Supply Chain Partners: How Sharing Data Can Boost Analytic Performance

Supply Chain Partners

Data is everywhere. The whole point of business is data. True. But is that the beginning and end of it? Is having a humongous amount of data just enough for you? Not anymore. It’s a fact that data drives businesses. All over, companies depend on various kinds of data:  data about demand, data about supplies and much more different data points to create actionable strategies. But is it worth keeping data isolated from other stakeholders who matter?

Retail supply chains need high collaboration

Profits and sustainability are directly proportional to internal and external collaboration

In today’s digital and highly competitive marketplace, it’s imperative that your retail supply chain attains a high degree of collaboration with all your stakeholders, including customers and suppliers. Suppliers play a vital role in handling your business. Seamless coordination is required with all your supplier base. The better a business is able to coordinate and collaborate with internal and external functions, the higher the probability of profits and sustainability.

Data is a crucial centerpiece of business. Keeping it only to yourself is not the right way. Today is the dawn of a world where data sharing has emerged as a major success factor for profitable businesses all over the world.

Data sharing drives innovation. It opens up opportunities for business to explore better and more accurate ways of forecasting, marketing and creating predictive analytics for your supply chain. Data sharing also creates a healthy competition among all your suppliers. For example, Supplier A may demand more shelf-space in your retail business because of its high sales volume and high-profit margin. Another competitor, B would then come up with a completely different analysis that your business could earn better because their products carry a higher margin.

Don’t lose the first-mover advantage

As you advance up the ladder, your competitors will lag behind for lack of understanding Big Data analytics and strategic thinking

The crux of the matter is that data sharing invites new and innovative thinking. Your business is able to gain invaluable insights about the business, through these suppliers. Each new analysis by the suppliers brings about a different view of demand, branding, elasticity, inventory, shelf-space or cost. It helps you to leverage advanced analytics solutions, take more informed decisions, and improve your present and future strategies in a way better aligned for growth and profitability.

First mover advantage is another reason why business should not shy away from sharing their data with, say suppliers. A data-sharing culture induces creativity and alternative thinking. Suppliers want to stay in the business, and to do so they need to come up with analyses and actions that separate them from competition. This creates a competitive environment, one that is ultimately beneficial to your business. Better analytical tools and artificial intelligence equip you with futuristic insights for the business ecosystem.

Now, as you advance up the ladder, your peers in the industry are still at level one because of lack of understanding and strategic thinking regarding Big Data analytics. This gives you a huge boost in terms of not only predicting business requirements but also delighting your customers.

Data sharing reduces the bullwhip effect

Analyzing data from the lower nodes improves the accuracy of demand forecasts

Another advantage of creating a data-sharing environment is reducing the bullwhip effect, thus creating more efficient supply chain networks and improved merchandising. The bullwhip effect is a description of the phenomenon that uncertainty in demand grows with information that is available at higher nodes in the supply chain. Analyzing point-of-sale data gives a more accurate forecast of demand than when analyzing data of shipment to retailers.

Data sharing is soon becoming necessary for businesses to survive. It’s time to leverage Big Data to the maximum for, after all, it is that point of advantage that can help you drive innovation and push for better collaboration, transparency, and visibility, all elements that are essential for a robust and lean supply chain network.