The logistics and supply chain industry are among the most dynamic and complex industries involving several bottlenecks, movement of assets, reliance on third parties, etc. Above all, the industry is prone to disruptions and more particularly unforeseen events, making a solid case for why companies are increasingly turning towards data-driven supply chains.
The Globalisation of every aspect of the industry, including shippers, consignees, trade routes, sourcing locations, etc. have made it crucial to leverage data to gain a competitive advantage and stay ahead in the market.
While the shipping and logistics industry is transforming due to changing regulatory rules, emission concerns and political tensions, you can optimise resources, drive savings and efficiency by leveraging logistics analytics.
Adopting a system that enables logistics analytics will allow you to cut down on your operation costs, make informed decisions and gain visibility over your supply chain, irrespective of the circumstances.
You can gain valuable insights through various data points a logistics analytics software captures and use it to streamline multiple functions, offer better customer service and more.
By adopting a data culture approach, you are potentially eliminating the scope for guesswork and making decisions based on facts backed by advanced data analytics. It’s vital to note that a data-driven approach enables you to consolidate your various supply chain functions which have been traditionally fragmented.
With the help of a logistics data management system, you can anticipate peak and lean periods, potential future supply shortage, and respond accordingly.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which you can use data and analytics to optimise various logistics functions:
Logistics data analytics dashboards enable you to keep track of and improve the performance of various parties involved in your supply chain. For instance, the system captures every single data point along your supply chain such as expected arrival times of drivers, docking schedules, when a shipment leaves your storage facility and is loaded onto the ship, delivery schedule of the carrier, etc.
By analysing this data, you can effortlessly understand and keep track of the workforce’s performance. It can also highlight which machines are not performing well and allow supply chain managers to intervene quickly.
Above all, intelligent solutions enable you to share the data analytics with your partners, improving efficiency and end-to-end transparency.
Big-data analytics helps you boost the overall productivity of your logistics operations in multiple ways. The insights that the system generates after analysing data benefit you and your partners. The solution captures fluctuating customer demand, external events’ impact on your operations and guides your actions accordingly.
It enhances transparency and helps other stakeholders involved in your operations streamline various processes, driving operational efficiencies and ultimately, cost savings.
The emergence of these logistics data-analytics solutions has made it possible to determine and track KPIs for various real-time functions. The ability to access real-time data and instant insights enable you to monitor operations and identify inefficiencies immediately.
As soon as the system spots errors in freight rates, delivery delays or a gap in operations, it notifies you immediately and allows you to take corrective measures within no time.
Besides, predictive analytics can also be used to anticipate peak season for a particular product, at any given time and place. By having a comprehensive understanding of how the demand for your product is likely to evolve in the time ahead, you can then strategically plan and prepare for the shifts, manage inventory and control costs.
You can optimise routes and delivery times by having access to real-time information about GPS data, weather conditions, traffic patterns, road maintenance and other schedules all in one place.
Apart from timely deliveries, customers appreciate having visibility over their shipment and logistics analytics equips you to exactly tell them where their shipment was at what point and the reasons behind possible delays. Analysing data also enables you to improve various operational processes and enhance customer service and customer loyalty.
Straightforward assessment of vendor performance
Advanced data processing has made it possible to assess vendor performance quickly. For instance, your system can capture multiple data points in the freight rate negotiation process, such as your vendors’ rates and the number of negotiations that happen for each shipment.
The system can also check whether contracted service level agreements are being met vis-a-via agreed arrival times. Based on this information, you can then choose the vendors that genuinely benefit your business.
Accurate planning and scheduling
Extensive planning and scheduling is an integral part of your supply chain management. When you have a logistics analytics solution to do the number crunching for you, you are better equipped to plan your shipments irrespective of disruptive events.
By effectively using the data at hand, you can determine the best time to schedule a specific geography shipment. This can help you drive yet further savings.
The availability of predictive and prescriptive analytics has made it possible to deal with multiple pain points in planning by eliminating the scope for guesswork while making decisions.
Leaders leverage data
Big data and auto-generated insights have heralded a new era today and are here to stay in the time ahead. Modern-day logistics data analytics has emerged as a great enabler of supply chain optimisation on both a micro and macro scale. It is at the forefront of leading and transforming organisational supply chains and most definitely the way forward.