A white paper from DHL indicated that this supply chain data already runs the day-to-day flow of goods around the world.
Few very successful companies are already using this data as a predictive tool for accurate forecasting.
The white paper titled "The predictive enterprise: Where data science meets supply chain" is authored by Lisa Harrington, President of the lharrington group. Findings of the paper revealed the various opportunities available to companies to anticipate and even predict the future.
"The old ways of doing business are changing as a result of data analytics. No longer can companies run their businesses by looking through the rear-view mirror - they must now look ahead and use the supply chain data available to them to foretell the future if they are to keep up with the competition. Technology has provided a new means to achieve that possibility," said Harrington.
Integrating technology into enterprise
Companies are challenged to integrate supply chain analytics technologies and tools into the enterprise.
Typically, they progress through several stages of maturity as they adopt these technologies. The descriptive supply chain stage leverages information and analytics systems to present data in an easy to understand manner.
Although leveraging descriptive tools can help companies to cut costs and eliminate waste in their supply chains, leading companies prefer a more predictive supply chain.
The white paper insisted that predictive supply chain enable companies to start to sense and shape demand, streamline networks, and improve agility and responsiveness.
"Through data analysis we can run a diagnostic that identifies existing trends and constraints in the supply chain, and use it to predict future pain points or failures caused by shifting demand patterns," said Gary Keatings, Vice President Global Solutions Design Center of Excellence and Product Development, DHL Supply Chain. "Through better prediction of demand we have seen companies successfully cut 20 to 30 percent out of inventory, depending on the industry, while increasing the average fill rate by 3 to 7 percentage points."
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