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Gaining Supply Chain Insight Through Prescriptive Analytics

Posted on: 16-03-2016 09:59:021731


Original Article Source: Global Trade Magazine

A recent article in the Global Trade Magazine highlighted a recent study by GT Nexus and YouGov, which involved gathering the experiences of 250 senior manufacturing executives. One startling statistic arising from the survey was that 40% of the polled executives reported that a major supply chain disruption had significantly impacted their business over the past 12 months. Interesting however, despite this revelation, less than 25% of the companies stated that they had a Chief Supply Chain Officer to help orchestrate the response. Perhaps more surprisingly, 38% didn’t believe their supply chains would be impacted by any changes in the technological landscape in 2016.

Greg Kefer, vice president for corporate marketing at GT Nexus, responding to these findings as follows:

“It’s clear in the report that manufacturers expect to face major supply chain challenges in 2016 stemming from external factors beyond their control. The data suggests their execution roadmap may be misguided, being focused more on cost cutting, for example, than more mission-critical things like having a senior supply chain leader in place. … With almost half of manufacturers reporting a disruption that impacted business in the past 12 months, this gap in strategic direction to address broader supply chain agility is a concern.”


As the article states, the 38% of polled executives that didn’t believe that their supply chain will be impacted by technology might lack insight into the potential impact technology-based systems can have on mitigating supply chain disruption and the role of they can play in providing supply chain control.

In order to improve the supply chain and lessen the impact of disruption it is key to be able to understand what the issues are and how you can solve them. The ability to understand where and why issues are born is something most companies fail to do. Only through understanding are you able to control the issues, and only through control can a business improve.

Is Analytics the Answer?

To gain this type of understanding companies can reach out to analytic tools. The most commonly used form of analytics is ‘descriptive’. Descriptive analytics gives the user insight in what has happened and presents historic data; this is hindsight reporting. What it doesn’t do is help you to understand why it happened and if it will happen again. In order to gain that information, you need prescriptive analytics.

Instead of simply reviewing the past and reporting on historic data, prescriptive analytics empowers teams with actionable insight, providing the ability to understand your supply chain issues. Gartner defines prescriptive analysis as the ability to identify not only the issue, but also understand it’s cause. This includes the ability to not just identify and detect bottlenecks, but to understand their root causes and resolve the issues before the customer notices. It’s the ability to not only find out what component was responsible for a failed delivery, but also will be able to stop it from happening in the first place.

Manufacturers should therefore consider using prescriptive analytics tools to help them identify problems and to help users fix and lessen the impact of the aforementioned disruptions.

Lisa Verdel
Communication and PR Manager

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