Many manufacturers and distributors focus on collecting data rather than using it to analyze performance and achieve business results.

“Data, data data” seems to be the hot topic for manufacturers and distributors, similarly to “location, location, location” in real estate success.  What is going on?

As technologies have come a long way from the “old” days, we have massive amounts of data.  I heard this statistic last week – 1 gigabyte cost $1 million in 1980 whereas it costs 1 cent today. Clearly, data is affordable and accessible.  Now what do we do with it?

Here are some options my best clients have been researching:

  1. Dashboards: Get the “right” ERP system for your needs and display key metrics on a dashboard.  We want to be able to slice and dice data to rapidly get to what we want when we want it – in a nice, visually pleasing format. Business intelligence (BI) systems support dashboards.
  2. Demand data is gold:  Undoubtedly, my best clients use demand data from their supply chain to outperform their competitors – and sometimes to collaborate with competitors for win-win outcomes.  A forecast is better than guesswork but actual consumption or demand data from your customer trumps all.
  3. Big data: There is more hype over big data than anything else; however, since there is a ton of data available these days, those executives who figure out how to make good use of this data will succeed.
  4. Connections with data:  The internet of things is spurring new uses of data.  How do we connect data from our fit monitors, alarm systems, appliances etc. in a meaningful and useful way?
  5. RFID & Barcoding:  Although these can be considered “old school”, they are also solid tools that can provide tangible benefits in the right situation.

Don’t just collect data to collect data.  It might be similar to being a hoarder.  Although data can be stored on tiny devices, the key is not to collect it but to USE it to achieve business results.  If you’d like to talk further about how to do that for your company, contact us.