3 Things to Consider for your Supply Chain Analytics Strategy

Supply Chain Analytics Strategy

10 Jul 3 Things to Consider for your Supply Chain Analytics Strategy

(and not get frustrated)


A recent article in Digital Supply Chain Magazine points to research from Deloitte Consulting which offers a tremendous business case for supply chain analytics.  Deloitte states that:

“… manufacturing companies can realize a margin improvement of 2 to 4 percent by applying more analysis to the data they already have.”

The opportunity for margin improvement should be taken very seriously, but like any initiative, the opportunity needs to be strategically though out in order to achieve, or exceed this potential.  Here are a few items to consider.

Which KPI’s support margin improvement?  We can get lost in all this information, but in actuality, relatively a small number of data points need to be viewed and drilled-down on to make the right decisions.  What are the key measures that drive margin improvement?  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.

Where is this data?  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.

Mobile.  Mobile Internet usage has surpassed desktop-PC usage from a consumer point of view.  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, user trying to access KPI’s should not wait for a large download; therefore, only pertinent information much be transmitted.  Screen real-estate is another factor – a 500 line excel report will be not be easy to view on the smartphone, 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.