Optimize Supply Chain Management with Big Data

Companies have faced a bottleneck in their Supply Chain Management by using traditional systems. The traditional Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) systems are failing to meet the demanding needs of manufacturers. 

Therefore, innovative solutions like Big Data have been implemented in conjunction with managing business risk. What can you do to optimize your SCM using this technology?

Using big data to create more collaboration

Using the same suppliers or distribution channels over again can be successful for some businesses but it is not efficient. Rather you should have a broad database of suppliers that is constantly maintained with the latest information. 

Whenever you need to get certain products, it will be easier to know exactly where to get them and how much the item will be. Maintaining these supplier databases can help you collaborate with other suppliers that could add real value to your business. The use of warehouse management software like CartonCloud can also help streamline your supply chain management.

It is also one of the most effective methods of cutting back on costs and getting real value for the money you are paying.

Sharing insight instead of just completing transactions

As a valuable member part of a certain supply chain, you surely understand the dynamics of this type of business model. It structures and organizes B2B transactions for them to take place as seamlessly as possible. 

Although traditional methods have worked well for many years, the time for change has come. To optimize your Supply Chain Management, you should adopt unconventional methods aiming to revolutionize this business model. 

Don’t perceive the supply chain as just a vehicle to pass along goods to the storefronts but rather an opportunity to grow and improve by sharing relevant data.

Implementing tools powered by Big Data

A lot of tools have been developed using big data that support various SCM systems for a diverse range of industries. For example, companies involved in the retail business have their own requirements and expectations of SCM systems they need to do their job. 

The same applies to companies in the logistics sector, warehousing, and manufacturing. These different requirements of SCM systems created a great demand and software developers rose to the occasion. 

There are a variety of apps and software, each servicing business involved in different phases of the supply chain that are currently available. You can optimize your SCM system by sourcing the best one that fits the business requirements and implementing them right away.

Matching the demand, supply, and inventory

Businesses can use big data to try and match the inventory they have on hand with their current supply needs and forecasted demand. Big data ERP tools can be used to monitor the stock they have on hand and the number of orders they are expected to fulfill. 

Big Data can help you realistically project the number of orders that can be expected in the upcoming days or months. Big Data uses industry knowledge alongside historical data to reach concrete conclusions on the volumes you can expect to be ordered. 

That helps you plan ahead for that change and adapt to it easily when it comes instead of planning it as it happens. The data used includes insight into the number of customers you entertained over the past couple of years or months at certain periods. 

Big Data in Warehousing

Warehouses are using Big Data in various ways including monitoring the condition of the items stores inside. For example, if some goods stores in the warehouse have gone bad, big data solutions can notify those responsible for removing those items. That opens more space for usable products to be restocked and available for use. 

ERP systems powered by big data can also help you determine the best place to store items. It determines which items are frequently used, the distance employees need to travel to access, and so forth. 

After doing those calculations, it provides users with the perfect spot to store those items. Great development on the horizon is a forklift that will collect data in real-time as it conducts its daily tasks. That data can then be integrated into the Warehouse Management System, simplifying everyday tasks.

Being cost-efficient on transportation

UPS logistical services have set a great example for other companies involved in this phase of the supply chain on how they can implement big data. The company was one of the pioneers who piloted a system to use AI-powered systems to determine the best routes. 

That did not only save the company significant amounts of money but also contributes to minimizing the carbon emissions footprint of their fleet. A lot of companies have also joined the program and started calculating routes carefully to cut costs and reduce their carbon emissions. 

Amazon is also using AI-powered drones and autonomous vehicles to manifest the power big data has in the supply chain.

Point of Sale SCM optimization

Retailers that directly service customers should also optimize their SCM systems by taking precautionary measures regarding inventory management. These Point of Sale stores can lose a lot of business if they do not have enough inventory. 

Therefore, they need to optimize their SCM system by including inventory management tools that operate on the Big Data principle. For starters, they can use their sales data to determine if the business has enough inventory on-hand. Above that, business owners can collect historical sales data to determine a pattern in purchases. 

They can then follow that pattern to identify the quantities and of those products and also the times when you need to stock up. You can use an inventory management system with all the features required. Blue Bottle Coffee Company rented out the services of Vend to monitor its inventory automatically using Big Data.

The bottom line

Big data can help improve SCM systems dramatically by automating some of the processes and making your supply chain more of a community than a generic business model. These tips can help improve SCM dramatically and assist businesses to cut back on costs.


Khatak is a tech writer and covering some latest tech trends in the world. Also writing and publishing some business ideas.

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