Analytics for better decision making: removing the barriers for supply chain teams
Reflections following the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London
Last month, our team had the pleasure to attend Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference in London, a growing event that we’re always thrilled to participate in. This time, the event hosted 15% more visitors and took place at the Intercontinental O2 hotel. For us, it was a special occasion because we had the opportunity to give the event’s audience a preview of AIMMS SC Navigator – our new analytics solution for supply chain teams. It was also a great venue to re-connect with existing customers and meet Gartner analysts, who gave us valuable feedback on our product. The event’s theme was ACT – Aspire-Challenge-Transform in a disruptive world, a call to action to recognize the impact of disruptions and define a digital supply chain strategy to improve performance. Advanced analytics (machine learning, advanced algorithms, deep learning, neural networks) are at the core of these disruptions and a crucial enabler for digital transformation. Still, companies struggle to adopt advanced analytics for supply chain. Resources and data quality are the most common obstacles.
The matter of resources
We often hear from supply chain executives that inadequate tools (often with a high price tag), and a lack of human expertise hinder their efforts to adopt advanced analytics. This was no different at the recent Gartner conference. Supply chain leaders are under pressure to embed analytics for timely and fact-driven decisions, and they need to support digital transformation, but they often have to compete for data science talent.
Gartner recently published a report which offers best practices to deal with the issue of talent scarcity. The report, titled “Successfully Adopt Advanced Supply Chain Analytics with Limited Data Scientist Resources,” helps you uncover:
- How to leverage existing resources to solve difficult supply chain problems
- Which internal resources have the ideal backgrounds for a supply chain analytics COE
- How to up-skill and empower the right team members
- How to leverage self-service technologies like AIMMS
- How to work with academia and use crowdsourcing platforms to tackle analytics challenges
Undeniably, adopting any technology for its own sake won’t work. You need to train and motivate your employees to embrace the technology as well. The report provides practical advice to get started. Click here to get your complimentary copy, courtesy of AIMMS (available for a limited time).
The question of data
Another issue that constantly surfaces in conversations surrounding advanced analytics adoption is the issue of data quality. We heard it often at GartnerSCC in London too. How often have you missed opportunities because you’re waiting for data? Don’t let data quality be a showstopper. Start small and take the first steps towards fact-based decision making instead.
Our customer Boon Edam has seen the benefits of this approach. The company’s Global Supply Chain Director was eager to move from gut-based to fact-based decisions, but their data was far from perfect. They decided to develop an AIMMS-based S&OP App and improve data quality in incremental steps, following a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach.
This need to configure data quickly led us to develop Data Navigator, an integrated cloud database that brings structure to complexity and enables organizations to share data across multiple functional areas in AIMMS SC Navigator Applications. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to share more information about this App.
A fresh approach
It’s never been more important to raise the collective intelligence of your staff to improve decision-making. But resource scarcity, data quality and inadequate tools are getting in the way. We want to remove those barriers and it was great to see that many people were receptive to our mission at the Gartner event.
We think it should be possible to use advanced analytics in your supply chain by self-enabling your team. For this to happen, the software must be easier to use. AIMMS SC Navigator is an intuitive suite of configurable Apps created with the needs of today’s busy supply chain professional in mind. We’d love to tell you more about this new solution.
Join our virtual launch event on October 12, 2017 to learn more.