5 Ways to Utilize Your Distribution Data to Improve the Supply Chain

With so much data at your fingertips, your business is probably far more equipped for optimization than you may think. Case in point, most businesses have a broad array of distribution data at their disposal, and the proper application of such information can have a significant effect on your operating costs. Moreover, the power of data can help reduce costs and boost your company’s performance at the same time. Of course, this all depends on which data collection processes you have in place and how you decide to utilize the information to which your business is likely already producing but may not be accurately tracking.

Knowledge Is Power

You may or may not have all the data collection tools you need in place for each stage of your supply chain. But just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you know how to use them properly or even have a full understanding of everything that they can do for you. Although the specifics of your own supply chain system may vary, here are just a few of the benefits you can secure from the proper implementation of your distribution data.

  • Predicting future performance: Using distribution data as a forecasting tool may seem like a tall order. Yet, the volatile nature of the market and the increasingly complicated product offerings that many companies adopt in the interest of remaining competitive underscore a real need for demand prediction. Your business already has so much data on hand regarding customers, suppliers, pricing history, and the like, that you can easily run against a variety of external factors, giving you integrated analytics that provide you with opportunities for improvement.
  • Boost your distribution network: Your supply chain is a complex web of processes and tools that governs a jaw-dropping percentage of your customer-facing business, affecting everything from delivery tracking to your sales strategy. For that reason, you should investigate how data can enhance your distribution network itself. Take a look at key elements and identify growth potential. You may also choose to display the data you find in more organized forms such as charts or graphs so that you can more easily gauge your progress. (*Hint: we have some software that could help you with that!)
  • Guidance on pricing optimization: We’ve already mentioned the vital way that predicting demand and market conditions can improve your business, but consumer data can also be used to develop pricing models that may drive sales. Whether you choose to focus your pricing adjustments on a specific product or additionally use the data to finetune your upselling strategies, the shopping behavior of your customer base should be a key part of your sales (and pricing) strategy.
  • Manipulation of delivery routes: Your distribution data may unlock hidden revelations you can employ to optimize your business, but one of the best areas for direct change on how you relate to your customers is delivery. With the data you have, you can closely analyze delivery routes to make necessary alterations and generate alternative routes, ensuring that each vehicle opts for the best available choice. Many systems provide visual representations for each route, and shrewd application of delivery data can change the way you view the decision-making process centering on delivery.
  • Set up information conduits: To truly make the most out of your business, you should explore the establishment of information conduits. For those unfamiliar with this term, it refers to whatever means a business relies on to both share and track data with clients and customers. Though it might seem like an obvious addition to your supply chain, you might be surprised how often this aspect of your business gets overlooked. Given that it provides an effective and timely way to optimize supply chain management, be sure that your business makes efficient use of the information conduits you have in place.

Time to Optimize

Your company’s supply chain is one of the most critical elements of your relationship to consumers, and as a result, its efficiency can have tremendous bearing on your long-term success. As technology continues to evolve, no doubt the tools you can use to accrue a powerful data set on your customer base and the many opportunities for improvement that lie within how they interact with your business will continuously change. However, with the right strategy in place to leverage your distribution data, you’ll have all the means you need to sharpen your performance to heretofore unseen new heights, and the end result will almost certainly benefit both you and your customers in equal measure.

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