How to Manage Supply Chain Complexity with BI

by | Feb 22, 2016 | Wine & Spirits

Reading Time: 3 minutes

wine spirits supply chainAs we enter 2016, it’s clear that the beverage industry supply chain is becoming more complex. In fact, a year-end survey conducted by Beverage World found that over the last two years, the number of SKUs in the industry has increased by 30%. Just among wine and spirits companies, there has been 19% growth in SKUs, resulting in each wine and spirits operator managing an average of 13,781 SKUs. Not surprisingly, the survey results show that this increase has left approximately two-thirds of beverage operators feeling very challenged.

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However, for manufacturers and distributors that are able to handle this newfound complexity, there is significant opportunity. Having access to the proper supply chain information is an essential part of being the middle tier of a three-tier distribution system. For wine and spirits companies, a robust business intelligence tool can go a long way towards alleviating these mounting pressures and allowing for a more streamlined supply chain. Below, we detail two ways in which a business intelligence tool can mitigate the effects of increasing complexity.

Automate Repetitive Analytical Processes

A major component of effective supply chain management is actively tracking essential inventory turnover and sales forecast metrics. These types of metrics involve repeated use of similar analytical processes. Without the right business intelligence tool, this can entail sacrificing countless hours processing data in order to arrive at the necessary metrics. This problem is exacerbated as the supply chain becomes more complex. A business intelligence tool can streamline this process by automating this data processing. Administrators are able to set up automated dashboards that ensure that key decision makers get access to the information they need without exhaustive, time-consuming analysis. With these automating capabilities, handling newfound complexity becomes a much simpler task.

Enable Timely Data Extraction

With increased complexity in the supply chain, remaining current on information becomes more difficult. More SKUs often mean it is necessary to aggregate data from a variety of sources, and this can take time. Having the correct metrics is trivial without a way to ensure that they match the current realities. Accordingly, it becomes more important to have visibility into the supply chain, updated with the most recent available information possible. Traditional data extraction from legacy databases can mean more work for IT, messy data, and a lack of immediate insight into the current status of the supply chain. Using a business intelligence tool with sophisticated ETL capabilities automates the aggregation process, taking the burden off of IT. This allows dashboards to reflect recent data in the correct format, enabling an agile response to an ever-changing supply chain.

Successfully dealing with increased supply chain complexity is essential for wine and spirits distributors. How does your company handle this complexity? Let us know in the comments.

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