Knowledge is power. For logistics providers and manufacturers, the right sort of data can increase efficiency without cutting profitability. New technologies allow organizations to leverage information to reduce their cost to serve customers and increase profits.
“In a non-data-driven warehouse, you are going by tribal knowledge,” said Evan Garber, chief executive officer of EVS. “Historical data, such as financial statements or inventory reports, is outdated. Real-time data helps you do what’s best based on a number of factors. The entire organization works like an organism rather than everyone doing the best they can.”
A data-driven approach offers visibility from one end of the organization to the other. Executive commitment in the form of time and funding is the first step to achieving a truly data-driven warehouse. The second key is a measured approach to implementation. “People go in too heavy and try to do it too fast,” said Garber. “It’s a culture shift. People have learned over the years that you have to get processes optimized first and then put technology on to automate that.”
An organization should look for opportunities to capture the biggest impact and commence there, he added. Often, real-time inventory tracking is a natural first step. “The benefits of real-time inventory are so massive that we often help people start there,” Garber said. “Once you get that, you can start doing some of the warehouse optimizing tasks.”
In the end, a data-driven approach allows organizations to set measurable and useful key performance indicators (KPIs) that they can trust. The infographic below from EVS outlines some of the ways that data can support strategic decisions throughout the supply chain.
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN