Supply Chain Management Taking A Huge Step Forward Thanks To Big Data And Analytics

Despite the many useful applications for big data and analytics in supply chain management, most businesses have been reluctant to get on board until recently, continuing to focus on areas such as manufacturing and marketing instead.

Now, inventory management, transportation logistics, and forecasting are all taking advantage of the new applications that can analyze unstructured data easily and accurately. Digital cameras are being used in warehouses to keep tabs on stock levels and signal when restocking is needed. Furthermore, this camera data can be used with machine learning algorithms to help predict when resupplies are going to be needed, moving one step closer to warehouse and distribution centers that can essentially run themselves.

One particularly well-received application is the ability for manufacturers to stay on top of the allocation of shelf space for their products in retail. Sensors that can detect the logos and brands that are visible on each shelf make it possible to monitor this. In addition, operatives are finding ways to use new technology to support older and more structured enterprise data like that collected at the point of sale.

New Insight Into The Short Term

Social media is also being used to determine demand as it indicates what people are saying about certain products or services and how much they are talking about them. Another data element that is becoming more useful is the weather; real-time analytics makes it possible to gauge the impact of subtle things like an unusually warm day in winter.

All of this is allowing companies to gain insights over the short term and see how their operations will be affected during this week rather than looking at a bigger time frame. Despite the inroads that data has made over the past few years in supply chain management and logistics, there is still much more room for progress. Now, companies are looking at ways to create savings and efficiency with the staggering amounts of data that are available in modern times.

This blog post was based off an article from Forbes. View the original here.