The UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reported that in 2016, there were 5.5 million businesses in the UK and over 99% of businesses were small or medium sized businesses – employing 0-249 people. For many of these businesses, no matter what industry they’re involved in, their organisations will inevitably have a supply chain to manage. With enormous amounts of data generated within and outside of every organisation, supply chain management can be a challenging task. However, by adopting the technology solutions offered by big data analytics, these businesses could transform the way they approach supply chain management, and gain a competitive advantage in their industry in both local and global markets.

What would big data analytics mean for SMBs?

Big data is often mistaken to mean a big volume of data. In fact, the technology solution is actually more about handling and processing these large quantum of data. In many ways, big data analytics is geared towards SMBs as they are often more agile and can act quickly on the data-driven insights produced by these analytics. With increasing pressure to reduce costs, especially with competition from countries with lower-cost production, supply chain management has increasingly meant using big data analytics to drive competitive advantages in the market. The technology is helping to transform supply chains in areas such as demand sensing/forecasting, spend analytics, inventory optimisation, transportation route optimisation, and production scheduling.

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