What Does a Data Driven Supply Chain Look Like?
The key to improving any system is information. A data-driven supply chain is built around this concept, leveraging big data and analytics to improve processes at every level of the supply chain. A wide range of technologies contribute to this, from interconnected IoT sensors to warehouse robots and everything in between.
The phrase “last-mile logistics” refers to the process of moving products from the last transit stop to the final destination, which may be anywhere from one to one thousand miles. Last-mile logistics does not involve transporting goods from a single route to a single destination like port-to-port or terminal-to-terminal logistics. Instead, it involves road transportation primarily to complete the final delivery stage. It is also one of the biggest logistics challenges that businesses face.
According to The Hackett Group’s 2017 Key Issues Study, 84% of procurement organisations believe that digital transformation will fundamentally change the way their services are delivered over the next three to five years. Yet only 25% say that procurement has the right resources and competencies today to execute that transformation. Nevertheless, the enterprise’s “march to digital” continues unabated, with double the number of respondents reporting transformation initiatives are under way this year.
Over in Silicon Valley, the latest battle for technological dominance is on. On the one hand, you have apps. Apps have been with us for nearly ten years, but 2016 marked the first year that mobile internet use overtook desktop internet use. This trend, which shows no sign of slowing down, puts apps on the front page of the internet — so to speak.
Statistics are a lot of fun, and contentious too. Yet they permit us to remain fairly grounded. Let’s start with the obvious. From self-driving vehicles and semi-autonomous robots to intelligent algorithms and predictive analytical tools, machines are increasingly capable of performing a wide range of jobs that have long been human domains. A 2013 study by researchers at Oxford University posited that as many as 47% of all jobs in the United States are at risk of “computerisation”.
Just hearing the words "dark data" can be enough for managers in the outsourcing industry to feel a little uneasy - but despite its rather menacing name there has never been a better time to tackle the phenomenon head on.
Today companies are being exposed to a changing business landscape due to macro-economic factors, greater-than-ever globalisation, and rapid advancements in technology.
The global economy is recovering but still sluggish. Companies have been engaging in significant cost savings and restructuring initiatives over the past several years to meet shareholder expectations. But business leaders are now beginning to realise that they cannot cut their way to growth. So companies now have a greater appetite to invest in developing new products, services and market reach.
Of all the jargon and buzzwords beloved of IT professionals – “the cloud”, “SaaS”, “web 2.0” and an infinity of others – “Big Data” is the most alluringly easy to misunderstand. Whilst big data systems do entail a large volume of data, the real benefits come from the speed (or ‘velocity’) of accumulation, and the array of different types of data (or ‘variety’) that are collected and analysed.