5 minute read

Today’s article is the third of a series focusing on the hot trends in the supply ecosystem in 2023. The first article in this series, Improving Efficiencies in the Supply Ecosystem, defined what a supply ecosystem is and then dove into why it is important to reduce waste and how enhanced visibility and collaboration can enable holistic sustainability decisions and optimal tradeoffs around costs, customer service, and sustainability objectives. The second article in the series, Speed is the new Black, discussed the need to drastically increase the speed to sense, analyze, collaborate and respond to changes and disruptions in the supply ecosystem.

Supply Ecosystem Data: “The New Oil”

 

Clive Humby, a British mathematician and entrepreneur in the field of data science and customer-centric business strategies, famously said: “Data is the new oil." And like oil, data is valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, or other material to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity.

In our complex supply chains, an opportunity or crisis can emerge in an instant. The supply chain can’t wait until the end of the month, week or even day to respond. Customer expectations continue to increase and they expect near-immediate responses. This, of course, is all being driven by services from companies such as Amazon, which are now offering two-hour drone delivery in some locations.

For years supply chain practitioners, including myself, have been talking about People, Process & Technology as the main keys to successful supply chain transformation. However, to manage through the chaos that exists in today’s supply chain, we need to add data to the discussion, especially in the case of digital transformation.

To manage through the chaos that exists in today’s supply chain, we need to add data to the discussion, especially in the case of digital transformation.

Some estimate that 80 percent of end-to-end supply chain data is outside a single enterprise’s systems and exists in the supply and demand ecosystems. This data is unique to each supply chain, and supply chain organizations need to be responsible and accountable for both master data about customers, products, locations, and suppliers and for transactional data including shipment, inventory, production, capacity, and quality.

Consider that the amount of data continues to roughly follow Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. Applied to the supply chain, this means that the amount of supply chain data is doubling every two years. Thus, identifying the various data sources, collecting it and storing it is just the start. As Clive Humby said, the data must be refined and turned into something valuable. To build a usable digital model of the supply chain data needs to be Clean, Consistent, Comprehensive, Consolidated, Convenient, Current and Computable.

Transforming Data Into Action

 

You have to be able to collect the right unstructured and structured data, turn that into information that can be visualized, transferred into knowledge through analysis, and finally into action through speedy collaboration and decision making. Your supply chain team needs to evolve from managing and manipulating data and towards collaboratively managing your supply ecosystem.

Data structure and collaboration curve

How to Evolve your Supply Ecosystem Data Visibility

 

Fortunately, over the last five years platforms that facilitate the collection, cleaning, and consolidation of detailed supply ecosystem operational data have been developed. Today, the same type of real-time operational data visibility that can be obtained through enterprise solutions for internal facilities can be obtained for partner operations through a Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Business Platform, such as the one offered by Nulogy.

Tune in next time for the last article in this series on 2023 hot topics and trends in the supply ecosystem.

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Written By
hank-canitz
PUBLISHED
Jan 05, 2023

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