Data is key to supply chain success


As businesses grow in size, it becomes more important for decision-makers to utilize solutions that will help maintain and keep track of important data. In today's world, innovative technologies allow supply chains to expand at an even faster rate, while offering them services that are meant to unify operations on a number of levels.

Unfortunately, these technologies often have a reverse effect because of an organization's poor data management skills, causing more fragmentation than ever, according to a Business Excellence report.


Recent supply chain accidents have demonstrated the importance of having company-wide connectivity, as pieced-together firms will often suffer unnecessary costs resulting from losses, noncompliance or some sort of failure along the supply chain. Meanwhile, the increased demand for mobile workers, innovative technologies and faster production cycles opens new doors to traditionally unforeseeable errors, the news source said.

These factors require rigorous supply chain management, as even minor breakdowns in overhead can cause damaging incidents to send shockwaves throughout the entire business. This is especially important with the advent of automated systems, as opposed to the traditional manual approaches to IT. However, organizations need to ensure consistency throughout the supply chain, as inaccurate data can have devastating effects, Business Excellence noted.

By using master data initiatives, supply chain managers can monitor and track information along the supply chain, enabling them to identify issues. These programs should consist of two parts: historical data cleansing and ongoing data maintenance, the news provider said.
Historical data cleansing comprises of classifying and enriching any legacy-bound information and applications. This allows executives to have a broad view of any existing data and can rationalize it, the news source reported.

Ongoing data maintenance, on the other hand, keeps information up-to-date and allows supply chain managers to utilize more innovative solutions without worrying about inefficiencies, Business Excellence reported.

For example, many supply chain managers are deploying robotics, real-time location technologies and voice command systems that allow spoken words to be transmitted into automated tasks, according to logistics company GENCO ATC. In order for these innovations to be useful and improve productivity, however, executives need to ensure they have the most current data, while having visibility along different stages of the supply chain. By implementing master data initiatives, companies can enhance efficiency without worrying about falling victim to unnecessary errors.