Big Data in Warehouse Management: How Using Big Data Leads to Proactive Warehouse Management
Big Data has been a hot-button topic in supply chain circles for years, and its implications are growing even faster. As noted by Bernard Marr of Forbes magazine, analytics are the latest-generation means of monitoring and forecasting in today’s supply chains. Using Big Data in warehouse management can effectively streamline the most important phase of any transaction, especially in omnichannel supply chains. This phase is among the highest costs for managing inventory; it is the cost of carrying inventory. Big Data in warehouse management has the potential to revolutionize how Warehouse Managers approach proactive management styles.
The Problem: Warehouse Managers Struggle to Justify Use of Big Data in Warehouse Management
Big Data is big, and that is the major problem with Warehouse Managers that struggle to use it. Big Data can encompass billions of data points, consider factors that Warehouse Managers overlook, like economic trends around the globe, and bring disparate information into view. Unfortunately, this sounds terrifying to new or inexperienced. However, a paradox exists. Warehouse Managers cannot simply hold onto traditional supply chain execution systems, says Industry Week.
The Solution: Long-Term Use of Big Data Increases Insight into All Operations
The traditional standards for managing the warehouse, like legacy and ERP systems, are obsolete. Customers want real-time updates on product orders, to know if product is available prior to purchase, and have immediate access to the manufacturing details of each product, aside from proprietary information. Furthermore, customers are no longer local and can shop from anywhere with Internet connectivity. Big Data in warehouse management and analytics, therefore, allows Warehouse Managers to infer conclusions about how customer behaviors may change, what they expect from manufacturers and supply chain leaders, and how such entities can rise to the occasion.
The Reward: Best Practices to Using Big Data for Proactive Warehouse Management
Part of the allure in using Big Data in warehouse management comes from a single statistic. As explained by Supply Chain Management Review, approximately 79 percent of companies that maintain high-performing supply chains can reap above-average revenue growth. In other words, these companies can successfully expand operations, improve risk management, achieve shorter cycle times, and still meet increasing customer demands through supply chain data. Therefore, more companies are turning to big data analytics to stay competitive, and Warehouse Managers should follow these best practices when attempting to put the power of Big Data in warehouse management:
- Move data storage to the cloud.
- Automate data collection.
- Connect systems and devices to the Internet of Things, using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RFID sensors.
- Take advantage of customer-facing data.
- Re-evaluate business frequently.
- Make information accessible and actionable.
- Train staff on how to use systems properly.
- Encourage the use of wearables to obtain more information.
- Screen data for quality.
- Consider working with external experts and resources for assistance.
- Consider cybersecurity and physical security concerns.
- Make it scalable.
- Transform data insights into real-world action through prescriptive analytics.
Leverage Big Data in Warehouse Management Through Integration and Partnerships Today
Managing big data in the warehouse is a challenge, but today, supply chain leaders are not without options. They may outsource part or all Big Data management and analytics processes. Furthermore, integration between systems will enhance analytics accuracy and enable continuous improvement in labor, equipment, and order management alike. Find out more about how your organization can take advantage of Big Data in warehouse management by contacting Veridian.
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