Data is the Core of Distribution
In the post-digital-age that we live in, data and information has become the heart of most distributors. Data can be used to identify flaws in the company’s operations as well as reveal opportunities to improve processes. Modern-day distribution processes are well planned and dependent on the data that is fed into the distributor’s ERP system, which processes the data to help the distributor identify patterns and tends that can add value to their business.
With data becoming such a critical piece of the distribution process, it has also presented a few unique challenges that distributors need to overcome.
Distribution networks can easily contain millions of separate data-points. With that many points of data, a company can be completely inundated and overwhelmed, leaving them unsure on how to leverage that data for increased productivity and growth. Here are a few ways to overcome ERP data inundation:
Data is something that every company wants to use to help them improve their processes, but before a business can make any decisions with data, they have to understand what that means. An organization may want to jump in head-first and absorb every bit of data thrown at them, but they should first develop data analytic techniques on a smaller scale. Then, after they are able to show an ROI (return on investment) with their smaller data streams, then they should move into using data on a larger scale to make decisions.
Identifying and Using the Right Data
Many companies don’t want to get behind and invest in data without knowing how that data will be used to make decisions that will drive growth and profits. It is absolutely imperative that the proper investments are made to really comprehend all of the data being fed into distribution operations. Using data and data analytics to drive business decisions is very different than the way that traditional business decisions were made in years past. That’s why visualization and reporting tools are a critical piece of identifying the right data.
In order to identify the right information that you need, the first step you should take is to study all available data and then outline what is happening with your data. Once you are able to study and outline your data, you should be able to detect opportunities to improve on a flaw or enhance a current process.
Improperly Timed Data
While historical data has its own importance, distribution companies need access to real-time data most of all. With real-time data, distribution companies are able to increase their productivity and efficiency. Real-time data is essential to know the daily impact operations have on financial performance. With schedules, supply lines, delivery routes, and shipments all dependent on one another; if the data a company is using to make decisions is improperly time, then a business runs the risk of misaligning their entire process. Here are a few things that distributors can do to ensure that they have properly timed data:
With automated workflow, you can eliminate bottlenecks throughout your entire organization. Not only will automating your work workflow stamp out improperly timed data in your process, it will also improve our productivity and reduce operational costs. Once you have workflow automated, you should also be able to update it in real-time as data changes in order to assure that you keeping your entire operation running seamlessly.
Having mobile access to your ERP data has become increasingly essential for distributors. When you have real-time access to your data, then you can make important business decisions. With that being said, if an issue comes up and you aren’t physically at your computer and connected to your network, you run the risk of throwing in unnecessary complications to your daily operations.