Unlocking increased value in the transportation network sounds simple enough, but it’s growing more complex in today’s disruption-filled world. As noted by Rhys Thomas of Supply Chain Digital, “COVID-19 threw even the most detail-oriented roadmaps for a loop. Long-term plans to improve efficiencies alongside the steady growth in consumer e-commerce deliveries were found to be too slow, as millions of people confined to their homes turned to online retail for their necessities and entertainment. The boom in online and omnichannel retail continues to place almost daily increases in demand on logistics professionals, and the growing fleet of last-mile delivery vehicles.”
Applied analytics, leveraging holistic shipping and supply chain data, holds the key to driving more value and elevates the role of the supply chain team, enabling more capacity and better use of resources. Let’s take a closer look at why and how this process happens.
The Challenges of Limited Supply Chain Data
The first thing to understand is simple. A lack of or limited access to supply chain data amounts to making decisions based on guesswork. That might have worked for small-scale operations, but with e-commerce exploding and D2C sales on the rise, it is simply outdated and inefficient. Furthermore, lacking data is tantamount to lacking visibility. And without visibility, the following issues arise:
- Increased customer complaints.
- Decreased customer retention rates.
- Delays in shipping and delivery.
- Inability to track damage or lost shipping claims.
- Trouble measuring the performance of business relationships, due to a variety of different data sources that remain unconnected.
That is not even a comprehensive list. In reality, it would look more like a shipping nightmare vision of Murphy’s Law.
Using Data Promotes Fact-Based Decision Making
Applied analytics and shipping data insights further promote fact-based decision-making. That’s a simple way of looking at the bigger picture. By knowing what’s happening throughout the full network, it’s easier to see when things might go awry. It’s in this space where data analytics can help enable management by exception and strategic transportation optimization. Fact-based decision making elevates the role of the supply chain manager, as access to data and analytics makes it easier to collaborate and share information, providing a more collaborative team approach with departments outside the supply chain, such as working with marketing or customer service to improve the overall brand’s customer experience initiatives.
Additional Benefits of Advanced Data Analytics in Supply Chain Management
Any initiative to increase supply chain visibility will be met with open arms. However, stakeholders might have some reservations. That’s why it’s imperative to know the top benefits of advanced shipping analytics uses of supply chain data. These include:
- Increased throughput at distribution centers and urban fulfillment locations.
- Better tracking of worker and network partner performance.
- Increased scheduling efficiency, promoting improvements at the dock and in the company wallet via freight bill auditing and payment management.
- End-to-end visibility to know the real health of your business and drive continuous improvement.
- Optimization of the network, to bring inventory even closer to customers, opening the doors to regional parcel carriers and their benefits along the way.
- Clear ROI projections, continuously showing how dedicated service and analytics applications are adding value to your network in perpetuity.
Put the Power of Collaborative, Data-Driven Operations to Work by Selecting the Right Analytics Partner
Today’s supply chains are increasingly complex and reliant on error-free processes. Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong. The ability to use reliable data to recognize and intervene in these issues can make all the difference. That’s what collaborative, supply chain data-driven process management is all about. It starts by putting the right analytics solutions in place. Contact Intelligent Audit today to learn more about how your team can elevate its standing through leveraging data and a dedicated consultant who is an extension of your team.