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Fuelling the supply chain with data

Industry views | 23 February 2018

busy motorway are night with lights

By Richard Gifford, CIO

Success in the logistics industry has traditionally relied on effective utilisation of four primary assets: trucks, warehouses, people and IT foundation. However, in the new evolving digital supply network there is another major asset: data.

Supply chains already produce huge volumes of operational data. This will only increase as more and more machines, partners, and systems are connected to central networks. But collecting this raw data is just the beginning. Its full potential is only unleashed when many data sets from several sources are analysed together, not in isolation.

By collecting data sets from across all aspects of an operation and viewing as a whole, rather than individually, valuable insight can be sought that would have otherwise remained hidden. This is the power of big data. Through collaboration with cloud computing suppliers we can quickly and efficiently analyse this mass of data quickly, drawing out insights which have potential to pay dividends over time.

Customer expectations will continue to rise and the supply chain is often the place businesses will look to deliver success. Not only to serve these customers more efficiently, but also to reduce internal costs.

As supply chains evolve to become networks of connected partners, sharing operational insight will be vital. Visibility and insight from sharing data across the network will benefit logistics providers, their customers, and their customer’s customers. With increased transparency and data analysis across the network, seasonal trends and changes in operational demands can be anticipated and met more efficiently.

Therefore, laying the groundwork now to use this data will create a strong foundation for future data streams coming online. It’s only by collecting and interrogating data in the right way, and asking the right questions, that businesses will derive real commercial benefit from it.

Click here to download Chapter 4 of the Wincanton Guide to the Digitised Supply Chain