It’s Not Easy Being GREEN! Bottom Line Improves with Supply Chain Analytics

15 Feb It’s Not Easy Being GREEN! Bottom Line Improves with Supply Chain Analytics

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The hype is over – better use of analytics in a company’s supply chain yield immediate results, period. “Companies that embed analytics in their day-to-day supply chain operations generate more significant and far-reaching benefits than those that use big data analytics on an ad-hoc basis…” was well pointed out in a recent Accenture study. Forward-looking companies continue to realize new value for their business as they evolve both ‘advanced’ and ‘actionable’ analytics, such as new procurement strategies shared by HP. At Sage Clarity we continue to consult our clients on top opportunities for margin improvement as new analytical strategies are introduced for supply chain processes.

Here are a few items to consider:

1. What are the critical few KPIs?  Margin improvement comes with focus on the vital few, not trivial many! We can get lost in all this information, but in all actuality, we can drill into a small number of data points to make the right decisions.  What are the key measures that focus on the real bottom line?  Are there “cost-per” metrics? On-time-in-full? Yields?  There may be only be a few metrics for each member of a supply chain organization – different KPI’s for different members.  We need to determine the key drivers of margin both in terms of metrics and in terms of people and manage to those.

2. Can’t see the forest for trees?  While the amount of data generated by corporations is increasing exponentially, where the data resides also varies and continues in increase.  In the 90’s, ERP companies convinced corporate America to invest in their systems, so all data can be in one place.  In theory, great idea, however, back then the Internet was just starting to get interesting.  Back then, the concept of a “social conversation” was virtually non-existent, but has now become a source of information.  Now, there are so many sources of data with specialized manufacturing systems, logistics systems, sensors, RFID and so on.  The key take away is not even to try to consolidate anymore, but to plan to gather information from multiple sources.

 3. Mobile.  “In 2015, 75.1 percent of the mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phone. This figure is expected to grow to 85.6 percent in 2018” suggests a recent poll from statista.  This can be leveraged by supply chain organizations, but organizations need to be careful when developing a mobile strategy in conjunction with a supply chain analytics strategy.  While broadband and ubiquitous Wi-Fi access may provide enough bandwidth to move a large amount of data, the user trying to access KPI’s should not wait for a large download. Only pertinent information much be transmitted.  Screen real-estate is another factor – a 500 line excel report will not be easy to view on the smartphone, so a “less is more” approach must be used.

Numerous items must be considered in a supply chain analytics strategy.  The above 3 may not even be in the top-3, but nonetheless can be important.  The key take way is to determine which KPI’s support the strategy, determine where the data is, plan to integrate the data, and put the right information on a mobile device.

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