Make the Move

Why? Because the global supply chain analytics market is expected to exceed $4.8 billion in less than five years, according to a recent report by MarketWatch.

Historically, the supply chain has been viewed through the lens of a support system and its success or failure has been measured by descriptive analytics. Today, the ability to report on past performance is eclipsed by the need to glean real-time, analytical insights. It is only when insights are combined with business intelligence that proactive decisions can be made. In short, a company’s supply chain maturity is directly linked to its analytical maturity.

Unfortunately, not all organizations have grown up just yet. While most senior-level executives have high hopes and expectations for analytics, only 17 percent of the 1,000 executives recently surveyed by Accenture have implemented analytics strategies in at least one supply chain function. What is the reasoning behind the gap?

Myriad reasons exist, but chief among them include:

    1.) Decentralization within traditionally fragmented organizations prohibits end-to-end visibility.
    2.) Upfront proof of return on investment is hard to come by.
    3.) Securing key stakeholder and company-wide commitment requires extensive change management.
    4.) Most companies did not implement quality control measures when first they first started collecting data.

Luckily, help is on the way. The Supply Chain Analytics & Optimization Summit will provide next-generation supply chain leaders with the tools they need to mature into the strategic, insightful, forward-looking executives they need to be for the new, agile marketplace. Here’s how.

Build the Business Case

Don’t be off put – building the business case for supply chain analytics isn’t as hard as it sounds. Scott J. Preston, chief supply chain officer and chief procurement officer at Tronox Limited, suggests a few strategies to locate and communicate ROI. He will expand further during his presentation at the event, but in summary, an organization must strive to develop an understanding of the broader, strategic business goals and pressures. Once this is achieved, leverage the key internal stakeholders to communicate the strategic value of unifying analytics and the supply chain. In essence, create your own team of supply chain cheerleaders.

Implement the Infrastructure

The first step toward creating an organization of transparency is to put the proper infrastructure in place. Identify the people, processes and technologies needed to achieve visibility and information sharing. Hire, train and retain true analysts and data scientists who are equipped with the tools to transform company culture into one that embraces analytics as a necessity, not a luxury.

The Clorox Company’s Mark Hersh, director of supply chain strategy, and his colleague Quentin Owen, product supply organization, analytics team leader, will show attendees how to consolidate analytics to drive increased value within an end-to-end supply chain structure. More specifically, they’ll show you how to examine the benefits for how a centralized versus decentralized analytics role generates increased value, improved efficiency and career development opportunities. In summary, they’ll show how a centralized analytical organization that creates analysts with the future in mind at the beginning of their journey.

Change the Culture

Cultivating an “everyone is an analyst” culture is an emerging concept that has yet to be fully embraced. Encourage employees to apply an equal dose of respect and skepticism toward metrics and measures. Executives should recognize the foundational analytics concepts needed to develop a baseline of knowledge across the organization. They should also be mindful to fill any existing competency gaps that may prohibit future growth.

Learn to bring analytics to the supply chain in order to truly build an analytical culture with the help of Naveed Goraya, the director of supply chain at Captek Softgel International. He’ll help you to determine the skillsets you will need in order to move toward predictive and prescriptive analytics. Further, he’ll help you to combat analytical silos and to transfer tribal knowledge to new hires in order to heighten the connection between the skill and the business.

Future Lens

Those companies that are itching to become more sophisticated in their supply chain analysis must be of two minds. On the one hand, you should use predictive analytics to be future-minded, but you’ll also need a hefty dose of prescriptive analytics to adapt to the changing landscape.

Thirty percent of executives who were surveyed by Industry Week plan to put an analytics initiative in place within the next six to 12 months. Moreover, 37 percent are in serious talks about the role that analytics could play in their supply chain. Don’t delay to put strategic data collection, integration and quality control measures in place at the outset because what you put in place now has the potential to significantly impact future performance.

Jonathan Shoemaker, CTL, principal and founder of Silk Road Mercantile & Trading, will point out the areas where businesses can collect the most benefit from an analytics revolution. It’s no secret that analytics requires a large, upfront investment; you need to get the right people, processes and technology in place in order to begin building a foundation for an analytical future. Given these hurdles, it can be easy to throw up your hands.

Shoemaker challenges executives to look at where they currently stand in order to build an analytical vision for the future. Look for cost saving opportunities while developing your strategic potential through analytics-enabled resiliency and agility.

The Supply Chain Analytics & Optimization Event is January 20–22 in Phoenix. The program is designed specifically for supply chain leaders at all stages of analytical maturity. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to engage with industry peers and gain the knowledge necessary to successfully take the next step in your supply chain journey. For more information, visit