New Interest in Supply Chain Analytics

Supply chain analytics enables you to collect, store, and analyze data in a way that leads to better supply chain decisions.

By ·

Editor’s note: This item originally appeared in LM’s sister publication, Supply Chain Management Review.

Supply chain analytics. What is it and why is it creating a bit of buzz these days?

I’ve been thinking about this because the topic has been coming up with greater frequency lately—in conferences I’ve attended, in press releases from technology providers, and in several proposed articles submitted to Supply Chain Management Review. So in supply chain terms anyway, analytics certainly qualifies as a “Critical (hot) Topic.”

First off, what is supply chain analytics? It’s essentially a subset of the broader business analytics, which is the process of collecting, storing, and analyzing data in a way that enables better business decisions.  Supply chain analytics incorporates those same activities, but related specifically to supply chain data and decision making. Essentially, the analytics process enables you to use data in a way that enhances supply chain operations, customer and supplier relationships, and ultimately cost and revenue performance.

Not surprisingly, technology plays a huge role in analytics.  Given the myriad data points typically available, even a smaller company would find it difficult to do supply chain analytics with largely manual techniques.

Speaking with Jerry O’Dwyer of Deloitte Consulting recently, he commented on the emergence of what he termed “advanced analytics”—supercharged supply chain analytics, if you will. Advanced analytics involves sometimes millions of data points, he explained, often gathered from multiple locations around the globe. The patterns, trends, and other insights revealed through this analysis aids decision-making across the full supply chain spectrum—plan, source, make, deliver, return.

Powerful technology solutions lie behind advanced analytics applications, added O’Dwyer, who heads up Deloitte’s Sourcing and Procurement Services practice.  Then, of course there’s the human element.  You need people with the technical and operational know-how to apply the data to real supply chain situations. 

As to why, supply chain analytics is capturing more attention these days. In O’Dwyer’s view, it’s closely related to the economic upturn that is gradually (albeit sometimes haltingly) returning to most sectors.  Companies have maxed out on the cost cutting activities. Now they are thinking about positioning themselves for the growth ahead. So how to make the right decisions in this regard?  Supply chain analytics is a big part of the answer.


About the Author

Francis J. Quinn
Francis J. Quinn currently serves in the dual capacity of editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review and Editor-at-Large of Logistics Management. Frank has been covering the transportation and logistics scene for close to two decades, having served for many years as editor of Traffic Management Magazine. He also has written a special supplement on logistics for Business Week and was a principal contributor to the book Supply Chain Directions for a New North America, prepared for the Council of Logistics Management by Andersen Consulting. Frank holds an undergraduate degree from Boston College and a masters degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. His service experience in the U.S. Army includes tours of duty as a magazine editor in Washington D.C. and a military intelligence officer in Saigon, Vietnam.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Deloitte · Supply Chain · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Private Fleet vs. Dedicated: Which one is right for you?
Having the right fleet for your business can give you an advantage over the competition and lower transportation costs.
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
While adoption rates have remained relatively flat, yard management systems (YMS) are helping logistics operations turn that important space between the loading dock and the gate into a vital link in the supply chain.
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
2017 Air Cargo Roundtable: Positive Outlook Driven by New Demand
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...

ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...