WT100 Blog


Are You Able to Act On Your Data?

A surprising number of distributors are unable to take prompt action based on their data, putting them at a disadvantage.

April 22, 2014

Agile companies that can use their data to fine-tune their operations can stay ahead of the competition. For distributors, agility means being able and ready to make timely decisions in response to factors such as changes in material pricing, material availability, product mix demand patterns or competitor actions. But a surprising number of distributors are unable to take prompt action based on their data, which puts them at a disadvantage.

As Grant Thornton’s 2014 Supply Chain Ingenuity survey demonstrates, only 19 percent of the distributors we surveyed say their data is “very actionable.” This leaves 81 percent with room for improvement. Only a quarter (26 percent) of respondents can respond to supply chain pressures in one week, while nearly half (46 percent) take a month or more to respond. Nearly another quarter (23 percent) take three months or longer to react.

So, what’s the problem?

These companies lack the capability to handle large amounts of diverse data coming from various functions, business processes and silos. While data may be readily available, it often is considered outdated, unreliable or inaccessible for prompt decision-making. Issues range from the system not being designed or configured properly, not being used correctly, or not producing consistently accurate outputs. In some cases, decision-making is supported by silo- and function-based systems, which means business leaders from different functions frequently bring different answers to the same questions.

Most of these companies already have powerful enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, but aren’t using these systems to the fullest extent. The good news is that not every problem requires a costly high-tech solution. Often the issues can be addressed through attention to business processes, configuration and master data accuracy.

Ultimately, the companies that are able to make solid, strategic decisions on a dime have a competitive advantage. Ask yourself this: If you’ve invested in an ERP, are you leveraging that investment for optimal performance?

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

KC SmartPort Momentum

Kansas City SmartPort Momentum 2013 focused on 3PLs, the issues facing the industry, and the role or logistics in economic development

Podcasts

Assurance of Supply: A Top Concern for Manufacturers

Every manufacturer has an assurance of supply problem to some extent due to the complexity of global sourcing. For years, manufacturers were blessed with high margins but margins have grown paper thin. You can’t fill up your distribution centers with excess inventory – not only is there a cost factor but the pace of business and consumer buying trends causes goods to quickly turn obsolete. Assurance of supply provides the speed and agility that is essential to being able to compete in today’s market.

 

Speaker info: Diane Palmquist, VP Manufacturing Industry Solutions

                                         

More Podcasts

World Trade 100 Magazine

wt october 2014

2014 October

Check out the October 2014 edition of World Trade WT100, featuring our cover story: Logistics Drives Site Selection, plus much more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Transportation Capacity

As peak season has gotten underway, what is your experience with transportation capacity?
View Results Poll Archive

WT100 STORE

world-class-warehousing.gif
World-Class Warehousing and Material Handling, 1st Edition

Filled with proven operational solutions, it will guide managers as they develop a warehouse master plan, one designed to minimize the effects of supply chain inefficiencies as it improves logistics accuracy and inventory management - and reduces overall warehousing expense.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Use our interactive maps to locate service providers across North America.Interactive Map

Logistics Development Partners 

IWLA Members

STAY CONNECTED