The “big data” revolution is here, and supply chain companies that can unlock its potential can make faster, more targeted, and more appropriate key decisions, says a supply chain transaction data provider.
“Advanced analytics and predictive algorithms will change both supply and demand chain processes, allowing companies to make real-time decisions leading to bottom-line profitability increases and risk mitigation,” said Philadelphia, U.S.-based Elemica.
Raw commerce data across trading partners can be structured, harmonized, and then harnessed to help supply chain companies arrive at decisions leading to outside-in supply chain excellence.
“The wealth of data captured from raw material procurement through distribution to the end customer creates a comprehensive, holistic view of how a supply chain is performing,” said John Blyzinskyj, CEO of Elemica.
“This data feeds the analytics and powers the algorithms fostering clear business insights and better decision-making, allowing clients to respond faster and more effectively to the key triggers that make or break a business.”
The International Data Corporation predicts that big data will grow to 40 trillion gigabytes by 2020, offering unparalleled opportunities for companies willing to invest the time and money to analyze and utilize the data available.
Moreover, a recent article in Forbes, “Top Four Big Data Trends For Businesses In 2014,” predicts that big data will penetrate all aspects of business, from supply chains to marketing. “This has been seen with companies such as Netflix and Amazon, both of which have begun producing original TV content based on consumer viewing behavior, and production companies like Relativity Media, which has employed analytics algorithms to decide which movies to make.”
In the supply chain industry, big data and advanced analytics will enable companies to, for example, predict major asset failure and adjust their supply chains accordingly, sense transportation hub congestions and re-route, or send the right finished products to the right locations 10 days in advance based on weather, said Elemica.
In addition to supply chain efficiency, big data will improve relationships with supply chain stakeholders as well. For example, a shipper can utilize the collective purchasing power of a supply chain network of carriers who bid their best rates, offering the shipper access to previously unknown shipping partners who help to lower the shipper’s transportation spend. With the collaborative power of a supply chain operating network and its big data analytics, companies can be proactive and generate additional revenues, such as having the ability to unload inventory to another business on the network that is out of stock of the same products.
“In 2014, visualization tools for Big Data will be essential for presenting easily understood data so that people are empowered to better understand scenarios and make more-informed decisions,” said Blyzinskyj. “By applying analysis to supply chain data, companies will realize margin improvements, predict commodity volatility, better sense market trends, improve supplier selection, and better negotiate pricing. Big data is here to stay; companies just need to find how to best exploit its power.”
Photo: Stephen Cummings