Many business leaders are smitten by the dream of incorporating data to power their business but at this point, the reality doesn’t quite match up to the expectations. Gartner estimates that nearly half of organisations spend too much time collecting, validating and submitting data.
Data in and of itself is not the primary problem here, there’s never been more of it available. We’ve found over the past few years that the most valuable piece of the jigsaw that is missing is the context associated with the data and the ability to put the data to work.
This is also hampered by processes that haven’t been designed for digital and are poorly adapted instead. When mixed with skillset and competency framework challenges in supply chain teams, it’s no wonder the transition to the data dream isn’t quite working as quickly as the business leaders wish it would.
We’ve put together four crucial benefits of implementing a supply chain platform that helps solve these real business challenges and gets you closer to the dream and away from the nightmare.
Hindsight Becomes Insight
Your teams have probably got more data than ever before, collated across teams, departments and divisions. A supply chain software platform needs to help you derive insights from existing data rather than spending time collecting and validating it. Your teams need to be able to access the data and manipulate and cut it to help drive valuable, essential insight into what’s really going on below the surface of your supply chain.
Supplier master databases and supplier relationship management systems should be baked into the platform so you get a holistic view and unrivalled perception of the situation. No more gut feelings or anecdotal experience – just a pure and clear view of the scenario. You’ll know where you’re at and your teams will spend time analysing, not stuck in a raft of unformatted, incompatible and disconnected spreadsheets.
Having a supply chain software platform drives your team to take action based on data-driven insights. Having clean, clear data to hand helps visibility and enables the business to make more confident decisions on risk management, inventory levels, supplier diversity and any other key performance indicator that is likely to drive growth.
In today’s rapidly changing environment, the use of a supply chain data platform like SourceDogg also enables you to take smart and fast action using data and not divisive discussion.
Although the operational benefits are huge in terms of data available for analysis and action, there is also a massive benefit of using a data platform to get your business on the front foot. Instead of being reactive to the inevitable wave of changes happening from moment to moment in the business environment, a data-centric approach helps you proactively plan and predict. We understand nothing is ever firm and fixed in the future, but using data to model likely outcomes then plan accordingly is one of the greatest superpowers data platforms give you in alleviating supply chain bottlenecks in the future
It’s often been said in business that your people are your best asset, but they’re also one of the most costly too. If you can make your data useable, you’re beginning to unlock the power of your team to do more than collect and process data. You’re using them in a real, added-value sense rather than as administrators.
Good supply chain software platforms put business intelligence into the hands of end users with self-service features that shortcuts analysis and turns data into insight that drives action more quickly.
The role of the supply chain manager is incredibly diverse, between relationship management, product knowledge, engineering and a large amount of project and operations management – so adding data analyst to the list shouldn’t be part of the plan. Instead, a supply chain software platform should empower the team to be more self-service with insightful dashboards that allow the manipulation of the data via a direct connection or simple exports. It should make the data work for you – not the other way around.
Achieve the Dream
Deploying a supply chain data platform does require a level of commitment to the dream from business leaders but the benefits can outweigh the investment rapidly and massively.
One key question to ask is, where else will you find these gains in productivity and profitability?
If you’re left with a blank sheet and lack of bullet points to answer that question beyond pressuring suppliers further (often not possible, or recommended for your relationship) or asking your current team to work even harder or longer (again, not advisable) then it makes sense to look at using a supply chain software data platform.
We’d love to show you around SourceDogg – so get in touch for a personal demo and we can help you realise a new supply chain reality.