Data analytics is no longer a luxury in supply chain management; it's a necessity. According to Bloomberg, the use of data analytics tools is the best way to stay ahead in a volatile and global economy. The risks of doing business, from internal fraud to government regulations, are too vast to grasp without taking advantage of all that big data has to offer.
According to Inside Counsel, errors created in the supply chain can do extensive damage to an enterprise in a number of ways, so transparency is key. With improved data collection, managers and executives throughout the company have access to the data they need to not only increase efficiency, but also mitigate the risk of fraud and theft. Because big data can help connect an enterprise at all levels, it makes it more difficult for fraudulent activity to go undetected and can uncover it sooner.
Capturing Data in the Supply Chain
Data collection within the supply chain is not the same as in other areas of a business. While accounting, sales and customer service have been logging information on databases for some time, many areas of the supply chain have continued to use paper-based systems. In some cases, this is because remote locations made it impossible to collect or managers were unaware of the benefits.
With mobile data collection, even the most off-grid sites can still provide useful data in record time. Data can be logged throughout the day at a remote area within the supply chain and then sent to an existing ERP system as soon as a connection can be made. Depending on signal availability, this data can even be analyzed in real time, just like it can from more direct locations. Information about workers, suppliers and logistical companies has never been easier to capture.
Barcode Scanning Software Improves Data Collection
Improving risk management is just one of the many benefits to utilizing automated data collection within the supply chain. The technology can also improve the safety and productivity of workers. With barcode scanning software, capturing information in the warehouse or plant is an afterthought. A worker scanning a barcode can complete in less than a second what used to take minutes and maintain his or her focus on more important tasks. In addition to increased speed, barcode scanning is also more accurate than paper-based systems.