Supply chains are no longer just people in lorries delivering products. There are obviously always going to be that element at the end of the chain, but throughout the rest of the supply chain, companies are finding that injecting data into their supply chains makes them stronger.
Below in no particular order 5 reasons why Data is having a huge impact on supply chains:
Companies have been finding that this use of data centres that help to maintain local hubs or distribution networks are vital in today’s economy and the needs of their customers. Customers today have a choice of millions of websites and regardless of what you are selling, from fruit to mining equipment, there is always going to be another company looking to steal your customers.
This is why being able to supply what your customers need as quickly as possible is vital to any company today. More and more companies are doing this through data, especially companies who are operating internationally with many distribution centres across the world. Knowing what is where and at what time can mean the difference between delivery in two days and a happy customer or delivery in two weeks and an unhappy one.
Equally, it is possible to make sure that where levels are running low, data can be used to identify this and make sure that stock is added to in order to keep up with demand, before stock in the area is depleted. This means that deliveries will not be slowed down through low stock levels.
It also has a significant ROI uptake as data an allow delivery routes to be shorter with the stock as close as possible to the final destination. One of the largest costs currently found by haulage companies is the rising price of fuel across the world. This means that with improved delivery efficiency and reduced distance to cover, there will be less fuel used and more money saved.
Big Data and algorithms can pinpoint where accidents within the supply chain are most likely to take place and then either change the system to adapt to this and reduce losses in that area or find ways to avoid them altogether. If the data shows that there are significant losses from one particular distribution hub, it is possible to up security or find out if the systems are faulty.
During times of upheaval, one of the first infrastructures to be destroyed are transport links. This is both in terms of natural disasters and conflict, where roads and airports are shut first, meaning that deliveries need to find new routes. Data has allowed companies to either find the new routes or send them out from other locations that have better access without crossing the effected areas.