Behind every successful business strategy is a set of reliable data. Having the right type and amount of information will help you make better decisions, whether it’s about product development, manufacturing, inventory, marketing, etc.
However, as your business grows, so does your data. Without some sort of management process, it can be difficult to find the right information you need to make informed decisions.
That is where data supply chain management comes in.
In a nutshell, it’s a strategy of managing data – both internal and external data, structured and unstructured. Learning how to manage your data supply chain properly can help your business with:
- Enhancing customer relationship – by understanding things like what the most ideal shipping methods are, what their preferences are when it comes to making payments, or how to reduce the potential for damage and halt delays, improving customer service becomes easier.
- Strategic decision-making – data analysis helps companies make good decisions and take actionable steps to reach their goals.
- Operational cost reduction – one of the biggest benefits of extracting and analyzing data cost reduction. Access to historical data and real-time data helps you establish benchmarks, optimize processes, and find opportunities to lower the cost.
- Improving business agility – data supply chain management is crucial to enhancing business processes to optimize workflow.
Proper data management should also help reduce data redundancy, inconsistency, and increase efficiency.
It may seem complicated and confusing at first, but with the right steps and strategy, you can properly manage your data supply chain. Check out these steps:
Select a Data Service Platform
Your first step towards successful data management is finding the right platform for your business. The modern technology has made a significant impact on how businesses work. Just as many companies use digital technology for securing financing with blockchain lending, the most successful businesses also utilize technology for managing their supply chain.
There are so many data management tools and software out there. Depending on the nature of your business, how much data you store on a daily basis, and how you like to utilize these data, it’s important to choose the platform that will cater to your needs. Additionally, choose the platform that lets you organize, process and return valuable data, establish goals, and give you helpful insights.
Establish Your Data Management Team
It’s not enough that you have a data management platform. You should also have a small team that will address supply chain issues and ensures that you are getting the right data from various sources. For example, imagine you have a huge unorganized data stream of what other websites your visitors visit. While you might see instantly what pages are popular, you need to make the best use of numbers and data to figure out how it relates to your business and how it can help you make decisions. Identify supply chain leaders from each department of your company. Your supply chain team will be in charge of keeping track of your data and give you reports.
Furthermore, make sure to train your staff in all aspects of the supply chain. The more informed they are, the better they can utilize data to pinpoint problems and determine the best solutions.
Develop a Centralized Data Network
Doing so increases your ability to look at your data strategically. By developing a centralized data network that incorporates essential records throughout your organization, teams and departments can act on data whenever needed. It minimizes the time-intensive process of analyzing data. With such systems of records, your supply chain can be accessed and analyzed in individual parts or as a whole. For example, data about sales or supplier performance can be accessed by each department, division, or location. You can make all KPIs available at all levels of your supply chain.
Work With Accurate, Timely Data
Data consistency is critical in obtaining relevant insights and making the right decisions. To ensure consistency in data, it is important to pay attention to the timing of data that comes in. Some companies make use of mobile technology to get real-time data and integrate them into their supply networks. Automating processes is also a great step. For example, there are software programs that let you automatically place orders with vendors whenever your inventory drops at a certain level.
Implement Collaborative Strategic Sourcing
Your suppliers might know what selling in stores similar to your niche. Thus, they are a great source of data. The key is to get your suppliers involved in the decision-making process. By implementing collaborative strategic sourcing, your business can benefit from streamlined operations, reduced costs, and increased responsiveness. When combined, all these translate to better customer experience.
Your supply chain primarily depends on your inventory. Make sure that your inventory is balanced with your business’s needs. Working with your suppliers should help you facilitate better demand planning and forecasting.
Review the Data Supply Chain Regularly
Minimize risks by working with your supply chain management team. Review procedures and policies to ensure that they are still compliant, efficient, and updated. This way you can sort data into necessary categories and generate reports accordingly.
When done correctly, data supply management is a great way for the growth of your business. Managing data can be done through various steps, starting with choosing a reliable platform. Next, establish your data management team, develop a centralized data network, and make sure to work only with accurate data. The other steps would be to implement collaborative strategic sourcing, optimize inventory, and review your processes to make sure that they are still efficient and updated.