Peak Season Planning: How Retailers & CPG Are Using Analytics & BI

The importance of analytics within the modern supply chain network has never been more apparent or critical than today's market. The lack of end-to-end visibility and applicable metrics has made it difficult for parcel carriers and shippers to envision the value of data and analytics within their network systems. Without proper peak season planning, improving business agility and sustaining operational performance grows more uncertain. That means the only remaining critical areas of focus for logistics managers and supply chain directors must be using data to gain actionable insights into the market and figure out how to pre-empt volatility. Utilizing solid analytics and business intelligence allows for better scalability and faster adaptability within the ever-changing market, particularly when it comes to peak season planning. Learn how retailers and CPG (consumer products good) companies are relying on analytics to optimize carrier networks, run modeling scenarios, and more.

Peak Season Planning Begins With Using Intelligence to Understand Current Business Positions

Knowing where the company stands and what shipping solutions remain practical are key points all logistics managers need to remember. Understanding current trends and the business position within the global market helps shed light on the inner workings of the supply chain. Benchmarking internal operations can offer essential insights and provide practical peak season logistical planning and data analysis guidelines and applications.

For instance, a single source of truth for shipping spend by transportation mode, seeing the top carriers that make up total costs, and understanding how small changes stack up to big improvements within logistics planning.

CPG and Retailers Leverage Data to Identify Gaps in Logistics Management

At the heart of logistical management is using the different shipping modes as effectively as possible. From overseeing the procurement of transportation to managing the needs to identifying when to switch shipping methods, leveraging data remains an essential part of supply chain management. That all begins with normalizing data to ensure it can be ingested to derive actionable insights, whether that's seeing average cost per zone or tracking billing exceptions. Together, peak season planning becomes much easier for shippers, CPGs, retailers, and carriers alike when real-time data and analytics get applied effectively. This can help manage costs and surcharges and streamline end-to-end processes to fill gaps and address weak points within the supply chain.

They Apply Data to Forecast Rates Throughout Peak Season Planning

Understanding what to expect from peak season trends allows for better budgeting and resource management. It is also effective for opening the doors to mini-bids and other opportunities to secure better rates and transportation options rather than relying solely on the spot market or long-term locked-in contracts. According to Deloitte, "While many consumer-centered companies have steadily invested in data collection, generating tons of potentially valuable information, as much as 80% of this customer data is not mined, meaning companies may not be fully clued into their customers' needs." Proper data ingestion, cleansing and analysis can increase business intelligence in these critical areas and make peak season management easier. These insights further give rise to a better understanding of shipments at risk of being late versus those arriving on time, including carrier-specific breakdowns. That information allows shipping managers to make split-second decisions when tendering shipments to always keep total spend in mind.

Analytics Shed Light on the Performance of Transportation Network Partners

When working with third-party teams and service providers, keeping a visual of performance and services is always a primary concern for transportation service managers. Proper analytics and data integration can shed light on crucial performance trends:

  • Carrier-of-choice status - having access to a wide selection of carriers and shippers helps streamline capacity management.
  • Measuring commitments - tracking orders and shipments and maintaining up-to-date status reports helps ensure overall quality.
  • Peak season planning - managing spikes in demand and issues with capacity management is more straightforward when using predictive data.
  • Tracking added charges - visibility with data-driven KPIs across customs costs, residential surcharges, and oversize surcharges.
  • Delivery success rates - faster and more reliable deliveries are possible with real-time tracking, monitoring software, and mobile apps.
  • Customer loyalty - higher satisfaction levels often result in repeat customers and increased brand loyalty over the long term.
  • Reduced waste - time management, paper and packaging innovations, and fuel conservation all become more streamlined over time with data integrations.

Data-Driven Peak Season Planning Amounts to Better Customer Service

Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence can drive more than 10% of sales growth for consumer-packaged goods companies,according to a BCG study. It also demonstrated that nearly 5% of growth and expansion comes directly from marketing and promoting services directly to the customer base. The value at stake for developing advanced data capabilities is significant: for a company with $10 billion in annual sales, that translates to $500 million in revenue.

Ensuring smooth transactions and disruption-free shipping can help improve customer service while also boosting profits across the board. This is especially critical during peak seasons when demand is high and ground fuel surcharges and expenses increase significantly.

For example, knowing when to ship by ground, based on actionable insights, for target markets can help shippers understand their weaknesses through peak season planning and execution.

Start Using the Right Data and Actionable Insights by Partnering With Intelligent Audit

With proper peak season planning, the critical areas of focus for logistics managers and supply chain directors — supply chain management and operations — remain front and center. With up-to-date data, real-time analysis, and robust business intelligence insights, it is easier than ever for supply chain managers to implement better scalability and faster adaptability within the ever-changing market. Get started today by contacting Intelligent Audit for more information about data analysis and business intelligence within the global supply chain.

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