A recent study, Putting Together the Pieces*, by Supply Chain Insights states that a lack of supply chain analytics has given way to a lack of insights. Why? Because supply chain professionals and supply chain vendors have a few issues to work out.
Let’s begin with findings about supply chain practitioners and then move on to supply chain technology vendors. Here’s a synopsis of the study’s most provocative points.
First, the proliferation of new supply chain technologies and analytical techniques — welcome as it is — has slammed into a brick wall: frightened supply chain operating teams. Late adopters outnumber early 3:1. Some of this is good old fear of change. Some can be traced to the need for more widespread albeit modest technical skills as modern decision support tools get pushed out to line-of-business teams.
Second, implementing sophisticated decision-support systems for improved visibility up and down the supply chain should not be approached as a technology project. Companies will need to recognize the need for change management and human capital development along with the testing and trial of new forms of supply chain management technology. There must be a clear charter that recognizes the importance of issues that can’t be expressed as 1’s and 0’s.
Is there cause and effect here? Is the second problem contributing to the first? Seems likely.
Finally, it’s curious that against the backdrop of a supply chain data bonanza, lack of data access was mentioned as an issue by 35% of respondents. Note that “lack of access” doesn’t mean critical supply chain data is missing. The study’s authors believe the core issue is the lack of a holistic approach to measuring supply chain performance. For a long time, supply chain data has been squirreled away inside spreadsheets derived from point solutions owned at the department level
Turning now to supply chain technology vendors, the research hints that many have the industry knowledge or technological prowess, but not both. Traditional vendors are steeped in supply chain industry knowledge, but are slow to address with code the helpful innovations advocated by supply chain thought-leaders. Why? Doing so requires a rewrite of traditional architectures. That’s a big investment.
On the flip-side, the Supply Chain Analytics market has some bold new vendors with technology prowess and no supply chain expertise. It’s difficult for these vendors to gain traction because too often the implementations are fitful and protracted.
Halo has already put the critical pieces together — a strong combination of domain expertise and modern, flexible technology architecture. Halo’s scalable supply chain intelligence and data discovery platform includes easy-to-use solutions with alerts, what-if modeling, dashboards and predictive analytics for faster and more accurate decisions that bring agility to end-to-end supply chain planning.
* Putting Together the Pieces: Supply Chain Analytics by Supply Chain Insights. Subtitled Insights on Technology Options. Access the research online.