Analyst insight: As the global competitive landscape evolves, businesses are looking to gain an edge by leveraging big data, using sophisticated analytics to uncover insights and help drive performance. One industry that is behind the curve is manufacturing – primarily automotive, mining, life sciences and consumer packaged goods. But that may be changing as a result of a rekindled focus on improving operational efficiency and the necessity for organizations to utilize their supply chains as a competitive advantage. – Amber Morgan, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Analytics Lead, EY
It's easy for tech-savvy executives to get excited about Big Data and advanced analytics these days. Newly available tools allow companies to do things they couldn't do before, like recommending specific products to online buyers or mining workers' compensation claims data to recommend better treatment options for injured employees. But whiz-bang capabilities don't create real value unless an organization incorporates these new techniques into its day-to-day operations.
Aligning supply chain planning with execution is now a competitive necessity and essential for all organizations, according to a new study. Results from the 2014 Supply Chain Benchmarking Study reveal investment priorities and top challenges of more than 300 supply chain professionals from a wide cross-section of the market.
Retailers are prioritizing immediate investments in customer-facing tactics such as price, marketing and customer service over strategic infrastructure, according to research released from eBay Enterprise.
Inventory management and predictive analytics software, in-store mobile device integration and e-commerce solutions are the biggest technology priorities for independent brick-and-mortar retailers, according to LightSpeed's first annual Retail Tech Forecast.
Demand planning has a big impact on business performance. Planning error can put revenue at risk by driving component shortages. Persistent planning biases can tie up cash by driving excess inventory. Furthermore, the act of planning and dealing with planning error is time consuming and drives costly overhead. In fact, it is common for supply chain management executives to cite "planning errors" as the greatest obstacle they face to achieving their goals and objectives.
Most firms have already invested in business intelligence, supply chain management (SCM), and modeling tools that claim to make it possible to drill deeper into their supply chain data in search of savings. These tools are often marketed with vague promises that they will harness the organization's 'big data' and/or provide 'end-to-end' visibility.
Organizational, operational and technology challenges are hampering retailers' omnichannel efforts; 40 percent of retailers report they are having difficulty integrating back-office technology across all of their channels.
While retailers are facing challenges in delivering the reporting functionality that business users need to enable data-driven decision-making, they are optimistic about Big Data's ability to provide breakthroughs in analysis capabilities across a number of retail processes, says a study by 1010data Inc. In fact, almost all surveyed executives (96 percent) agreed that Big Data initiatives are important in helping retailers stay competitive. They said Big Data insights are most beneficial for merchandising (53 percent) and marketing (48 percent), followed by store operations (42 percent), e-commerce (42 percent), supply chain (27 percent), finance (23 percent), and loss prevention (21 percent).