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How data analytics can add value in supply chain

The ability to keep supply chains optimized and future-ready is essential to uninterrupted functioning and expansion of businesses worldwide. Nothing has helped supply chains leap ahead in this endeavour like data has.

Cloud-based supply solutions, smart sensors, AI, and various business intelligence (BI) tools help ensure supply visibility, shipping at low costs, forecast demand, and control inventory.

Business intelligence and data analytics, when used strategically, can enable cost reduction and boost efficiency across business functions. Supply chain, for instance, is one such function that can benefit enormously with the use of data analytics.

How real-time data helps handle supply chain challenges

Access to real-time data gives executives the power to act with precision and pre-emption, especially for business operations in volatile market conditions.

Visibility and trend-spotting

Modern supply chains run across continents and time zones, making end-to-end visibility a critical challenge. The lack of visibility can lead to deviations and fluctuations that impact productivity and profitability. However, technological innovations like cloud-based solutions and AI-enabled demand forecasting have reduced supply chain waste and improved profitability.

Business intelligence, powered by AI and machine learning, can spot early trends and even predict them. The value this offers in, say, retail or procurement is clearly unprecedented; data analysts doing manual processing can never derive consumer behaviour insights in real-time.

Informing strategies, on the go

In an integrated supply stream, collection of real-time information and simultaneous analysis allow supply chain managers to revisit and modify their strategies on the go, thus avoiding potential bottlenecks at different stages.

Traceability and inventory optimization

Barcodes and RFID technology help trace and deliver accurate product information in distribution cycles. This helps managers in the food and beverage industry, for instance, who can now identify food products before spoilage occurs.

Distribution costs rise when warehouse location is not optimal. Data analytics can help in selecting warehouses based on customer and vendor proximity, and reduce inventory-related costs.

Proactive risk management

Real-time data is priceless in risk management. Unforeseen economic conditions have sent CEOs and entire boards examining data for risks and opportunities for savings. Unprecedented global events and resultant unpredictability in markets can have different kinds of impact on supply chains.

How data and analytics can help you understand your supply chain better

The biggest benefit of real-time data and analytics lies in the fact that it can help you understand your supply chain inside out. In turn, this can help you make informed and strategic decisions in times of uncertainty.

Here are a few key supply chain metrics that can be discovered by using data analytics:

Examples of supply-side metrics and insights

  • Your suppliers’ production capacities
  • Cost variations for different levels of capacity
  • The reliability and resilience of your supplier’s suppliers (especially during crises)
  • Alternative sources of supply
  • Your inventory management capabilities
  • Degree of traceability across your entire supply chain

Examples of demand-side metrics and insights

  • The customer’s purchasing power
  • Competitor pricing of the same service or product line
  • Consumer behaviour, preferences, and usage trends
  • Customer relationships that need attention
  • Accurate demand forecasting and inventory distribution

Think of the derived benefits – reduced communication gaps between suppliers and manufacturers, faster deliveries, improved service levels, and reduced costs. It is no wonder many enterprises are tapping into the value data analytics has to offer.

Data analytics offerings that deliver

Analytics can help streamline the present and make smart decisions for the future.

Infosys BPM’s range of data analytics services is focused on amplifying and improving business outcomes for different units within your organization. Our proven domain expertise, combined with an advanced suite of technologies, lets you unlock business potential by using the power of data and Analytics-as-a-Service (AaaS).

Our experts leverage a host of next-gen digital tools for data extraction, analysis, transformation, and visualization to generate insights and predict trends. We drive process optimization and innovation by leveraging a metric-driven methodology that adds to the top-line and profitability of your business.