Researcher gathering supply chain intelligence.

Supply Chain Intelligence: Data For Growth

Supply chain intelligence is a way to gather, analyze and act on data to improve supply chain efficiency and performance. It can be applied to many areas of the supply chain, including procurement, inventory management, and logistics. With the help of supply chain intelligence, companies can achieve faster time to market and improved customer service while saving money on operations through improved forecasting ability and reduced waste.

Supply chain intelligence is a powerful tool that helps businesses improve decision-making, identify risks and opportunities, receive actionable insights, and respond to disruptions in real-time. It is a part of a broader category of analytics called supply chain management (SCM), which encompasses forecasting, optimization of inventory levels, and more. Let’s go in-depth into what supply chain intelligence is and how using it improves your business.  

What Is Supply Chain Intelligence?

Supply chain intelligence is the process of collecting, analyzing, and using the information to make better business decisions. It’s a growing field that’s increasingly important for businesses as they seek new ways to increase their efficiency and profitability

Supply chain risks are increasing as the entire supply chain becomes extended all over the globe. Risk management is the main focus of supply chain intelligence — identifying risks and inefficiencies and adjusting business operations quickly to avoid disruptions to customers. Data management is also key because it allows for the prediction of possible supply chain issues over the entire supply network

Gathering Supply Chain Intelligence

There are several methods that businesses use to collect supply chain data: 

  • Online Research – This is research gathered from free internet sources, such as trade publications, supplier websites, case studies, and even social media channels. 
  • Suppliers – Your trusted suppliers can be a great source of business intelligence that your competitors may not have access to, enabling you to make visualizations and predictions concerning possible supply chain disruptions. Just ensure you’re gathering data from multiple sources — a supplier might skew data in its favor. 
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI can do online research but can deal with big data amounts and sift through it in less time. By using machine learning, AI can study metrics and trends, alerting businesses when possible disruptions are on the horizon. Automation with AI also frees up employees for tasks better suited for humans. 
  • Research Teams – Large companies have the luxury of entire teams and departments of researchers to gather supply chain intelligence. Mid-sized and small businesses will typically choose to outsource this job to market research companies. 

Applying Supply Chain Intelligence

Applying supply chain intelligence is key to achieving sustainability of supply chain processes. Using intelligence, companies can easily pivot to a different supplier if their main supplier of certain materials is negatively affected by factors like conflict or worker shortages. On a similar note, having a supplier’s financial and credit information can aid a business in being able to predict whether that supplier is financially stable. With this information, your company won’t be caught off-guard by part shortages while your competition struggles to make backup plans. 

Not having or acting on supply chain intelligence means your company is at a competitive disadvantage, which can negatively affect production and workflows, customer experiences, and ultimately, your company’s bottom line. 

Gain Supply Chain Insight

With the help of supply chain intelligence solutions that integrate with existing systems, companies can achieve faster time to market and improved customer service while saving money on operations through improved forecasting ability and reduced waste.

Real Time Intelligence can help your business obtain the valuable knowledge needed to stay competitive. Track your assets through facilities and across the supply chain, and plan accordingly for delays and disruptions. Contact Real Time Intelligence today for real supply chain solutions!