Data Analytics

Unlocking Business Insights: How Supply Chain Analytics Measures Your Company’s Health

Traci Curran

May 23, 2023

circle of shipping and transporting and supply chains

In today’s highly competitive business world, companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their supply chain operations. One of the most effective ways to do this is by measuring supply chain performance using real-time analytics. By understanding the performance of each aspect of the supply chain, companies can identify bottlenecks, reduce lead times, and improve customer satisfaction. By implementing real-time supply chain analytics, you can gain valuable insights into your company’s health and identify areas for improvement.

Key Performance Indicators in Supply Chain Analytics

Before diving into the benefits of supply chain analytics, it’s essential to understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are typically used to measure supply chain performance. These metrics are vast, but three that are common examples are:

Inventory Turnover: This KPI measures how quickly you are selling your inventory. A low inventory turnover rate can indicate that you are carrying too much inventory, while a high rate can suggest that you are not keeping enough stock on hand.

Order Cycle Time: This KPI measures the time it takes from when a customer places an order to when the order is fulfilled. A longer order cycle time can lead to dissatisfied customers, while a shorter cycle time can improve customer satisfaction.

Perfect Order Rate: This KPI measures the percentage of orders that are delivered on time, in full, and without any errors. A low perfect order rate can indicate that you have issues with your order fulfillment process, which can lead to lost sales and dissatisfied customers.

Using Data Analytics to Improve Supply Chain Performance

One of the most effective ways to improve supply chain performance is using data analytics. By collecting and analyzing data from various aspects of the supply chain, companies can identify patterns and trends that can be used to optimize operations. Data analytics can be used to identify areas where supply chain operations are inefficient or ineffective, such as high inventory levels or long lead times. It can also be used to identify opportunities for improvement, like reducing transportation costs or improving manufacturing efficiency. Some specific areas where supply chain analytics can improve performance include:

  1. Improved Forecasting Accuracy: By analyzing historical data and trends, you can improve your forecasting accuracy. This can help you better anticipate demand for your products and avoid overstocking or understocking.
  2. Better Inventory Management: By analyzing inventory turnover and other metrics, you can optimize your inventory levels to reduce carrying costs while still meeting customer demand.
  3. Increased Supply Chain Visibility: By using analytics tools, you can gain more visibility into your supply chain operations. This can help you identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies and make data-driven decisions to improve your supply chain.
  4. Faster Order Fulfillment: By analyzing order cycle times and perfect order rates, you can identify areas where you can streamline your order fulfillment process. This can help you deliver products to customers faster and improve customer satisfaction.
  5. Reduced Risk: By analyzing your supply chain, you can identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. For example, you may identify a supplier who is at risk of going out of business, and you can take steps to find a new supplier before a disruption occurs.

Best Practices for Implementing Supply Chain KPIs

Implementing KPIs in a supply chain can be a complex process, but there are several best practices that companies can follow to ensure success. These include:

  1. Defining Clear Objectives: Before implementing KPIs, it’s important to define clear objectives that align with overall business goals. This ensures that KPIs are relevant and meaningful.
  2. Choosing the Right KPIs: Not all KPIs are created equal, and it’s important to choose KPIs that are relevant to specific aspects of the supply chain. This ensures that KPIs provide meaningful insights.
  3. Collecting Accurate, Data: KPIs are only as good as the data that is used to measure them, so it’s important to collect accurate and reliable data. That means that the data must be consistent, complete, and correct, and that data must be available in a timeframe that allows your business to react to changes.
  4. Communicating Results: KPIs should be communicated to all stakeholders in a clear and concise manner. This ensures that everyone understands the importance of KPIs and how they contribute to overall business success.
  5. Continuously Improving: Supply chain operations are constantly evolving, so it’s important to continuously review and improve KPIs to ensure they remain relevant and effective.

By analyzing key performance indicators, businesses can identify inefficiencies, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce costs. Supply chain analytics can provide valuable insights into overall business health when they are built using KPI’s that are directly tied to overall business objectives.

Use these resources to learn how the Actian Data Platform is helping to deliver real-time data for supply chain analytics:

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About Traci Curran

Traci Curran serves as Director of Product Marketing at Actian focused on the Actian Data Platform. With more than 20 years of experience in technology marketing, Traci has previously held senior marketing roles at CloudBolt Software, Racemi (acquired by DXC Corporation), as well as some of the world’s most innovative startups. Traci is passionate about helping customers understand how they can accelerate innovation and gain competitive advantage by leveraging digital transformation and cloud technologies.