Organizing Supply Cohesively
Before Big Data innovations made possible through cloud-computing solutions, data for individual echelons of a corporation’s supply chain would be separated in what some call a data silo. Like a missile silo, data silos keep data separate, which ultimately prevents total integration. In order to
get that information prior Big Data required some footwork.
Today, real time data throughout the varying levels of a given supply chain can be managed directly. On a daily, hourly, and even minute-by-minute basis, the status of supplies being created, transferred, and delivered can be monitored. Over a year’s time, this builds up an informational outline of a supply chain’s reality.
You can identify previously elusive trends related to weather, holidays, things like road construction, and other areas where repeating patterns go unnoticed. When you know a certain region tends to have certain road maintenance measures in place at intervals throughout the year, you can subsequently organize supply routes for maximum efficiency.
Likewise, emergent weather patterns can be identified and those in later supply convoys rerouted in order to preserve expediency during transit. This can also help organizations avoid costly disasters that otherwise could not be predicted.
All that is on top of more streamlined information transfer and storage between varying echelons of a given organization’s ubiquity of departments. Where before, each existed as a kind of informational island separate from other data islands, now a digital peninsula can link these territories like a highway of the intercontinental variety.
Bringing It All Together
Taken as a whole, means of utilizing the cloud and big data to consolidate resources for maximum efficiency is SCM. What is SCM? Liaison.com says: “Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the management and oversight of materials, information, and finances as they travel through the supply chain from supplier to manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer.”
This is actually kind of a game-changer. When you can identify trends, you can minimize or maximize production to fit varying waves of information. Sometimes a certain route represents redundant transit which costs resources like fuel and time.
Imagine your group has been supplying a certain number of products to a region which doesn’t move them fast enough or substantially enough to justify the size of the shipment. Now you can downsize the transit method, conserving travel and delivery expenses. This means by sending that location a more proper quotient of products, you make more money.
When you can save time and money in the facilitation of supply chains, you can use those savings to expand operations progressively. Additionally, you have an increased discretionary fund that can be used to cover unpredictable obstacles which any business owner understands will naturally accrue regardless of preparation.
Factor X is facilitated by Murphy’s Law regardless of technological innovation. It can’t be done away with, but it can be managed in a way which doesn’t cost so much during a given fiscal year. There’s a reason many companies are upgrading to cutting-edge SCM solutions.