Building a Cohesive Data Management Strategy for Supply Chain Visibility
February 11, 2021
A business strategy consists of setting goals, objectives, and priorities for the business vision and mission. The strategy owners use their portfolios of assets, services, and products to achieve the business’s goals. A business will often have multiple strategies, such as having a digital strategy that supports their service or product strategy.
One of these strategies might be a data management strategy for supply chain visibility. Within this strategy, there will be multiple goals supported by multiple objectives for achieving the strategy’s results.
Within most strategies is the objective to maintain, grow and innovate the business with key metrics to measure and to improve return on investment (ROI), the total cost of ownership (TCO), and the value of investment (VOI). Strategy drives tactical and operational plans and actions of the organization.
A data management strategy aims to support and drive the overall strategic intent and benefit of the organization. Data management is supported by technology; technology supports business processes and enables people to make decisions. It also supports the coordination and collaboration of automated exchanges of data and exchanges with people.
Supply Chain Visibility
The goal of supply chain visibility is to have detailed data and knowledge of how the supply chain works and its overall health and effectiveness. This data is enabled by technology that collects and presents the data to people that consume and interpret the supply chain’s data and information.
Organizations have to know what is going on within their supply chain at every moment of the day. The entire supply chain has to be visible relative to the assets used in the supply chain. When an organization uses multiple suppliers, they do not need all the details of how each supplier does its part in the supply chain but still needs to include data and information relative to the multiple suppliers achieving their agreements with the organization. Having this data automated can provide timely visibility into meeting or exceeding expectations with the supply chain.
The Supply Chain
A supply chain consists of many assets. These can be categorized into capabilities and resources of all the organizations involved in the supply chain, not just the organization that produces the final product. Supply chains have many moving and stationary parts, each with different characteristics, capabilities, and values to the organizations.
Building a Cohesive Data Management Strategy
The data management strategy is the foundation for organizations to achieve their goals and objectives. Collection, analytics, and collaboration between functional units have to be in unison; one organization, one team, and each team member plays a part in its strategic outcome. The entire supply chain is a team and should function like one and not in an independent fashion related to the product’s production. Supply chain data and information need to be integrated and managed appropriately, not in functional silos.
Communication effectiveness and efficiency are essential aspects of any enterprise data strategy and are reliant on enterprise architecture and data management technology. Communication is enabled with data and information, including understanding how data is processed for decision support. Organizations need to pay attention to data exchanges and translations of data between functional units and outside organizations. If not done properly, this can result in additional work to interpret the communication, causing supply chain delays because a timely decision could not be made.
It is important to have a bi-directional data and information flow in a data management strategy. Data related to the data management strategy’s goals and objectives must flow upstream and downstream. Strategic data flows to tactical data, which flows to operational data. This data flow, which drives initiatives and projects for running, growth, and innovation, also has to be managed in reverse order to know if the strategy is working. Take the time to identify activities or projects in the supply chain data flow that create noise or inhibit the supply chain’s efficiency and effectiveness.
A cohesive data management strategy for supply chain visibility has to consider people’s needs, how the supply chain process works, and how technology enables the strategy.
An Enterprise data integration strategy improves decision support for supply chain management. Actian empowers the data-driven enterprise with a single data management platform to provide for the needs of the most demanding supply chain operations. Actian is a fully managed, hybrid cloud data warehouse service that delivers high performance and scale across all dimensions – data volume, user concurrency, and query complexity. Actian DataConnect manages the movement and transformation of data across the supply chain, no matter where the data resides.
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