Benefits of Big Data in the Supply Chain


With digitization, people’s expectations of more effective and efficient services have grown. They want transactions to go faster, be attended to, or be served quicker. This and competitiveness in the world across all sectors have led to businesses being forced to adjust to remain relevant and up to speed with modern demands.

To stay ahead of your competition, a business needs to be efficient and timely in fulfilling customer requests. However, some business leaders struggle with handling the amount of data they receive and transmit daily. This is where seeking help from experts or a big data consulting company can come in handy.

Effective analytics will improve the supply chain’s efficiency and give you greater visibility. This is how you’ll make more educated decisions. Also, it improves productivity as everything is streamlined, reducing unnecessary costs and boosting sales. This article examines the main benefits your business can get from big data.

Supply chain and use of big data

Big data uses advanced analytic methods to manage large data sets and create reports where you can see how your chain is working, if it’s well optimized or not, and you can move to make more reliable decisions. It can help people in the supply chain to manage the day-to-day supply chain needs more effectively. The ways to apply big data in the supply chain include:

  • Managing warehouses
  • Managing transport and logistics
  • Managing the inventory
  • Demand forecasting
  • Order visibility

Taking a data-driven approach is excellent in making the utilization of your resources more efficient by improving chain transparency. With this data, you can easily identify gaps and areas of improvement for better operational and managerial efficiency. The result is improving your business, satisfying customers, boosting productivity and business value.

Higher visibility, traceability, and transparency

Anyone in the supply chain industry will agree these three features are critical for making a supply chain effective. You can achieve a high level of effectiveness and efficiency in your operation with big data. Analyzing your data more accurately allows you to stay on track with your products as they move along the distribution chain.

Higher visibility allows you to monitor the process and avoid common pitfalls that others might face without it. For example, if you’re dealing with perishable goods, the insights you gather with your big data tools can help reduce product spoilage. Because your goods are traceable, you’ll be able to see areas that cause delays and optimize your process to prevent a bad outcome.

Better planning from improved forecasting

Planning for the future involves reading data accurately and picking out patterns that will help you make better decisions for the future of your business. In supply chain businesses, forecasting is crucial in improving customer demand patterns that help you plan your inventory to match. With big data, it becomes possible to determine when you need to adjust your inventory upwards or downwards and avoid stockouts or overstocking.

In addition, this data can help you to be quick on your feet in making informed decisions when planning and also in responding to market changes quicker. Better planning also allows you to know when and what to replenish your warehouse, do preventive maintenance on vehicles and equipment, or hire more help.

Operational efficiency and cost reduction

Another compelling benefit big data offers in the supply chain is cost optimization. The top culprit in increased costs in the supply chain is shipping returned products. With big data, optimized operational processes help to keep those costs low. Besides, it becomes easy to predict the types of goods that see higher return rates and allow you to make a better plan, reducing the losses incurred in the return process.

Better experience for your customers

Higher customer satisfaction and experience are big drivers of a business’s success, and an optimized supply chain process is a good way to achieve that. Since you can study different data types with big data, you’re in a better position to evaluate customer reviews and feedback better. Big data can help analyze and give accurate insights from this data and adjust your supply chain model to meet the specific needs of your customers.

In return, you build loyalty and trust with your customers, improving retention and possible acquisitions. Use the insights to your advantage to give you a competitive leg over others and bring more customers to your side while helping you give them what they need.

Better risk management and quality control

Using big data in your supply chain process can also help you identify potential high-risk dealings, potential threats, and events. This allows for improved risk management planning and solutions. If you use quality data, you’re more likely to get better reports that help you see the state of your chain and what gaps exist with potential risks.

Big data will help you device means and plans for risk identification and reporting that can help in:

  • Preventing fraud and counterfeit products
  • Managing credit better and avoiding bad debtors
  • Locating churn, the causes, and optimizing the process
  • Better vendor risk management by improving internal control processes

Better scheduling and planning

You can’t have a supply chain without logistics which play a huge role in how efficiently goods move from one stage to the other. With proper analytics, it becomes easier to identify potential routes and schedules that will work best for optimized products’ easy movement. This allows you to plan accordingly and avoid delays in the process.


As a business owner or manager, having proper visibility of your chain and high-quality data can help you achieve that. However, it’s not just the data but how you analyze and report as well. If you want to see a more optimized supply chain, consult with big data experts and invest your time and resources in ensuring your data works for your benefit. Reduced operational costs, more satisfied customers, better risk management, and better forecasting are only some of the benefits you gain, but hopefully, they will help you make an informed decision on your data and what you need to optimize it and run a more successful supply chain business.