In the modern era of business management, the competition is not among the organizations, it has been shifted to supply chains. Organizations are looking for decision support for the critical tactical and strategic supply chain activities where insights from these activities could help them to reduce their costs and also in optimizing the supply chains. In the world where optimization of processes is essential for survival, Business Analytics is an important tool for Supply chain management. Information has always been power and Business Analytics provides this information to support the strategic decisions. With increase importance, Most of the organizations are planning to increase their investments in Analytics with a bulk of it going to supply chain function because it holds the greatest potential for innovation and competitive advantage.
Investment in new technologies:
With Investment in new technologies like SAP and ERPs, The companies are receiving enormous amount of data as output. The companies are now able to monitor and measure supply chain and diagnose to benchmark with the industry standards. The can now use the data to compare their Key performance indicators vis-à-vis time and industry. It is important to understand that all key performance indicators cannot be compared in absolute sense. Companies which have similar business strategy can have different operational strategy, some work on customer satisfaction, cost optimization, manufacturing efficiency, integration and others.
How market leaders look at it:
FedEX vs UPS is classical example. Though they have same business strategy they follow different operation strategy, where one is disintegrated and other is completely integrated.
“…the optimal way to serve very distinct market segments such as express and ground is to operate highly efficient, independent networks with different facilities, different cut-off times and different delivery commitments.” FedEx (2000)
”Our express air services are integrated with vast ground delivery system: one system handling all products. The integrated ground and air network enhances pickup and delivery destiny and provides us the flexibility to transport packages using the most efficiency mode or combination of modes.” UPS (2006)
The firms which are specialized in providing business analytics and support the strategic decision should consider these critical aspects. Since companies have different KPIs and want to track them, The Business analytics provides an easy way of doing that where for people in executive level to shop floor can have information to work better and do their job efficiently. For any organization data is important to understand the scenario and make decisions depending upon the data. These data can be used for making supply chains more and more efficient.
Increase in the speed of data generation and its utility:
With new technologies coming up and internet penetration, there is more data being generated than ever before. So, the way this data presented to decision maker become crucial for making optimal decisions. The data must be accurate, timely, relevant, complete, understood and trusted. The Business analytics plays a crucial role in understanding the strategic priorities, the key areas in supply chain which decision maker want to measure and manage in the organization. Business analytics is all about providing the decision maker, an ability to consume the information and map them with the strategic priorities and make an informed decision.
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