4 Big Data facts that kill Supply Chain Visualization

Supply Chain Visualization is a supply chain link that is often confused with reporting and big data analysis. Tightening this link in your supply chain is a good way to solidify the base of your supply chain decision tree. Supply chain management is consumed with trying to forecast the future. With the advancement of technologies to absorb and analyze more data (big data), new technologies are needed to visualize the data and act on future events in real time without supply chain management getting lost in the avalanche of data and useless reporting.

  • Can the replenishment team and buyers address issues that come up on the fly and take action in the same system that presents the supply chain visualization?
  • Do you have an integrated picture of your supply chain? End to End Supplier to consumer?
  • Do the right people have access to valuable data?
  • Is there seamless communication between all the supply chain stakeholders- internally and externally (suppliers)?

Too Much Data and Not Enough Time

Unfortunately, most planners are forced to use multiple systems: they create a purchase order in one system, update a forecast in another, or create inventory transfers to balance inventories across different channels in a third system. Talk with your replenishment mangers and buyers to find out how many different applications they use daily. Then talk to them about reporting: How many reports do they receive and what actions do they trigger? Exception reports are known to trigger waves of vendor phone calls or emails or the need to scheduling meetings.

Replenishment users are pushed and pulled by yesterday’s technology. They are using systems based on old technology with bad data, poor exception management, and antiquated communication. These methods just don’t work in today’s modern marketplace.

Is supply chain visualization about seeing data, taking action, or both?

Digital dashboards are useful tools for Supply Chain Visualization. “Visualization covers the many ways in which data is presented to managers, such as dashboards…” stated Ken Cottrill in Lights, Camera, Supply Chain when he reported about the gathering of supply chain professions at MIT in June of 2013 and their need for finding ways to present vast amounts of data to managers in a meaningful way.
Just as dashboards help you have a bird’s eye view of what is happening with your automobile while driving, digital dashboards can help you visualize what is happening in your business. Imagine driving an automobile without a dashboard–you will not know how fast you are driving, which gear you are in, whether you have enough fuel or enough air pressure in your tires. One wouldn’t dream of driving a car without a dashboard; then how can one drive a business without one?

A Supply Chain Visualization Dashboard

A dashboard tool can help you identify issues that may arise in your supply chain. Dashboards can provide an integrated picture of your supply chain that can be shared with internal suppliers and logistics sources. They will allow you to build, customize, and take action on large data sets with ease in minutes. Dashboards can be an effective multi-level collaboration tool for key stakeholders and management.

Bad Communication Data = Bad Decisions

Often businesses fail due to poor communications that lead to poor decisions. Therefore, it is important to put the right data into the right person’s hands and keep lines of communication clear. A dashboard can allow a business to see all the relevant issues clearly in an organized and central location.

See the Right Data in time and Take Action Now

Modern systems today link the different operational systems together to allow users to go one place for supply chain visualization and the ability to take action. These modern systems will provide BI tools and link your internal and external people in a dynamic (immediate) communication look without the clunky remote desktop and VPN legacy applications your old software sales guy is trying to get you to buy. Sadly, the software sales guy will call it an update – which is funny as these updates are really 10 years behind other technology but priced 50-90% higher than modern systems.

Ensure a high level of communication and access to business data by investing in a digital dashboard. Business Intelligence and Analytics tools are provided with every iKIS solution at no upcharge. Don’t drive in the dark anymore. Contact Us to find out how our supply chain visualization tools like a digital dashboard, vendor portal and end-to-end technologies can serve you. Are you ready to ‘Tighten the Links in Your Chain™’.

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