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How Big Data is Improving Supply Chain Management

By   /  July 15, 2015  /  No Comments

figure-1-big-data-scm1by Angela Guess

Forbes contributor Louis Columbus recently wrote, “Forward-thinking manufacturers are orchestrating 80% or more of their supplier network activity outside their four walls, using big data and cloud-based technologies to get beyond the constraints of legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems. For manufacturers whose business models are based on rapid product lifecycles and speed, legacy ERP systems are a bottleneck… Choosing to compete on accuracy, speed and quality forces supplier networks to get to a level of contextual intelligence not possible with legacy ERP and SCM systems. While many companies today haven’t yet adopted big data into their supply chain operations, these ten factors taken together will be the catalyst that get many moving on their journey.”

According to Columbus, the first way is, “The scale, scope and depth of data supply chains are generating today is accelerating, providing ample data sets to drive contextual intelligence. The following graphic provides an overview of 52 different sources of big data that are generated in supply chains Plotting the data sources by variety, volume and velocity by the relative level of structured/unstructured data, it’s clear that the majority of supply chain data is generated outside an enterprise. Forward-thinking manufacturers are looking at big data as a catalyst for greater collaboration.”

His list continues: “Enabling more complex supplier networks that focus on knowledge sharing and collaboration as the value-add over just completing transactions.  Big data is revolutionizing how supplier networks form, grow, proliferate into new markets and mature over time. Transactions aren’t the only goal, creating knowledge-sharing networks is, based on the insights gained from big data analytics. The [above] graphic from Business Ecosystems Come Of Age (Deloitte University Press) (free, no opt-in) illustrates the progression of supply chains from networks or webs, where knowledge sharing becomes a priority.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Deloitte University Press

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