How to Use Supply Chain Analytics to Optimize Your Business Performance

How to Use Supply Chain Analytics to Optimize Your Business Performance

In today's competitive business environment, it's more important than ever to optimize your supply chain. Supply chain analytics can help you make better decisions about inventory management, transportation, warehousing, procurement, and customer service.

Nitin Mirchandani
July 12, 2023

Supply chain analytics is the process of using data-driven insights to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and resilience of supply chain operations. Supply chain analytics can help businesses reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, mitigate risks, and drive innovation. In this blog post, we will explore what supply chain analytics is, why it matters, and how to use it to optimize your business performance.

What is supply chain analytics?

Supply chain analytics is the application of analytics techniques and tools to supply chain data. Supply chain data can come from various sources, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, logistics, and sensors. Supply chain analytics can help businesses gain visibility, understanding, and control over their supply chain processes, such as planning, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and service.

There are different types of supply chain analytics, depending on the level of complexity and sophistication:

  • Descriptive analytics provides a summary of what has happened in the past or what is happening in the present. For example, descriptive analytics can show the current inventory levels, sales trends, or supplier performance.
  • Predictive analytics uses statistical models and machine learning to forecast what will happen in the future or what is the most likely outcome. For example, predictive analytics can estimate the demand for a product, the risk of a disruption, or the impact of a price change.
  • Prescriptive analytics uses optimization and simulation techniques to recommend the best course of action or decision. For example, prescriptive analytics can suggest the optimal production plan, inventory allocation, or transportation route.
  • Cognitive analytics uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand complex questions and provide answers or insights. For example, cognitive analytics can help businesses explore new opportunities, solve problems, or generate ideas.

Why does supply chain analytics matter?

Supply chain analytics can help businesses achieve various benefits, such as:

  • Reduce costs and improve margins: Supply chain analytics can help businesses identify and eliminate waste, inefficiencies, and errors in their supply chain processes. By using data-driven insights, businesses can optimize their resource utilization, inventory management, procurement strategies, and logistics operations.
  • Better understand risks: Supply chain analytics can help businesses anticipate and mitigate potential risks and disruptions in their supply chain networks. By using predictive and prescriptive analytics, businesses can assess the likelihood and impact of various scenarios, such as demand fluctuations, supplier failures, natural disasters, or cyberattacks.
  • Increase customer satisfaction and loyalty: Supply chain analytics can help businesses deliver better products and services to their customers. By using descriptive and cognitive analytics, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By using predictive and prescriptive analytics, businesses can improve their demand forecasting, product availability, delivery speed, and service quality.

How to use supply chain analytics to optimize your business performance?

To use supply chain analytics effectively, businesses need to follow these steps:

  • Harvest accurate and comprehensive data: Data is the foundation of supply chain analytics. Businesses need to collect and integrate data from various sources across their supply chain network. They also need to ensure that the data is reliable, consistent, and updated.
  • Test various supply chain analytics techniques: There is no one-size-fits-all solution for supply chain analytics. Businesses need to experiment with different types of supply chain analytics techniques and tools to find out which ones work best for their specific goals and challenges.
  • Invest in supply chain technologies and digital transformation: Supply chain analytics requires advanced technologies and capabilities to support real-time data analysis and decision making. Businesses need to invest in cloud computing, big data platforms, AI solutions, and digital collaboration tools to enable supply chain analytics.
  • Identify your goals: What do you want to achieve with supply chain analytics? Do you want to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or increase customer satisfaction? Once you know your goals, you can start to collect the data you need.
  • Collect the right data: The data you collect will depend on your goals. For example, if you want to reduce costs, you'll need to collect data on your inventory levels, transportation costs, and warehousing costs.
  • Use the right tools: There are a number of software tools available that can help you collect, analyze, and interpret supply chain data. Choose a tool that meets your needs and budget.
  • Get buy-in from stakeholders: Supply chain analytics is a team effort. Make sure you get buy-in from all stakeholders, including your team members, managers, and customers.

Supply chain analytics is a powerful tool that can help you optimize your business performance. By collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from your supply chain, you can identify trends, patterns, and insights that can help you improve your costs, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and delivery times.

Naveen Merudi Co Founder Qbit
Nitin Mirchandani

Alumnus from IIM Calcutta, Nitin has experience of over two decades of strategic and operational experience, building companies and SAAS businesses.

Enjoyed this read?

Stay up to date with the latest video business news, strategies, and insights sent straight to your inbox!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.