The amount of data that distributors have to deal with can be overwhelming. If your volume of data is beyond the scope of what your people can work with, then it is hurting rather than helping your business.
Data can be amassed quickly. An article in The Electrical Distributor Magazine explains, “every time a bar code gets scanned, an email gets sent, or a software application issues an instruction, that notation gets recorded, and all that data about operational transactions keeps piling up in computer systems.”
In order to improve your supply chain operations, it is critical that you get control over your data. If you can turn data into supply chain insights through predictive analytics, you can solve problems and improve efficiency. Technology can be the key to making this a reality for your distribution organization. For example, technology enables you to:
1) Make connections between other business functions that impact transportation and warehouse operations, like a link to product damage that occurs in shipping.
2) Combine real-time monitoring to improve shipping performance, such as using cameras to improve warehouse product flow.
3) Analyze delivery by marking radio-frequency identification data tags to track product movements.
4) Combine RFID data with information from Enterprise Resource Planning systems, Warehouse Management System and Transportation Management Systems.
However, your technology solution is only as effective as the way that your people use it. Customer-facing employees who could benefit from integrated customer an product information don’t have the time to analyze data. IT people can gather it but don’t know how to use it. That is why you should have an individual dedicated to managing the analysis of data. For distributors with 100 to 200 employees, the CFO could fill that role because they are best equipped to make use of this data.
If you are interested in a new technology solution to enhance your distribution business analytics, download our “10 Steps for Distribution Software Selection” guide.