Big data is transforming the way businesses are done. Supply chain management, an important component of a company that manages the flow of goods and services, can benefit from using big data analysis to make processes more streamlined and efficient. Though earlier uses of big data were focused on customer segmentation and marketing and financial services, today, companies are waking up to the tremendous possibilities of big data in supply chain management as well. Here’s how big data can make supply chain processes better:

Enable more complex supply network chain

Big data is revolutionising the way supply networks are built and expanded. It enables a more complex chain of supply networks and focuses on collaboration and knowledge sharing among them.

Optimise market preferences

Advanced analysis of data can give greater insights into customer preferences, market demands, and microeconomic and macroeconomic trends. This will not only help companies make better decisions but also gain an edge over their competitors in the fast-changing global marketplace. For example, if a data analysis reveals that the company’s customers prefer convenience, then the company can arrange its distribution network to dispatch the products quickly to its customers doorsteps and score a point over its rivals who do not offer this facility.

Boost efficiency

Big data drives efficiency. Data analysis can easily reveal the company’s supply chain performance in terms of delivering the right product to the right customer at the right price. Apart from delivery performance, data analysis can also help understand customer demands through accurate forecasts.

Better forecasts

Big data can help in efficient supply chain management through better forecasts. By analysing data such as usage information and point-of-sale, companies can make demand planning and create inventory at various levels within the supply chain to easily cater to customer demands.

More responsive supply chain management

According to an Accenture Global Operations Megatrends Study, companies that are leveraging big data analysis are experiencing improved supply chain performance. Use of big data in supply chain management has resulted in increased supply chain efficiency of 10% or greater (36%), and greater integration across the supply chain (36%). In short, big data is making supply chain management more responsive.

Big data makes the company aware of the various shortcomings and also shows how they can be overcome. By putting the relevant data to use, companies can not only make their supply chain management more efficient and save money and time, but can also capitalise on various opportunities to drive business growth.