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supply chain analytics

The Benefits of Supply Chain Data Analytics: A Beginner’s Guide

Resiliency is often forged during tough times. That was the case for many logistics professionals during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain chaos that ensued. With most of the world shut down at one point or another, there was unprecedented port congestion and delays. Those challenges should have led transportation companies to implement new practices and form contingency plans. But many were slow to respond, especially regarding data analytics.  Many of the issues are behind us, but challenges still lie ahead, such as the fact that demurrage and detention fees remain 12 percent higher worldwide on average than pre-pandemic. Forward-thinking shippers leverage advanced supply chain analytics to stand out and gain competitive advantages. This article examines supply chain data analytics, its benefits and challenges, and how it fosters resiliency in companies.

What is Supply Chain Analytics?

Supply chain analytics is studying data to draw conclusions allowing for improved decisions and efficiency that benefit the entire supply chain. Companies evaluate analytics in three ways:
  • Descriptive – Studying historical data and past events enables the company to understand patterns and trends and uncover areas to improve. It finds out why specific issues arose and which areas don’t need fixing.
  • Predictive – This involves taking educated guesses on what the future holds based on the data uncovered. The company determines the anticipated outcomes, which helps it correctly forecast demand, mitigate risks, and optimize the supply chain.
  • Prescriptive – This type of advanced analysis, which only 30 percent of companies use, recommends a specific course of action on how to deal with the predictions properly. 
By incorporating these three metrics, companies may study supply chain data analytics to devise solutions for sudden disruptions. They become flexible enough to deal with whatever they encounter.

How Supply Chain Analytics Help Shippers Build Resiliency

Incorporating supply chain data analytics helps shippers recover and respond when problems arise. Companies build resiliency by learning to adapt quickly and react to disturbances better than companies that can’t deal with setbacks. Advanced analytics provides insight into systems that identify risk and allow for more accurate decision-making — sharing information and real-time data through a cloud-based TMS supplies stakeholders with unparalleled clarity. It provides an analytics advantage that can be conveyed throughout the supply chain, driving innovation and building trust.

Challenges of Implementing Supply Chain Analytics

Implementing a new way of studying supply chain data analytics may come with challenges, such as being costly, time-consuming, and complex. Some others include:
  • Lack of scalability – The company may not be able to properly analyze the latest data because it hasn’t scaled up in capacity. It may not have enough computing capability or adequate storage to process data.
  • The overhead of in-house data specialists – The company’s current team may not be skilled enough or may be resistant to change. It may lack the talent to upgrade to a new system.
  • Difficulty in turning raw data into actionable analytics – The raw data may only be readable by a reliable team of experts. Without a strong team, no one can ensure the numbers are accurate and complete or how to implement data-driven decisions in a way that helps the company move forward.

3 Steps to Gaining an Analytics Advantage

Turning that raw, clunky data into an analytics advantage is worth the challenges posed. Here are three reasons how companies can make the switch:
  • Access analytics through scalable TMS – You ensure analytics capabilities grow with your business by using a scalable transportation management system (TMS). With improved analysis and the ability to store and analyze large amounts of data, companies can eliminate siloed data, leading to better visibility, planning, and flexibility. 
  • Streamline analytics process – Businesses transform messy data into actionable insights by analyzing supply chain analytics through a cloud-based TMS. Collaboration leads to sharing data faster and ensuring everyone has access to information, which helps streamline processes and cuts down on delays and potential fees like demurrage and detention.
  • Trust the experts – The price of handling supply chain data analytics in-house may stop some. But by integrating analytics-equipped TMS software, shippers can leave it to the experts, who know how to handle large amounts of data and implement techniques while understanding the latest technology. They’ll be able to study data patterns to find customer behavior tendencies. 

The Future of Supply Chain Analytics

Machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities are taking the world into an exciting future, and logistics professionals who embrace technology will reap the benefits. Companies save time and money using automated processes instead of manual ones and utilize the cloud to store immense amounts of data. Real-time visibility and collaboration will continue to become more prevalent among transportation companies, leading to sounder decision-making. AI will undoubtedly play a significant role and can help study trends, make predictions, discover patterns in large amounts of data, uncover trends and potential risks, and help with forecasting. Machine learning and AI will permit companies to respond quickly to changes to maximize efficiency and decrease costs while enhancing customer satisfaction.

Facing a Dynamic Landscape, Industry Leaders Choose Turvo For On-Demand Access to Actionable Analytics

The landscape is changing rapidly for transportation companies. Embracing change is needed to ensure proper integration with new technologies. Companies that implement actionable supply chain data analytics have built up flexibility and resiliency to guide them as they strategize and navigate into an unpredictable future. Turvo is leading the way in integrating analytics to allow a complete, unprecedented view of your entire business. It utilizes cloud-based software and real-time visibility to help your company transform data into actions that improve end-to-end efficiency. Schedule a demo with Turvo to discover how working with it is the optimal way to expand your business.

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