Why Data Matters For Supply Chain Professionals

Nulogy VP Christine Barnhart explains why data is correspondingly increasing in importance as an untapped resource for enterprise longevity and growth.

Christine Barnhart, Chief Marketing & Industry Officer at Nulogy
WRITTEN BY Christine Barnhart

The global supply chain continues to be top of mind not just for manufacturing professionals, but also for everyday consumers. With ongoing product availability issues due to material shortages, rising prices from inflation, rolling labor shortages across multiple industries, and expanding geo-political conflict, supply chains are not predicted to settle into a new normal for several years.

How do these global factors impact consumers? More importantly, what can companies do to counter these impacts and drive business longevity as well as competitive advantage?

If the COVID pandemic taught commercial enterprises anything, it was the critical need for continued investment in technology that can keep up with the speed of the world today–including the maturation of data usage and analytics. While many companies made investments in enterprise systems such as ERP and WMS platforms, only a small handful of organizations truly reviewed the need for multi-party data, analysis, and orchestration in order to better respond to supply chain disruptions.

In an increasingly unpredictable world, with increasingly complex product requirements, data is correspondingly increasing in importance as an untapped resource for enterprise longevity and growth.

The Value of Sharing Data

The value of data, especially for large enterprises, is simple: the more information you have at your disposal, the more strategically-aligned and intelligent your business insights become. The value of this data is accentuated by its recency (i.e., “Is it being generated in real time?”) as well as its applicability and ease of access.

Data analytics for supply chain businesses

For enterprises whose operations extend beyond their four walls, such as consumer brands and their upstream supply chain ecosystems, the flow, generation, and processing of this business data becomes even more valuable.

64% of respondents admit that their organisation struggles to integrate data from varied sources.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, ‘Data Evolution in the Cloud: The lynchpin of competitive advantage’

The main challenge, however, of harnessing the power of data has been the issue of connectivity. Internal data tends to be siloed not only by teams and departments, but also by disparate systems within an organization. As a result, unlocking data-based insights across an entire organization can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Subsequently, few organizations are fully harnessing the potential that their data can offer. And, an even smaller group has begun consuming data and insights from their trading partners.

But, as written in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s report, Data Evolution in the Cloud: The lynchpin of competitive advantage:

If that data can be shared more easily between organisations, while providing security, privacy and governance, there’s an enormous opportunity to streamline business processes, accelerate decision-making and provide a single source of truth for customer behaviours and industry trends.

For manufacturers and their upstream supply ecosystems, there are very specific benefits to adopting a solution that can unlock data flow throughout the enterprise’s ecosystem:

Create Visibility: Leverage data from across your organization to gain valuable insights into end-to-end supply chain operations and your organizational metrics—breaking down silos and eliminating data latency.

Optimize Operational Efficiencies and Increase Revenue: Build insights to optimize processes, gain operational efficiencies, reduce waste, and manage costs to drive revenue and maximize opportunities.

Enable Data-Driven Decision-making: Empower internal teams to make data-driven decisions.

Improve Agility: Facilitate real-time analysis and decisions to increase flexibility and resilience to accommodate changing demands.

Ensure Competitive Edge: Use data to drive descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics—promoting supply chain maturing—and surpassing the competition.

By 2026, more than 50% of large organizations will compete as collaborative digital ecosystems rather than discrete firms, sharing inputs, assets, and innovations.

Gartner Predicts 2022: Supply Chain Strategy

Evolve your data insights today

Greater data sophistication is needed by enterprises such as consumer brands and their external suppliers to respond to disruptions and opportunities in today’s environment.

The primary challenge for these businesses, however, is achieving greater data visibility by overcoming silos and creating greater data flow between internal departments as well as amongst external partners.

A data platform for deeper analytics

Fortunately, a modernized, cloud-based solution can enable data sharing amongst all parties, and ensure greater BI insights for improved business performance.

Nulogy eBook: Why Data Matters

Want to learn more about how Nulogy can enhance business agility and performance through deeper data analytics and insights? Download the Nulogy eBook today.