47% of supply chain executives still rely on Excel says survey

Survey reveals the gap that continues to exist when it comes to moving towards advanced analytics in the supply chain, with only 22% of companies having an advanced analytics initiative

Credit: Logility

  Advanced analytics powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can leverage the vast amount of data available from both structured and unstructured sources to uncover new opportunities to make faster and smarter business decisions. Despite businesses in the supply chain beginning to recognise this potential, there is still massive gaps in adoption.

A survey of supply chain executives found that 63% identify supply chain planning and forecasting as a  priority area and 44% plan to upgrade or implement an advanced analytics solution within the next two years. However, 47% note that they continue to rely on Excel and only 19% say that they are currently using big data to improve operations.

This will need to grow if companies are going to address their biggest concerns. According to the report, the top business pressures facing companies today include the need to reduce operating costs, increase service levels, enhance supply chain flexibility and improve forecast accuracy. At the same time, the ability to analyze Big Data, automate forecasting and deliver actionable alerts are considered important supply chain capabilities.

“The speed and complexity of business requires companies to quickly turn information from disparate data sources into actionable insights that focus supply chain efforts on high-impact, value added activities,” said Allan Dow, president, Logility. “As evidenced by this research, spreadsheets and legacy solutions can hinder a company’s ability to harness information from multiple data sources to significantly impact and drive the business forward.”

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are quickly emerging as methods to further improve and automate algorithmic planning, and we believe their long-term promise is enormous,” commented Keith Peterson, president, Halo, Logility’s advanced analytics platform. “In particular, the adaptive learning nature of these technologies combined with the ability to handle large volumes of complex data are key factors to reduce costs and increase service levels through automation. Leveraging advanced analytics can help companies transform their supply chain by delivering greater agility to handle dynamic demand, evolving networks and rapidly-changing fulfillment strategies.”

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