How to Leverage Data Science in Supply Chain!

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Data and data science has always been a great asset to businesses for years. As data increases with technological advancement, traditional data collection tools and methods are becoming ineffective in making sense of the available data.

Fortunately, data science is helping businesses worldwide turn their data into significant insights so they can understand their consumer needs and behavior. 

While data science is applicable in virtually every industry, it has special relevance in supply chain management because of the sector’s dynamic nature. 

This guide offers tips on leveraging data science in your supply chain management business.

Making Data Work for You

Data in its unrefined form is nothing but a bunch of numbers and graphs that may not make a lot of sense. That’s why you need to find ways to break it down to get actionable insights on various aspects of your business’s supply chain management, such as hiring a skilled data scientist.

Hiring a data scientist may not be feasible, especially if you are a startup. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t leverage your business’s data. You have the option of outsourcing data science experts from a data science consulting services provider like RTS labs.

Leveraging Data Science

Forecasting 

Being able to see what lies in the future of your business can be a game-changer in supply chain management. Luckily, data science makes seeing into the future possible, which can help you align your strategy to prepare for the future. 

For example, data science can help you predict a lead’s next move based on where they are at in their buying journey. Having this insight allows a business to prepare its messaging to get the lead to move to the next level or convert into a paying customer.

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Forecasting is also an essential factor in inventory keeping. Traditionally businesses have been restocking to ensure they are never short on stock, thereby pushing operation and storage costs to the roof.

But with data science’s ability to help you see in the future, it is possible to keep track of your inventory and only update it according to the predictions.

Order Fulfillment and Tracking

When a client orders a product, they want to have it delivered in the shortest time possible. And while waiting, they want to know how far it is from reaching them. 

Fortunately, big data can help you do exactly that. This is made possible by using radar and sensors in the packages that capture and send data at different time intervals.

That way, you and your customer get the precise location of the orders and the time they are expected to reach their doorstep or preferred drop-off point.

One e-commerce giant using order tracking technology is Amazon. They offer their customers incredible delivery times and minute-by-minute tracking of their orders, helping them remain competitive. 

Machine Maintenance

Every machine will fail at some point due to aging, tear and wear, or improper use. According to experts, businesses lose between 5% and 20% of their productive capacity during downtimes. 

When used alongside IoT devices, big data tools can help identify problems before they affect production. That way, a business manager can schedule maintenance without affecting productivity. 

This approach helps lower cost in two ways; minimize the losses resulting from downtime and reduce repair costs that would result from an untimely breakdown.

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Customer Sentiment Analysis

The principle used to predict customer behavior is also applicable in tracking customer sentiments through their interaction with your brand across different channels.

This type of tracking is referred to as sentiment analysis, which is made possible by data tools that analyze customer sentiments at scale and classify them as negative, neutral, or positive.

With the help of these insights, a business can develop ways of mitigating damages that could result from negative sentiments before the situation gets out of hand.

Enhanced Relationship Management 

Data science plays a huge role in helping businesses understand customers, critical to relationship and loyalty building.

Understanding your customer means that you are aware of what they need so you can customize your business approach in a way that best suits them. 

Customers are more likely to stay with a business that they feel is relatable. Also, it helps arrest issues arising in the supply chain before they affect your relationships with the customer. 

Leveraging Data Science

There are many benefits of leveraging data science in running your business. However, it is vital to work with a data services consultant to help you identify how to make the most of data science, depending on your line of business.

Data science article and permission to publish here provided by Cristina Par. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on February 17, 2022.

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