Supply Chain Shaman

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The Big Supply Chain Analytics Failure

New forms of analytics abound. Embracing them is a different story. Data abounds while insights are low. Supply chain leaders struggle with the adoption and use of new forms of analytics. Only one in two are satisfied with their success in using analytics. Here we postulate why based on recent research.

Analytics Success by Business Leaders

Reason #1. Knowledge

While organizations hired data scientists in the past decade, business leaders struggle to speak the language of new forms of analytics. Terms like ontology, sentiment analysis, python and nosql are unknown to 80% of business leaders. Companies lock their data into traditional relational database structures and limit their possibilities to use disparate data or understand semantics.

What to do? Spend time educating teams based on lunch and learn and open sharing between technologists and operating groups. Do not make the mistake of asking traditional consultants and technologists for insights. (They want to sell you yesterday’s solutions.) Elevate the discussions.

Reason #2. Lack of a Good Framework for Process Innovation

Companies are investing in traditional applications like supply chain planning, but the focus is usually on improving the “engines” or optimization on top of existing systems. Few are questioning the fact that the workflows and architectures are largely outdated.

While companies speak of digital transformation most are working on the digitization of existing processes. The focus is faster and hands free. Companies struggle to rethink the use of technology based on the Art of the Possible to drive process innovation

What to do? Change the dialogue. Don’t focus on making current practices faster. Push for process innovation.

Reason #3. Lack of Awareness of the Need to Unlearn

Change management is fraught with issues. Few feel that they do it well. One of the unspoken challenges is the need to unlearn or ask participants to free themselves from conventional thinking to rethink the possibilities.

What to do? Focus on helping your group to ask the right questions. Start with a focus on supply chain failure. Ask the group to brainstorm on the data available in the organization that can inform and drive new outcomes. Explore the possibilities of unstructured and streaming data.

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