What is Big Data?
Big data has been a growing trend in many industries for a few years now. In particular, the supply chain industry is starting to see big changes from this trend. However, many still struggle with what exactly is “big data.”
Here’s one definition that captures the idea from an article written by Lisa Arthur: “Big Data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.” Arthur highlights the importance of not only including digital data but traditional data as well. Although traditional data may be dwarfed by the volume of digital data, it still contributes to big data.
However, it is vital that big data is not written off as a buzzword. Firms should take the time to understand its meaning and effects. This often means having a C-level discussion to outline exactly what the impact of big data is for your company. Getting everyone on the same page is the first step in understanding and reaping the full benefit of it.
There are several benefits that big data can offer. In particular, it can help organizations achieve more accurate forecasting, improved visibility, decreased reaction time, and smarter sourcing. Using its power, firms can fully understand their operations.
More Accurate Forecasting
With big data, companies can identify more advanced trends. Also, it provides companies with new info about their operations. It can go beyond only knowing basic inventory and trends. Using this, a company can learn more about their customers, figure out when demand is highest, and much more. With this kind of in-depth info, organizations are able to forecast trends more accurately. The insight big data provides helps organizations manage their supply chains more efficiently.
Big data provides organizations with real-time info and updates. This allows companies to know where orders are, what stock is available at different company locations, and the current demand. With this level of visibility, companies are able to provide a higher level of customer service and improve overall efficiency. The demand for real-time visibility from customers is on the rise. They want access to product availability, order tracking, and a variety of delivery options.
This level of visibility also helps staff work more efficiently. When staff know what is going on along the supply chain and with inventory, they can plan accordingly. Having supply chain visibility keeps employees in-the-know and fully equipped to do their job efficiently.
Decrease Reaction Time
Having this visibility from big data also helps to manage risk and decrease reaction time. As a result, companies can engage potential problems before they happen and avoid any setbacks. One example may be a delay along a shipping companies’ transportation route. Big data integration can help notify a company ahead of time if an order is headed that direction, and then re-route the shipment accordingly.
Companies are warned of risk further in advance. They also have the info to make quick and informed decisions right at their fingertips. Big data provides you with the info you need to make informed decisions on-the-fly.
Big data also helps companies source more effectively to boost profits. By having detailed insights into your inventory and ordering processes, you can easily identify areas improvement. You will know what works well and what needs work. This can bring opportunities you might not have seen before. These benefits could be shipment consolidation or alternate suppliers with more competitive pricing. Big data gives companies a new view into their operations, allowing them to identify areas where they can boost profit more quickly and efficiently.
In conclusion, big data can provide detailed insight into any organization’s operations. It can help companies forecast more accurately, gain real-time visibility, reduce risk, and boost profit through sourcing. However, this is only a small glimpse of what it can do. It may appear as a buzzword to many, but its potential to make big waves in the near future is staggering. Learning how to use it in your organization now will help put you ahead of your competition. Why wait to start boosting operational efficiency?