In the real-time internet age we live and work in where we are connected and can get responses 24/7, the expectation is that this is how it works for everything, including procurement and supply chain analysis. Indeed, it is necessary to have a well-connected local, regional and international virtual supply chain that can provide answers and solutions to those in the chain any time and anywhere.
On the horizon
According to an article on EBN Online, Betting on Analytics as Supply Chain’s Next Big Thing, the era of supply chain practices in real-time is here. This is according to experts in the industry who agree that a host of cloud data management tools and more corporate adoption of emerging supply chain analysis software platforms has made real-time supply chains possible.
At the same time, there’s an acknowledgment that it is necessary to lay down a foundation for efficient, real-time supply chain analytics. This is still in the early stages and will take time to build.
What good supply chain data should have
As many as 84% of buyers in the world are not happy with the current quality of their supply chain data. The dissatisfaction stems from the fact that they felt they were putting their enterprises at risk without insight into what they would be getting from suppliers. For supply chain data to be useful it needs to include the following information on each supplier:
- Geographical location
- Financial history
- Health and safety reports
- Regulation compliance records
A global network of suppliers such as many companies have today compounds the need for transparency in the supply chain. Chris Kushmaul, vice president of finance for the American Production and Inventory Control Society’s greater Detroit chapter told Enterprise Apps Today, “If you don’t know where your raw materials originate from, what locations they will have to pass through, where your distributors are located and where your finished goods will travel, that could be costing you inefficiencies today and will hamper your risk management efforts in the future.” Instability in any one location in the supply chain could spell disaster for an organization.
Challenges with supply chain data
Inherent in every supply chain is data that can be analyzed to improve efficiencies and control costs. Product testing data, procurement transactions, pricing agreements, logistics, and material costs are examples of areas where data yields opportunities to improve the bottom line and mitigate risk.
However, in many organizations, there are no clear data management strategies. Procurement departments often try to gather information independently. This is typically done by contacting every business unit in the supply chain and then creating a spreadsheet that is understood by only a few people in an organization. This method of data gathering is unsustainable over the long term and does not provide accurate, real-time quality data. The result is missing data, redundant systems, and poor collaboration between stakeholders.
According to Procurement Trends Survey 2015, 38% of buyers believe that in the next five years, the most important area of supply chain analysis technology should be big data and analytics. This indicates that an increasing number of procurement executives are grasping the importance of data. The biggest challenge is getting the first layer of data right so that relevant supply chain analysis can guide decision-makers.
Overcoming the challenges with big data analytics
Big data provides an organization with opportunities in different ways, including:
- Organizing and managing supplier relationships more efficiently by having accurate knowledge of suppliers before engaging them. While a lot of vendors use big data to get information on their customers, savvy procurement managers use it to get insights about their vendors.
- Creating complete and useful supplier profiles including data from external sources. This includes risk, financial, and performance metrics which risk managers can get in real-time from analytics dashboards.
- Learning how customers interact and influence each other’s purchasing decisions such as through social media postings and product reviews.
- Optimizing inventory management and product distribution based on real-time demand.
An efficient supply chain requires data about the production, sales, and distribution. The data supports the critical decisions and functions of demand planning, deployment, forecasting, and inventory. To get meaningful insights and make the best decisions, the data requires best-in-class analytics and expert support.
Get ahead with supply chain analytics software from ProcurePort
ProcurePort is a firm dedicated to providing organizations with strategic sourcing services and solutions all around the world. We provide on-demand e-procurement and e-sourcing technology that helps organizations achieve results they never believed were attainable.
ProcurePort provides support for every aspect of procurement and supply chain analytics. We take the data on these factors and translate it into insights that you can use to create a foolproof supply chain.
At ProcurePort, we combine our extensive knowledge of production, procurement and supply chains with analytics to give you the solutions you need to streamline operations and maximize the bottom line.
Give us a try
Make the decision to contact ProcurePort today and turn around your procurement process with supply chain analysis. You can request a demo and then get in touch and speak to an expert for expert solutions.