Written by
David Koke
Senior Marketing Manager

Beacon’s supply chain visibility and collaboration platform empowers organizations to achieve more efficient, reliable and sustainable supply chains.

In this article

Analytics & Reporting
February 21, 2024

How data analytics drives supply chain efficiency and supports growth

In today's rapidly evolving landscape of global supply chains, the need for robust management strategies has never been more critical. Supply chain managers and decision-makers face myriad challenges, from logistical hurdles to unforeseen disruptions, all of which necessitate proactive solutions.

In fact, according to Resilinc, 8,197 supply chain disruptions were recorded from January to June 2023 — a 3% increase from the previous year. Amidst these complexities, the role of data analytics emerges as a beacon of hope, offering insights to help you fine tune supply chain planning and identify opportunities for optimization. 

From its pivotal role in assessing carrier performance to its ability to uncover hidden inefficiencies, reduce supply chain costs and foster substantial business growth, we'll explore how harnessing data-driven insights can revolutionize supply chain operations.

How data analytics drives supply chain optimization

In the dynamic realm of supply chain management, data analytics has emerged as a cornerstone for achieving operational excellence. With an ever growing number of data points about your supply chain, analytics empowers supply chain operators to navigate through complexities with precision and foresight. Let's explore how data analytics catalyzes supply chain optimization:

1. Identifying risk areas:

By analyzing historical data and market trends, supply chain managers can anticipate potential disruptions before they occur, allowing for proactive mitigation strategies. For instance, supply chain analytics tools like Beacon can improve supply chain planning by using historical data to amend planned transit lead times during times of the year when weather events are more likely to cause disruption. This proactive adjustment ensures that the supply chain remains resilient and adaptable, even in the face of unpredictable weather patterns.

2. Assessing carrier performance:

Through comprehensive data analysis, businesses can assess carrier and forwarder performance based on metrics such as on-time delivery rates, transit times, and service quality. For instance, by identifying carriers with consistently high-performance metrics, companies can optimize their transportation network, reducing costs and enhancing overall supply chain efficiency.

3. Driving continuous improvement:

By leveraging analytics, organizations can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted strategies to enhance efficiency and productivity. Through regular analysis and performance tracking, businesses can instill a culture of continuous improvement, driving innovation and agility within the supply chain.

For instance, analyzing shipping route performance can reveal persistent sources of risk or delays in the supply chain. By identifying which routes consistently underperform, supply chain managers can adapt and implement strategies to overcome reliance on these routes. This might involve renegotiating contracts with carriers, diversifying transportation modes, or investing in infrastructure to optimize alternative routes. Such proactive measures not only mitigate risks but also optimize operational efficiency.

4. Optimizing inventory levels and costs:

By analyzing historical demand and supply patterns, businesses can fine tune supply chain planning to operate more efficiently. Doing so can help to reduce stockouts and improve on-time, in full order delivery while simultaneously reducing safety stock levels and the associated carrying costs. Additional cost savings can be realized by reducing reliance on air freight, avoiding penalty costs associated with late delivery, demurrage and detention and gaining negotiating power by being able to accurately assess supply chain partner performance.   

In essence, data analytics serves as a strategic enabler, empowering supply chain managers to proactively mitigate risks, optimize carrier relationships and drive ongoing improvement, ultimately paving the way for unparalleled supply chain excellence and reduced supply chain costs.

Unlocking supply chain insights through unified freight tracking and data analytics

Many companies traditionally rely on carrier or forwarder portals for freight tracking, dispersing their data across multiple systems. This fragmented approach makes it challenging to conduct comprehensive analyses of their logistics and freight operations.

Unified freight tracking presents a transformative solution by consolidating all relevant data into a single, standardized format. This consolidation enables businesses to gain a holistic understanding of their supply chain, allowing for thorough comparisons and analyses of suppliers, routes, and carriers.

By bringing together data from disparate sources, unified freight tracking empowers organizations to generate actionable insights crucial for optimization. Supply chain visibility and collaboration solutions like Beacon can help businesses seamlessly integrate unified freight tracking with advanced analytics capabilities. This integration offers real-time access to logistics data and insights in a centralized platform, facilitating informed decision-making and optimization of supply chain operations.

In essence, unified freight tracking serves as the foundation of data-driven decision making, enabling companies to unlock efficiencies, reduce risks, and drive continuous improvement in their supply chain management.

Embracing data analytics for supply chain excellence

By harnessing the combined power of technology, data analytics, and human expertise, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency, reliability, and resilience in their supply chain operations. Beacon stands at the forefront of this transformation, offering comprehensive solutions that enable businesses to thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive environment.

The transformative potential of data analytics in supply chain optimization cannot be overstated. Businesses that embrace analytics gain a competitive edge, unlocking efficiencies, mitigating risks, and driving growth. Empower your supply chain with Beacon — start your free trial today!