From tracking assets, to creating chains of custody, to collecting data in the field, automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) technology has certainly made its mark on supply chains, helping organizations of all sizes and in all industries perform more efficiently and accurately every day. Now that these technologies – like barcoding and radio frequency identification (RFID) – are in place and up and running, companies are asking, "What's next?"
When today's supply chains are under pressure to operate lean and cut costs, it is now not enough to simply implement AIDC technology. To maximize your investment, you must proactively manage that technology, and then proactively manage your workforce that uses the technology. This is achieved with supply chain analytics tools.
With the right supply chain analytics tools, companies can draw actionable, meaningful insight from collected data to make fact-based business decisions. For those using AIDC technology, supply chain analytics are most valuable in two chief areas: device optimization and labor management.
- Device Optimization: Although you may have the latest and greatest hardware and mobile devices, do you know how well (or how poorly) they are performing? Supply chain analytics platforms offer relevant, timely feedback about these devices to help you pinpoint the underlying causes of inefficiencies, identify opportunities for improvement, and perform predictive analysis. For example, are all devices in the field operating without downtime? What are the device utilization rates? Are the right tools available when needed? This insight leads to greater user adoption, predictive support, overall effectiveness, extended ROI, and a greater impact on your organization.
- Labor Management: What good is your technology without your workforce behind it? With supply chain analytics, you can match the right tools with the right people, and the right people with the work. Analytics platforms accomplish this by measuring production data (volume), and integrating it with labor, cost, customer, and time data – this gives you an extensive picture of how labor is utilized within your company. Now, you can answer a number of questions: Do I have enough staff on hand, and is that staff working the appropriate hours? Are employees producing consistent results every day of the week? With this knowledge, you can increase employee productivity, eliminate staffing inefficiencies, and lower operational costs.
If your supply chain is currently using AIDC technology, or looking to introduce it, consider bringing in an analytics platform to extend the value of your investment – you'll attain the insight to give the technology, processes, and people in your supply chain the efficiency, accuracy, and connectivity needed to thrive and improve the experience of your customers... and your workforce.