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Supply chains: Staying ahead of the unpredictable with an Analytics Data Pipeline

In the last year, supply chains issues have risen to the top of the global agenda. Disruptions caused by geopolitical crises and the pandemic have stressed the importance of building operational resilience across supply chains. 

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures shows over one-third (37 per cent) of all Australian businesses experienced supply chain disruptions in February 2022. While this is a decrease from January, it is still elevated compared to data from 2021.

The most common supply chain issues plaguing Australian businesses are domestic and international delivery delays at 88 per cent, followed by supply constraints at 80 per cent. 

There is a clear, urgent need to address these supply concerns, especially when business recovery is paramount, and many are looking to get back on their feet again. 

We can expect supply chains to be precarious for the foreseeable future – certainly for the remainder of the year. It is critical that Australian businesses anticipate these major events’ impacts and implements proactive action when they occur. 

In a recent address, Prime Minister Scott Morrison highlighted the need for Australia to commit to supplying chain resilience. His statement embodies this: “We need trusted supply chains, not just efficient ones.”

I believe the answer to building trusted supply chains lies in data, specifically, in developing analytics data pipelines to stay ahead of supply disruption issues. 

In his article titled ‘Data deluge’, for Qlik’s Active Intelligence magazine, Harvard lecturer and author Vikram Mansharamani says, “leaders should embrace a strategy of navigating uncertainty via ‘informed action’, the strategic use of analytics to actively extract insight from data”. 

But how does “informed action” and data pipelines that enable it to work in practice when it comes to supply chains?

Creating more visible, collaborative supply chains

In today’s digital economy, real-time agility is essential for staying competitive. Up-to-date information needs to be delivered to the right user at the right time, in a way that enables them to act. 

This is not something that traditional BI can deliver. Qlik’s Active Intelligence Platform can. It provides all the data and analytics services you need to create a trusted end-to-end analytics data pipeline, which turns raw data into informed action – and helps organisations close gaps across their data value chain. 

Multipack, an Australian packaging services provider, uses Qlik’s Active Intelligence platform to strategically scale up and down its operation according to fluctuating demand. This ability to adapt to demand in real-time is invaluable, and these insights give Multipack the ability to adjust and optimise materials procurement. These insights from data can keep their customer’s products on the shelves. 

Supply chain departments collect tremendous amounts of data, but most of the data that can guide decisions and actions isn’t analytics-ready or accessible. By freeing data from its siloes, in real-time, the platform enables as many people as possible to access the data, enrich it, create derivative data from it, and discover insights that can be consumed anywhere and collaborated on. 

In an uncertain market, with increasingly complex and distributed supply chains and unforeseen disruptions around the corner, I believe it’s more important that stakeholders are tightly coordinated and can use the end-to-end visibility created by analytics data pipelines to collaborate better.

Supply chain issues are rapid and unpredictable – Australian businesses can tackle this through effective, thorough preparation informed by rich, insightful data. Bringing together analytics, collaboration, automation and action orientation together on the Active Intelligence Platform allows for situations to be recognised, their impact understood, and responded to as they unfold, rather than mitigating the effects after the fact.

Shaping your future

Keeping ahead of supply chain disruption and ensuring proactive action with customers is what will separate those that succeed in this uncertain world and those that don’t. But that proactivity through “informed action” doesn’t just allow companies to survive the unexpected but, as Mansharamani suggests, also shapes events – “to act in a way that produces an advantageous outcome”. 

As Australian businesses look to the future, we must ask what tools they need for their recovery and ensure resilience in the long term. At Qlik, we believe that the answer lies in data. Rich, data-led solutions that turn complex information into actionable insights are key to empowering Australian businesses, allowing them to remain flexible, adaptable, and prepared in the face of uncertainty. 

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Paul Leahy

Paul Leahy

Paul Leahy is Country Manager of Qlik Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for spearheading Qlik’s local operations and empowering customers from the region to leverage Qlik’s Active Intelligence platform to lead their businesses with data. A passionate and dedicated leader with more than 25 years of experience in the IT software industry, Paul has been successful throughout his career in building and leading teams to successfully deliver solutions for large and complex organisations. He is based in Melbourne, Australia

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