Increasing Supply Chain Visibility

Big data… one of the hottest buzzwords in business today. Data intelligence can be a dose of clarity for supply chain leaders shining a light on blind spots.

CSCMP's Annual State of Logistics Report shares, "Roaring demand for transportation and logistics is causing capacity to tighten and wages to rise, pushing logistics costs to 7.7 percent of U.S. GDP in 2017."

Can shippers find the capacity they need while fighting higher costs? The drive for better customer experiences and quicker delivery has caused a supply chain disruption causing businesses to revaluate the way they operate.

Very few companies access their data in a way that is meaningful and useful. Many organizations are still running hundreds of reports but very few people are looking at them. When they look at them the data is typically aged and doesn't tell the full story. This type of data analysis doesn't give leaders a chance to change the way they do it, leaving them stuck with the way they have always operated.

Achieving end-to-end visibility gives leaders the clarity they need to drive change. It allows their teams to focus on the highest leverage tasks to take them from where they are today to their hopes and dreams for tomorrow.

  1. Understand Your Data. Defining your data, standardizing and cleansing it allows you to trust the data to consistently utilize it into meaningful information.
  2. Real Time. Is having "real time" access to your business intelligence a must? In most cases it is not. Very rarely do companies need access real time. In my experience updating the data each night allows companies to have "almost real time" visibility.
  3. Establish KPI's. Once you have access and understand your data the next step is establishing what you want to measure and how? The best business intelligence tools can measure key performance indicators for your internal teams and your Customer KPI's. The internal KPI's help your people identify opportunities to improve operations and get an action plan prioritized. The Customer KPI's make you look like a hero by forming a game-changing partnership to help drive better results!
  4. Gut Intuition. So many leader rely solely analyzing data. In my opinion that's a big mistake. Leaders should trust their instincts and combine their gut intuition with the data intel to make the best decision.
  5. Smart BI Tools. What makes data truly valuable is how a company uses it to drive meaningful change that leads to better results. BI tools must easily connect to multiple data sources. It should provide interactive visualizations with self-service capabilities, where users can create reports and dashboards themselves, without having to depend on IT staff or Database Administrator.
  6. Powerful TMS. A transportation management system (TMS) will be your primary source of meaningful data. A good TMS will consolidate orders and optimize shipments. The best TMS solutions allow leaders to anticipate future shipping patterns, secure dependable capacity and make sure you have the right amount of inventory.

Having the right analytics tools will deliver insight to your organization. The projects and tasks that come out of these insights will help drive your strategic priorities. Increased supply chain visibility will empower your team to do great things together, enabling them to work together while effortlessly doing the work that matters most.

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