How Wholesale Distributors Use Logistics Data Intelligence to Improve Outcomes

MercuryGate Blog - Data, Analytics, Metrics & KPIs Category
Data holds immense value in modern supply chain management. The use of data gives shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) insight into operational efficiency, productivity, risk management, and demand. Among wholesale distributors, logistics data lowers downtime through proactive management, reduces carrying costs, and lessens the hassle of dock and yard management. As reported in a webinar, hosted and published by MITS.com, distributors realize a 13:1 return on investment in data analytics. Supply chain leaders need to understand why wholesale distributors are increasingly using data, how analysis of data generates real results, and how to maximize the value of data to improve wholesale distributors’ desired outcomes.

Driving Forces Pushing Distributors to Use Logistics Data in New Ways

Distributors lack immunity to the threat of the retail apocalypse. Failures in storefronts lower competition, which impacts wholesale distributors’ revenues due to lower retailer demand for products. Retail supply chains are faced with producing higher sales figures, while competition from both incumbents and pure-play e-commerce competition makes that task even more challenging as the entire industry evolves to meet new customer expectations in price, availability, and delivery of products.
Companies also suffer from the scourge of high inventory carrying costs. Long delivery times can lead to lost customers. Dock delays lead to subsequent delays. The list of problems that add to inventory management costs is endless. Paired with the growing demand for flexibility and speed from e-commerce retailers, strained resources on wholesale distributors begin to snap. The best solution is to know more about the operation by utilizing logistics data.

How Logistics Data Improves Outcomes

As explained by Supply Chain Digital, logistics data improves existing operations in three primary ways, including:
  • New Fulfillment Models. Cross-docking, drop-shipping and even buy-online-pick-up in-store represents new ways to move freight, speeding fulfillment and generating more data.
  • Supply Chain Collaboration. More information and collaboration with data helps everyone understand their duties and needs.
  • Demand Forecasting. The benefits of demand forecasting stem from refined resource management, ranging from inventory to people to capacity.

How to Access and Apply Logistics Data

Accessing and applying logistics data are other animals.
According to Phocas Software, a “growing economy also means that competition is fierce with so many companies fighting for the same customers. Never has it been more important for distributors to build and maintain a competitive advantage. To set themselves apart from competitors, some distributors are doing more with their data, leveraging their wholesale distribution software to mine actionable intelligence for better business decisions.”
Distributors often rely on legacy ERP. Yet legacy technology and process management are laden with risk. To access and apply data effectively, distributors need to ditch the old methods and follow these steps:
  • Eliminate the data silos with cloud solutions.
  • Give supply chain partners access to your systems.
  • Encourage supply chain partners to use like systems.
  • Ensure systems are user-friendly.
  • Aggregate data with self-reporting systems and automated reports.
  • Use analytics to comb through data, learning why, how and what must happen to attain success.
  • Integrate newer technologies and systems via an API or EDI, depending on compatibility.
  • Guarantee timeliness and accuracy of data through internet-enabled devices or other forms of machine-to-machine connectivity, including RFID tags, Bluetooth and GPS.
  • Upgrade analytics that are no longer relevant or not pulling the data you want to analyze.
  • Connect with more drivers and carriers, tapping the power of the Gig Economy.

Upgrade Your Systems to Reap Logistics Data Insights by Partnering With MercuryGate

Global supply chains continue to grow in size, complexity, and scrutiny. That is, more eyes watching for any slip-up and reason to jump to the next supplier or distributor. Instead of risking it all, distributors need more logistics data and the ability to use it. MercuryGate makes it possible.

Get started by contacting MercuryGate to start aiding your wholesale distribution company. Learn to gather the right data so you too can improve your desired outcomes.

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