With supply chain data already running the day-to-day flow of goods globally, global logistics company DHL’s White Paper reveals that there is a small group of trailblazing companies that are using this data as a predictive tool for accurate forecasting, as this gives organisations a competitive edge.
Supply chain strategic analysis and content development company Lharrington Group president Lisa Harrington adds that, in any global company, the supply chain is one of the largest sources of big data. It carries and produces information that affects almost every area of the business. However, most businesses do not tap into this potential treasure trove of information effectively, despite the fact that they recognise the potential value of doing so.
“The old ways of doing business are changing as a result of data analytics. No longer can companies run their businesses by looking through the rear-view mirror. Companies must now look ahead and use the supply chain data available to them to foretell the future, if they are to keep up with the competition. Technology has provided a new means to achieve that possibility.”
While supply chain analytics technologies and tools have come a long way in the last few years, Harrington notes that integrating them into the enterprise is still far from easy. Companies typically progress through several stages of maturity as they adopt these technologies. The descriptive supply chain stage uses information and analytics systems to capture and present data in a way that helps managers understand what is happening.
This being the case, descriptive tools have been effective in helping companies cut costs and eliminate waste in their supply chains, but leading companies are moving beyond the descriptive phase towards a more predictive supply chain.
DHL’s White Paper, called ‘The predictive enterprise: Where data science meets supply chain’, aims to identify opportunities available to companies to anticipate and even predict the future. It encourages companies to get ahead in their business and direct their global operations accordingly.
“The predictive supply chain allows companies to start to sense and shape demand, streamline networks and improve agility and responsiveness. “Essentially, the predictive supply chain is a vital underpinning of a reimagined, predictive enterprise,” she explains.
Harrington points that data mining, pattern recognition, business analytics, business intelligence and other tools are coalescing into an emerging field of supply chain data science. These new intelligent analytic capabilities are changing supply chains, from reactive operations to proactive and ultimately predictive operating models.
“The implications extend far beyond just reinventing the supply chain, they will help map the blueprint for the next-generation global company – the insight-driven enterprise.”