The Covid-19 impact on global supply chains is as real, as it gets. In the latest CSCMP’s Annual Conference Report, it was seen that majority of companies (58%) answered that they saw at least a 25% reduction in supply chain operations and 6% stated they experienced a total shutdown.
But similarly, in another of the recent surveys, it was strikingly found that 38% of the global supply chain leaders responded that they are still uncertain on the proper steps towards improving their logistics processes after the pandemic. So even if the global firms realize the importance of the pandemic and its impact, they are still haunted by their ghosts of the past. If looked closely at the situation or fallout from the coronavirus impact on the logistics sector, barring the market uncertainties, there is a larger chunk of issues that could have been avoided or better tackled if firms were better equipped in one major segment: data or visibility. And as mentioned this is not a real impact of the pandemic but an underlying issue that was neglected by many in the past.
But, identifying the problem is one and taking impactful steps is another. The time to do, is NOW. As M.F. Weiner had said in 1970’s that “Don't Waste A Crisis”. Leaders today need to take this to heart and emerge as more resilient winners from this crisis, with supply chains that are much more prepared for the future uncertainties. And what better way to be prepared than being equipped with the most powerful tool that in its definition itself is known as “one that reduces uncertainty or chaos” i.e. information.
So while the tendency to recover from a pandemic hit business environment might be going slow on new projects and investments, but if the sings are to be followed, the global leaders should understand that when it comes to investments or implementations of digital systems aiding your business visibility and data analytics, it should not be put on pause, rather be accelerated.
Where to start, many might ask? Well, let's start with the very first step of creating an organization wide awareness of the importance of data and information. Creating a business goal of implementing Infonomics or the process of treating information as an asset and using innovative tactics to transform it into a competitive advantage/differentiator. As MHI reports, “data and information will drive the next two decades as never before. Sales cycles, inventory controls, marketing initiatives, risk management, production cycles, and transportation schedules – every facet of the supply chain – will be data driven.” And with this scenario been fuelled more by the recent pandemic impact and soon the market forces will be determined by the supply chain leaders who generate business value from their data.
Enhancing process performance and labor productivity
Solving inefficiencies, identifying gaps and ensuring operational standards has become complex in the new normal of the supply chains, but firms with all round visibility across their logistics processes have shown that it is not that huge mountain of a feat to achieve. For them it is more about some changes and tweaks to their existing process models and that can be easily performed by timely availability of actionable insights. So with the power of Infonomics, data can be utilized in optimization of logistics processes from smarter inventory control to optimized resource consumption to intelligent delivery routing. For instance, shippers can utilize highly connected and real-time data to ensure better management of the dock door scheduling the associated workforce, ensure social distancing norms, create a more organized process of material handling and avoid time wastage.
Optimizing the planning with predictive analytics
Getting the planning right can help any business cut in millions of dollars in overstocking or understocking, it can help build thriving customer relationships and trust, also improve their production plans in the long run. But this pandemic situation has shown that any single planning model cannot be full-proof. With the sudden global trade restrictions, lockdown phases, hoarders creating spikes in demands and much more has affected businesses a lot in this segment. Thus, multi-scenario planning and real-time availability of data from across the warehouses has come to the forefront. Business today have to optimize their planning process with more technological options which leverage the power of predictive analysis, so they have backup plans in motion for even the worst case scenario that too even the D-day.
Powering yourself with scenario based data analytics
When we say scenario based data analytics, we are not just talking about planning any more. We are talking about your logistics process on a whole. Not just planning but multi-scenario analytics powers your business for even the direst of the situations. From selecting an alternate sourcing partner in case of emergencies or creating a different load plan to avoid potential delays or re-routing shipments based on predictive data to ensure on-time delivery or much more. Available logistical systems can provide you with the instant data, but analytical engines can provide you with the best possible plans for your predicted bottlenecks or unpredicted situations that may arise. Equipping your business with predictive technology powered tools can not only help you predict the scenarios proactively but also provide you with probable solution options that keeps you well prepared in advance. Thereby reducing at least 26% of the efforts and costs that are incurred in case of non-preparedness.
Like many other industries, the logistics industry is going through several changes and adapting to the new post pandemic environment. But as mentioned, an organization wide awareness of the importance of data and Infonomics has to be introduced to ease this process of shift to the new business environment. Thus, leveraging the full power of logistics data analytics through innovative technology implementations is the way forward in speeding up the path to a more efficient and sustainable supply chain.
At what stage of supply chain visibility is your firm in today? What are your future plans on those lines? Let’s discuss, I am eagerly waiting for your thoughts on this.
We have seen an increase in enhancement requirements to data visibility in different phases for our global clients and being a cloud-based end-to-end solution provider powered by data analytics, we have been able to fulfill the market demands at a more accelerated and customized way in these recent times. Check out our solutions at: www.highway905.com and connect with us at email@example.com for further details.
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President and CEO, Highway 905
Srini Vaidy is the President and CEO of the award-winning, cloud-based logistics technology provider Highway 905. He is an established innovator in the Supply Chain & Logistics space, with an ever-dying passion for coding and technology. For more than 30 years he has been ideating customer-centric and efficiency-driven supply chain execution solutions for the Fortune 500 to help them optimize their logistics costs and strengthen their competitive market position. With one eye on technological trends and the other on the happenings in the logistics space, he likes providing readers with an interesting perspective on the future of logistics industry.