It’s not going to be easy to move batch systems into a real-time environment but there is a real interest and momentum in this area.

Building the analytics base

The attention supply chain analytics solutions appears to be getting is making me curious. According to company executives, supply chain analytics solutions are vital to their company goals. And some respondents say that current analytics tools need to be more predictive and provide more than just information about past performance. Interest in using analytics comes from being able to figure out where the best-practices are, better manage the supplier base, and determine who’s delivering material supplies in the less time with the reasonable prices and highest quality.

We see in a broad discussion about real-time supply chain management that company executives appear to want more foretelling analytics capabilities to help them be more aware to uncertain supply and demand needs and make faster decisions.

The underlying systems must be accurate before you can build analytics capabilities on top of them. Analytics is the result of years of investment in the basic tools. The underlying databases need to be maintained and structured in a efficient and accurate way. These are all vital to supply chain analytical solutions.

Analytics  could be a big leap forward in terms of supply chain innovation, provided by companies like BILYTICA. The question, then, is how much is supply chain analytics solution worth to your company and will you bet on it to make it reality?

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