The Art of the Possible: Actionable Analytics for Value Networks
By Lora Cecere, Supply Chain Insights LLC, Founder and CEO
When companies say the word “analytics,” it is often a synonym for “reporting.”Most lack the understanding of the “Art of the Possible.”They are searching for how to win with new forms of analytics. In general, manufacturers lag insurance and financial organizations in the use of more advanced analytical technologies. Most manufacturers are unaware of technologies like text mining, sentiment analysis, listening posts, learning systems, new forms of visualization and rules-based ontologies. Over the last decade, most of the investments in analytics within manufacturing have been focused on reporting to support the implementation of traditional transactional systems and applications that drive business insights from these transactions, i.e. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Advance Planning Systems (APS), Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) and Supplier Relationship Management systems (SRM). There was a belief that supply chain excellence would happen through tight integration of these systems with the ERP backbone. What we find a decade later is that the tight integration of the value network with ERP has taken us backwards,not forwards. By and large, these are systems of record with traditional reporting and dashboards/scorecards.They are a part of the required analytics framework,but not the foundation for the “Art of the Possible.”
We feel that it is time to use analytics to drive corporate advantage. In our analysis of two decades of financial balance sheets and income statements, we find that all industry segments are facing slowing growth, are struggling with pressureson margins, battling an increase in complexity,and feeling a need to speed up cycles. Analytics offer a promise to help,but traditional analytics are not sufficient.