What is the Future of Supply-chain Information and Analytics?

Matin Movassate, Founder and CEO at Heap Analytics have said, “Analytics software is uniquely leveraged. Most software can optimize existing processes, but analytics (done right) should generate insights that bring to life whole new initiatives. It should change what you do, not just how you do it.”  This quote provides a great understanding on what supply chain information and analytics has in store for businesses and organization in the coming year or even decade.

With the growing demand there has to be increase in supply. The supply has to be at par with the expectation of the customers which are also increasing, to make sure that the supply chain is evolving everyday supply chain information and analytics are extremely necessary. In simple words, supply chains generate tons of data, and analytics can be used to understand and optimize them and fulfil goals like identifying risk, reducing cost, and increasing planning accuracy.

What is the role of supply chain information and analytics currently?

Supply chain analytics is an essential element of supply chain management (SCM). It’s a process through which organizations gain insight and extract value from the large amounts of data associated with the procurement, processing and distribution of goods. Despite the benefits of analytics, nearly 60% of businesses do not have adequate visibility across their supply chain but supply chain information and analytics continues to develop and enhance the supply chain systems.

According to a survey conducted by Accenture, more than one-third of the respondents reported being engaged in serious conversations to deploy analytics in LSCM, while three out of ten already have taken an initiative to implement analytics. Even through supply chains information and analytics has been in use for long, it’s only after the rapid technological innovation in the past couple of years that we have been it play a major role in success of many organizations’ supply chain management. It’s because of the improvement in mathematical models, data infrastructure, and applications underpinning these analytics that have evolved significantly. Mathematical models have improved with better statistical techniques, predictive modelling and machine learning. Data infrastructure has changed with cloud infrastructure, complex event processing (CEP) and the internet of things.

However,, BluJay Solutions states that 75% of supply chain and logistics professionals said that the pandemic changed their supply chain processes. Supply chain information and analytics have suffered a setback due covid-19 in the past years but to overcome the difficulties it has also has major developments that have improvements supply chains across the role.

What does the future hold of supply chain information and analytics?

It’s simple, the quick turnaround with data enables companies to have a more holistic view of the supply chain and to better understand customer demands. In fact, Oxford Economics survey found that 49% of Supply Chain Leaders (the top 12 % of respondents) can capture real-time data insights and act on them immediately, while 51% use AI and predictive analytics to capture insights. The scope of supply chain analytics in the future looks promising, one of the biggest reasons for it is globalization of every industry and market. Everything is connected and it is only through data procurement that this connectivity can be maintained.

Globalization and outsourcing might make it difficult to track individual company-level impact but smart devices have allowed for the continuous collection of information which powers big data analytics. Technology provides the opportunity to assess each party within the supply chain, to integrate and draw connections between them. This is the base of good supply management. In fact, 70% of businesses believed that supply chains are a key driver for quality customer service. That means that a majority of companies are aware of how important supply chains are. Supply chain analytics models that reach a certain threshold of success are deployed into production by data engineers with an eye toward scalability and performance.

In the long run, advanced analytics will lead to more autonomous supply chains that can manage and respond to changes. In the future, we can expect improvements in IoT, CEP and streaming architectures will enable businesses to derive insight faster from a larger variety of data sources. AI techniques will continue to improve people’s ability to generate more and more accurate and useful predictive insights that can be embedded into supply chain system.

Supply chain analytics allows the wealth of information to be translated into decisions. In fact, 88% of supply chain leaders are likely to actively recruit supply chain professionals with analytics expertise and cross-functional experience and  83% are likely to recruit those with global experience. The future of supply chain information and analytics is bright, it’s expected that in the future it will become necessary for every organization, regardless of size.