Supply Chain Analytics for Optimum Operational Planning and Efficiency

November 4, 2022 · 4 minutes
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To help organizations with complex supply chains, combat competition and prepare for rapid demand shifts, integrating existing supply value chains with analytics insights can create a long term impact to achieve desired outcomes. 

When supply chain managers and operations experts have access to real-time accurate data to make strategic, operational, and tactical decisions, they automatically can shift gears from myopic operational activities to holistic actionability.

Typical Supply Chain Challenges 

Some of the most common supply chain challenges that most manufacturers face are:

  • Limited synchronization between planning and execution. 
  • Lack of real-time data visibility across the factory floor along with multiple versions of truth and views of this data across all businesses and channels. 
  • Regular stock-out issues causing fluctuating inventory levels or excess inventory.
  • Absence of flexibility in the network and distribution footprint, which makes it difficult to prioritize between the cost to serve and customer service levels.
  • Price volatility and production line imbalance and suboptimal batch sizes, creating asset underutilization. 

Value Delivered by Supply Chain Analytics

Supply chain analytics represent the ability to make accurate data-driven decisions, based on a consolidated summary of critical data including analytical techniques such as visualization in the form of graphs, charts and other means.

Supply chain analytics helps supply operations managers draw conclusions from the massive amount of data generated by supply chains and uncover key trends and patterns from these insights. Some of the key value drivers of using supply chain analytics are:

  • Enabling better sourcing decisions based on supplier performance.
  • Pointing out possible supply chain risks across the current and future production scale
  • Focusing on customer centricity and its possible implication on day-to-day operations
  • Connecting long term planning with day to day operations
  • Preparing for scenario analysis and important “what-if” questions
  • Effectively discovering product development opportunities based on order data.

Supply Chain Analytics – Opportunities 


Usually, sales and inventory planning is the most data-driven process in the supply chain as these require a wide range of inputs from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and SCM planning tools. With Supply Chain Analytics, managers have greater potential to redefine the planning process, by effectively using new internal and external data sources, thus making real-time demand and supply shaping a reality.


Most often data on procurement volumes and suppliers are only gathered for some specific activities in the sourcing process. However, using accurate supply data managers can also influence the classic spend analysis and annual supplier performance review. Also, supply processes can be analyzed in real-time to identify deviations from normal delivery patterns.


By leveraging market data at the right time, supply chain analytics can help organizations better predict future demand. It helps decide what products need to be withdrawn as and when they become less profitable or understand which customer needs may arise, after the initial order. Organizations can use supply chain analytics to create a leaner supply chain and simultaneously monitor customer needs for better-informed decisions.


Most of the time the Logistics function is cost-centric and organizations focus on advanced technologies that provide a competitive advantage. Warehousing also has witnessed many advances using available ERP data. New technologies, data sources, and analytical techniques are creating new opportunities in warehousing.


Several truck operators are already making use of supply chain analytics to improve their operations. From using fuel consumption analytics to improve driving efficiency in deploying GPS technologies to reduce waiting times by allocating warehouse bays in real-time, there are several benefits. Courier companies also use real-time routing of deliveries to customers based on their truck’s geo-location and traffic data.


The right supply chain analytics tools can synchronize information flow between operations, marketing and sales and help organizations establish a consistent flow of information among stakeholders. Integrated supply chain planning tools merge together information from multiple systems and business functions, creating transparency and empowering business decision makers using relevant analytics. Planning and optimization tools ensure all relevant stakeholders are aware of any disruptions and also actively steer and synchronize the decisions of the entire organization.

Key Features of Effective Supply Chain Analytics 


The Analytics solution has to be able to access unstructured data from various sources across the supply chain stream without any bottlenecks in connectivity.


The Solution has to focus on improving collaboration with suppliers, partners, and vendors by leveraging cloud-based commerce networks to enable multi-enterprise collaboration and engagement.


The Solution must be smart enough to protect its systems from cyber-intrusions and hacks, which should be an enterprise-wide concern.


By leveraging relevant AI platforms, supply chains are able to collate, co-ordinate, and enable decision making across the value chain. Most of the supply chain is automated and self-learning.


Analytics capabilities must be scaled with data in real-time. These insights need to be comprehensive and quick without creating any latency in the value stream. 

Supply Chain Analytics Success with Artificial Intelligence

By leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) in implementing Supply Chain Analytics and its solutions, supply managers can benefit with unprecedented opportunities through real-time tangible impact. Recent research by McKinsey shows that 61% of organizations report decreased costs and 53% report increased revenues as a direct result of introducing AI  into their supply chains.

AI helps create end-to-end supply chain visibility, provides actional analytical insights, reduces the manual grunt work and facilitates informed decisions for operations and supply managers. Here is an interesting read on how you can future-proof your Supply Chain with the Power of Artificial Intelligence.

To know how ThroughPut can help you succeed in this journey, click here for a brief demo.

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Anita Raj
Vice President of Product Marketing