The COVID-19 pandemic led to global supply chain disruptions at an extreme level. With global supply chain issues continuing to cause uncertainty, it is more important than ever that businesses take steps to eliminate errors and inefficiencies.
Many businesses are navigating supply shortages while simultaneously being met with labor shortages and rising costs. Supply chain analytics can help business professionals make the most of available data to navigate these complex challenges and anticipate future trends. Graduates with an advanced business degree focusing on business analytics management, or an advanced degree in supply chain management, are ready to confront these supply chain challenges head-on.
What Are Some Common Supply Chain Challenges?
Two issues impacting the supply chain are labor shortages and equipment availability. One industry experiencing both challenges is the live music industry.
Following the abrupt shutdown of the live music industry in 2020, tour and production managers continue to grapple with the same supply chain issues burdening many other sectors. To put these challenges into perspective, the live music industry was worth $132.6 billion in 2019, according to Billboard, with live concerts “one of the top economic drivers in the U.S.”
It is estimated that the live music industry lost up to 30% of its labor force during the pandemic. Riggers, stagehands, truck drivers and catering crews had to find jobs elsewhere. Now that concerts are back, finding personnel necessary for a successful tour has proven difficult.
Not only are workers hard to find, but supplies are also difficult to come by and costly. Tour managers are dealing with shortages, from stages to toilets and trucks. Artists are left facing cancellations due to supply chain issues that are affecting businesses across the globe.
How Can Analytics Optimize Business Outcomes?
Writing for Forbes, Mathew Elenjickal points out, “when it comes to the digital transformation of global supply chains, more data equals more value. Layer on the breakthrough capabilities of machine learning and AI, and we now have the capability to anticipate and mitigate disruptions as never before.”
Following is a look at four ways analytics can improve supply chain logistics and business outcomes:
1. Optimizing Inventory Management
A few years ago, tours could place merchandise orders as needed and receive products within three to four days. However, due to supply chain issues, tours now require dedicated semi-trucks to transport merchandise necessary for the entire tour, taking up valuable space that would have otherwise been used for production.
Advanced demand forecasting can help companies in every industry manage inventory with real-time insights to determine how much stock to keep on hand and optimize inbound and outbound deliveries. This would, for example, be a great tool for the live music industry when managing merchandise orders for extensive tours.
2. Improving Asset Management
Predictive maintenance (PdM) involves using sensors to monitor the condition of equipment and other assets. Using real-time data, organizations can better predict maintenance needs.
Writing for Pure Storage, Amy Fowler points out that “by analyzing data from equipment and systems integrated with IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, companies can conduct predictive maintenance to prevent downtime and improve safety in the manufacturing process.”
Using the example of the live music industry, predictive maintenance techniques can help tour managers proactively identify possible issues with production equipment or anticipate necessary tour bus maintenance.
3. Increasing Transportation Visibility
With real-time transportation tracking, companies can track deliveries at all stages. With this information, they can keep customers in the loop, increasing satisfaction and even loyalty when delays occur.
4. Optimizing Warehouse Operations
Many companies produce more goods than they need in anticipation of customer demand. Warehousing seems like a simple enough solution. However, from inventory accuracy to quality control, there is a lot to keep up with. Supply chain analytics can help organizations streamline warehouse operations, reduce errors, improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue.
Businesses have more data than ever, growing by massive amounts every day. If you are a forward-thinking business professional who wants to lead in today’s data-driven environments, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may be the next step.
Fitchburg State University’s MBA in Business Analytics Management online program prepares graduates to leverage big data through courses that emphasize operational behavior, data warehousing and methods and tools for business intelligence. Graduates can advance their careers across every area of business analytics and operations, including the high-demand field of supply chain management.
Its MBA in Supply Chain Management online program also equips graduates with important skills in data and analytics. The program gives graduates with knowledge “to understand and analyze the relationships between the major functional areas of a company and the various outside firms that contribute to product development, product manufacturing, and product distribution.”