Smooth Supply Chain Operations with Data Visualization

Supply chain management is one of the few industries that’s based on “static information” and a lot of variables. The latter is what often throws a wrench into the most well organized plans. This leads to putting out fires instead of successfully moving forward.

Real­-time analytics may be a boon, but it leads to non-­stop information overload. Transforming this information into something that can result in tangible results while addressing your KPI’s can be a huge challenge.

In the supply chain world, things are often less structured than other industries. But when you use data visualization, you can merge numbers, columns and fields with conditions, changes and insight. With a few dashboard requests you can paint a picture that meets goals, anticipates the problems and creates solutions.

Coordinate Products, Place, and Time

Keeping the flow of suppliers, transporters, warehouses, factories, and customers on a steady course requires constant data feeds and communication. Even the smallest disruption in the supply chain process can create a domino effect. Supply chain executives therefore exist in a world of potential vulnerability.

Data visualization is the main tool that can sync each of the data points and merge them into a single picture. You can address the ‘what if’ challenges, share the visuals with relevant players and establish plans to account for last-­minute changes.

Measurement Accuracy Priority

It is one thing to recognize the ebb and flow within the supply chain process. But it is an entirely different reality to have accurate measurements. And yet this is the priority that is required to overcome problems and create solutions. Drilling down to view the status of logistics, risk, customer demands, cost, demographics, and sustainability is a necessity.

Data visualization uses multi­-channel data feeds to produce images that can address the current, the possible, and the dynamic shifts. These pictures are quickly shared with critical departments and team players to realign in creating the most accurate outcome and stats.

Business Intelligence Brings Insight

Historically, there’s been little time to make use of BI (business intelligence) for supply chain executives. The nuances with change typically meant that by the time you did the analytics, it was too late to make use of them.

But data visualization allows for real time analytics, merging feeds from various touch points and then producing beautifully displayed images and graphics. The opportunity of having insight into the temperature of the company is available for static as well as visuals to meet the ever changing conditions.

Keep Your Edge (with Technology)

Supply chain organizations that are investing in the latest technology tend to combine it with the trained staff to maintain up to date abilities. These companies challenge the status quo, which consequently leads to success.

Through the use of data visualization you can add enhanced abilities to see what has occurred, what is in demand, and what will be required. Sharing this with your team members will allow you to keep your edge with technology and allow you to stay competitive.

The Importance of Product Interdependency

All too often supply chain management finds out too late of a product’s popularity. Shelves are emptied, customers are let down, and losses are experienced. The value of maintaining a high level communication relationship with the client is often offset by the lack of time.

Data visualization is a key tool that can identify the cause and effect allowing a clear picture for both the company and the customer. Accessing relevant information keeps the communication lines open. The technology empowers recognition during important client discussions.

Eliminating the Fear of the Downturn

When it comes to downturns and fluctuations, lessons often get learned the hard way. This has led to extreme caution, which can act as a double­edged sword. If you’re looking to cross the barriers for both your customer and the supply chain management team, you’ll want to embrace the technologies that bring predictability for all sides.

Accessing the funnel of information and using data visualization opens the door to some tough conversations. Addressing these questions with sharp, clear visuals can create a closer bond with all parties and allows visuals to appeal to everyone.

Balance Supply Chain Equality

The logistics of monitoring and tracking inventory status has historically been an ‘iffy’ condition.

Information feeds are often segregated, creating outdated updates that create havoc. The need to address the ‘information­-silo’ problem has become a key priority, so that executives can sync individual pieces to perceive the overall status. Volumes of complex data can be accessed by data visualization methods.

The creation of heat maps, information threads, geospatial maps, word clouds, and colorful images that are shared with the various critical players keeps everyone aligned. This ultimately assists in forecasting, quality control, and the reduction of inventory costs.

KPI Priorities

Each of your KPI’s is an independently moving puzzle piece, which requires varying levels of priority. To create a smooth supply management organization you need to address all of them. This precarious juggling act leaves little time to wonder if there are any missing variables that could cause a domino effect.

The ability to maintain all of the KPI’s in a single source is available through data visualization. With an intuitive dashboard, you can monitor status, create pertinent images that offer updates, and share insights with your team and department members.

Weighing Your KPI’s For Company Benefit

While the average supply chain manager knows how to carefully balance the KPI’s and give appropriate attention so that each goal is achieved, there’s a need to take a big picture look at your company to see how your KPI’s are affecting the overall success of the company.

Data visualization can help you to sync all of the KPI feeds and merge the data with company success. The resulting images and pictures bring colorful details highlighting the nuances that might have otherwise been overlooked. The solutions that are brought forth can enable visionary changes and corporate decisions that helps to move the business forward. You can now forecast at a whole new level for the next evolutionary steps.

Be Open Minded for New Channels

Innovation must be embraced to allow for continued progress. Maintaining a smooth supply channel includes keeping up with the technologies that are launched while also having an open mind for potential opportunities.

Having the vision to merge the varying data sets with internal and external information can enhance performance, give insight into future projects, and facilitate knowledge. Data visualization acts as the catalyst to blend each aspect together in picture perfect clarity. Aligning this concept with business intelligence brings a refreshing insight that was never before possible.

Operate your most efficient supply chain and download The Ultimate Guide To Data Visualization.

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