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Supply Chain Analytics Show Robust Potential During 2021 and Beyond

April 1, 2021
These cloud-based solutions could provide a competitive edge for businesses in the global marketplace.

Supply chain excellence could prove to be a key competitive differentiator in today’s highly competitive global marketplace. A plethora of unforeseen events can affect material or service availability and trigger volatility in supply markets, leading to higher costs. In wake of global market fluctuations, increasing customer expectations and pricing pressures, relying on conventional supply chain management solutions is becoming less viable.

This is where supply chain analytics, which promises to deliver real-time performance visibility and insight to provide businesses with the operational agility, could help provide a competitive edge. A 2020 Gartner survey revealed that over 29% of businesses achieved high levels of ROI using supply chain analytics, compared to just 4% that didn’t achieve any ROI.

As per a recent research report compiled by Global Market Insights, Inc., it is estimated that the global supply chain analytics market size is set to exceed $10 billion USD in terms of valuation by 2027. Highlighted below are some key developments fostering industry outlook over the course of the next few years.

Why are cloud-based supply chain analytics solutions gaining traction?

With benefits such as reduced costs, higher optimization, streamlined workflows, and enhanced performance and security, it’s no wonder businesses are rapidly migrating to the cloud. Besides these benefits, the desire for new features and capabilities was found to be a major reason behind the widespread adoption of cloud-based services.

RightScale reported that nearly 66% of the enterprises globally had a cloud center or a cloud team during in 2020. One of the biggest advantages for the supply chain sector enabled by cloud computing is the ability to make smarter, more-informed decisions and accelerate logistics by leveraging powerful analytics. It also allows businesses to improve both accuracy and efficiency of the flow of products through the supply chain.

One particular trend that could make supply chain analytics faster and more readily accessible is the proliferation of IoT. In addition to cloud, supply chain management (SCM) professionals can leverage the capabilities of IoT to make better data-driven decisions informed by real-time data more rapidly than ever.

It is estimated that the adoption of cloud-based supply chain analytics will grow exponentially over the coming years, and supply chain analytics providers will find abundant opportunities to leverage its capabilities at every turn.

What has been the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on supply chain analytics industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be one of the biggest disruptors of supply chain operations over the past few decades. Throughout 2020, supply chain and inventory managers had to work through uncertainties related to economic downturns, lockdowns and shifts in consumer behavior.

These efforts were widely supported by supply chain analytics tools optimized to account for unprecedented shocks. New signals and data sources that were not in use before the pandemic such as macroeconomic data, international data and seasonal influenza statistics were used to implement many of these adjustments. It is expected that these developments will continue in the near future and most improvements adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic will around for a long time.

How has analytics helped bolster healthcare supply chain during COVID-19?

Rapid outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 had challenged healthcare networks throughout the world in unprecedented ways. The pandemic also highlighted significant vulnerabilities in the healthcare supply chain.

According to the American Hospital Association, healthcare financial losses in the U.S. had deepened by nearly $120.5 billion between July and December 2020.

However, new opportunities have constantly emerged for healthcare providers to not only recover from this crisis, but at the same time implement cost-saving approaches through the use of optimized supply chain analytics.

In October of last year, leading SCM solutions provider Syft had released a playbook for hospitals to help it recover from the COVID-19 crisis and prepare for future disruptions with the help of supply chain analytics.

In June 2020, leading medical devices manufacturer Medtronic had built out a digital twin of its end-to-end supply chain to help people make smarter and faster supply chain decisions. The company had built a data lake to feed LLamasoft’s supply chain analytics platform and create its supply chain digital twin.

Although supply chain analytics is rapidly disrupting manufacturing, inventory management and logistics operations across a range of end-use sectors, the industry is yet to overcome certain challenges such as data security and privacy concerns.

Leading providers of supply chain analytics solutions such as IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Capgemini SE, Antuit.ai, Blue Yonder Group, Inc., Sage Clarity Systems, SAP SE and Bridgei2i Analytics Solutions are constantly working toward addressing these concerns and developing novel solutions for efficient supply chain management.

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About the Author

Hrishikesh Kadam

A graduate in electronics and telecommunication engineering, Hrishikesh Kadam has always found writing fascinating. Driven by a never-ending passion for content creation combined with a bit of experience in writing personal blogs, Hrishikesh blends his technical knowledge and expertise to pen down articles for numerous online portals.