Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 57 seconds

Over the past few years, the terms big data and big data analytics have become common keywords in almost every industry. However, we have now come of age and these terms are being put into action to solve different real-life problems. In the procurement and supply chain industry, big data has become critical, considering the complex nature of the industry.

Compared to the past where analytical tools worked based on historical data that meant decisions were made based on outdated information, the age of big data is the opposite. It allows procurement officers to get up-to-date information in real-time, enabling them to make decisions based on timely data. Decisions such as spending, supplier management and procurement strategies become highly efficient with the availability of such information. Due to the influence that big data is having on different industries, big data analytics was named in a report by SCM World as the most disruptive and critical technology in the supply chain.

With the help of data science and sophistication of technologies, procurement teams, including CEOs and CFOs, are noticing their potential and leveraging the available technologies to improve the profile of their organizations. Having historical data regarding pricing, contracts and suppliers is beneficial for budgeting and is instrumental during negotiations with the suppliers. This data can also help your company to cut costs as it allows negotiation of bulk contracts as opposed to negotiating one at a time.  

For the full potential to be realized, leaders in procurement and their teams must be equipped with a new set of skills and analytical tools that allows them to interpret the available data. Data visualization will equip them enough. While digital tools are made to be user-friendly, procurement officers still need to be trained on various aspects such as the discipline of using them without diverting to other methods and how to access data that can be useful to them.  

More and better

Advances that have been made in data science have eased demand forecasting which gives organizations the ability to integrate data that has high granularity. Such data allows companies to utilize predictive analysis to improve accuracy in forecasting demand. Big data algorithms give companies insights on competitors, customers and strategies their marketing department can use to increase sales. As competition continues rising due to rising demands by the customer, procurement firms are required to understand their competitors and their promotional approaches. At the same time, accuracy in forecasting demand has a direct correlation to the performance of production scheduling and safety.

With real-time data as fuel, an agile supply chain and procurement is capable of optimizing and rerouting shipments, which would otherwise be affected by aspects such as congestions and weather. This will ease how customers are informed and enable companies to build intelligent stocking and inspection and as a result, lower the cost of operations.  Data science and artificial intelligence mainly also would allow organizations to offer the best customer support with the help of technologies such as chatbots or voice assistants. These technologies give them the capacity to give accurate information on expected delivery time quickly.

Big data analytics can create a new frontier characterized by a promise of improved changes in the procurement sector. Businesses can leverage data science to attain actionable insight needed to improve business results. The Unique combination of big data feeds, reporting frameworks and advanced predictive analytics enables companies to get advanced data assurance which in the end helps in the reduction of costs made possible by visibility and greater control.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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