What is Supply Chain Analytics?

What is Supply Chain Analytics?

Supply chains generate an immense amount of data points from their origination through to their destination. Manually tracking event milestones and exceptions from this massive amount of data makes it nearly impossible to derive actionable insights and see key performance indicators (KPIs).

It takes an analysis of past events to inform the present and make future predictions. Still, shippers can only craft such analysis with a clear picture from thousands of data points or knowledge of carrier performance.

Rates have fallen dramatically since 2021, meaning shippers without adequate analytics leave substantial money on the table. How much have they fallen? According to a December 2nd, 2022, article in Freight Waves,

“The weekly Drewry World Container Index shows a 78% decline in the global composite rate between Sept. 16, 2021, and Thursday. Drewry’s Shanghai-Los Angeles index fell 84% over that period and its Shanghai-New York index dropped 73%.”

As rates continue to decline from pandemic-era highs, shippers must take advantage of a favorable market to bolster supply chain operations.

What Is Supply Chain Analytics?

A supply chain data analytics AI collects the end-to-end data points from a real-time visibility software solution to understand the current supply chain and predict future events and supply chain performance. They use past information to inform the present and plan for the future.

Using supply chain management analytics to compare performance over time across carriers is an asset that provides actionable insights. Data points that seem unique transform into comparable events enabling carrier benchmarking that increases the importance and reliability of data.

Robust, standardized data that identifies and analyzes trends and patterns, optimizes supply chain processes, and improves decision-making is the catalyst for improved operations and considerable cost savings.

Suppose a shipper moves on from old-fashioned spreadsheets and makes the crucial technology investment in visibility and analytics supply chain management software. With standardized and tracked data points, the software creates carrier scorecards and provides the KPIs shippers need for decision-making. Armed with this data, the shipper has insights into the entire supply chain, taking control back from variability and exceptions to drive efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, and cut costs.

For Shippers, Raw Data Is a Mixed Blessing

Following the supply chain crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic, shippers have sought to bolster their data collection to improve the understanding of their operations. Data is essential, but raw data presents challenges for shippers looking to harness the power of the numerous data points to improve supply chain resiliency.

The main challenges that raw supply chain data present include the following:

  • Difficulty in data consolidation: Raw supply chain data is challenging to consolidate as it comes from different sources that might use dissimilar data formats. Consolidating multiple formats into one central repository is typically very difficult and time-consuming, as disparate data formats need standardization if they are to be combined.
  • Lack of visibility: Raw data is frequently incomplete or inaccurate, restricting the ability to gain full visibility of the supply chain.
  • Difficulty in pattern identification: Difficult to interpret raw data makes identifying patterns challenging at best. Without properly identified supply chain patterns, the ability to make data-informed decisions is seriously constrained.

When it comes down to it, collecting raw data is only the initial stage of improving logistics. Compiling and making it useful is what matters; raw data is only as valuable as the collection platform’s ability to translate it into actionable insights.

How Supply Chain Analytics Software Turns Raw Data Into Actionable Insights

Supply chain analytics software is powerful, if not transformative, for shippers. Its capability to identify, standardize, analyze, and understand the interplay between different processes and performance insights turns raw data into valuable information. Shippers’ raw data realizes its full potential with supply chain analytics software.

To expand on the benefits:

  • By consolidating data from multiple sources, such as inventory, orders, returns, and others, analytics systems bring businesses visualization abilities and an understanding of the interplay between disparate processes and performance metrics.
  • Transforming the data into actionable insights by revealing areas of risk and opportunity reduces costs, improves efficiency, and delights customers.
  • Advanced reporting capabilities allow companies to make informed decisions regarding their supply chain processes, keeping them competitive and profitable.
  • Data add-ons ensure supply chain analytics software grows alongside shippers to provide the necessary scale and capabilities.

Supply chain analytics software takes raw data and changes it into transformative data for shippers.

Three Ways Supply Chain Analytics Software Helps Shippers Build a Ground-Level Understanding of Their Operations

A company can’t change when information is lacking. It takes understanding and measurement of past events to inform the present and help plan for the future. The past is the best guide for where things are heading.

No one looks at an investment solely based on current information, and the investment’s history gives clues to future performance. Shippers make a significant investment in their logistics, necessitating an understanding of how their supply chains and internal operations have previously performed.

Three aspects of supply chain analytics software help shippers better understand their operations.

  • Supply chain analytics takes raw, messy data and transforms it into consolidated information and relevant KPIs, making milestones uniform and providing shippers with an accurate understanding of past and current performance. Additionally, shippers gain an analytics-fueled understanding of where they stand concerning their objectives (KPIs).
  • Supply chain analytics software gives shippers in-depth visibility, which provides standardized milestones across carriers. This unified supply chain-wide approach to visibility data enables accurate ETAs by helping shippers navigate unpredictable and volatile supply chains. Additionally, translating exceptions and milestones into simple and standardized data pushed to stakeholders via webhooks, results in the full visibility their customers demand.
  • With supply chain analytics, identifying operational trends and patterns transforms raw data into actionable insights, which become efficiency gains.

Facing Favorable Horizons, Shippers Turn to Supply Chain Analytics to Bolster Operations

After the tremendous supply chain challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, shippers are deploying supply chain analytics to recover, learn, and adapt. Furthermore, they use their post-COVID analytics capabilities to boost communication, gain new efficiencies, and enhance visibility, preparing them for the next crisis.

Prepare for the Unexpected with Supply Chain Analytics Software From Vizion API

Rates continue to fall, prompting shippers to take advantage of favorable conditions by implementing transformative supply chain analytics. While the market is favorable now, the pandemic showed us how dramatically and rapidly things can change. Good times don’t last forever, and supply chain analytics helps shippers prepare for when the unexpected happens.

Vizion API users realize all the benefits of a robust analytics solution. They save money, improve efficiency, and delight customers through standardized and analyzed supply chain data. Shippers know their KPIs and can access carrier scorecards, informing present and future decisions. Their customers experience timely, comprehensive, and relevant updates from automatically pushed data.

A demo booked with Vizion API today will show you how world-class supply chain analytics software will transform your operations.

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