You’ve likely heard the term "Big Data". Your colleagues in the IT department probably throw it around a lot to describe the ever-growing volumes of information your company collects and analyzes every day, including to help you manage your supply chain. Those virtual stacks grow larger every year. In fact, we’ve created more data in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. And I bet you’re feeling the crush. Let's discuss how you can stop feeling overwhelmed and find value in the Big Data you are collecting to provide you with “Big Visibility” into your supply chain.
To quote best-selling author and Big Data expert Bernard Marr: “The question isn’t whether or not big data is here to stay; the question is are you ready.”
In order to answer “yes”, you need to make all the information work for you. But if you just push it into a data warehouse or business intelligence portal to review later, it can’t help you. Instead, you need the ability to explore the mountains of data inside and outside your supply network, pull out the relevant nuggets, analyze them and then use them to make better decisions in your supply chain.
The Perfect Approach to the Perfect Storm
Let’s say a major storm developing at sea may or may not affect a ship carrying your products. You and your supply chain partners have options to analyze and minimize the impact:
- Pinpoint the specific locations shipments are moving through and contact suppliers to hold additional shipments until the area is out of danger.
- Quickly determine what shipments are going to be impacted by the storm. Identify the products in those shipments and place another order from your suppliers, so that your ability to deliver products to your customers is not disrupted.
Of course there are a variety of options in this situation. The point is that collecting and analyzing Big Data in real-time enables you to be proactive and make immediate decisions and adjustments, allowing you to control and mitigate risk.
So now the question becomes “how do I turn all this data into an asset that can help me increase sales, reduce operating expenses and shrink inventories?”
I’m glad you asked.
Gravity’s Cloud is the Key
In my recent post “Create Healthier Supply Chains with Prescriptive Analytics”, I outline the benefits of adding prescriptive analytic capabilities to the predictive analytics you likely already perform (or should be) to automate existing manual processes. This provides you with 24/7 visibility across the end-to-end supply chain.
Providing our customers with these data collection and analysis capabilities is behind our decision to make our supply chain management apps cloud-based. We can help you improve collaboration and increase efficiencies that drive your business forward without the need to replace existing systems and processes you still find useful. The cloud also relieves your organization of the responsibilities and costs associated with installing, maintaining and upgrading systems.
Simply put, we want to make Big Data work for you instead of burying you.