New Trade Era Data Strategies

New Trade Era Requires New Data Strategies

The rules of international trade are rewritten all the time, and that’s never been truer than with the level of change the world has experienced in the last two years. The United States influences trade throughout the world unlike any other country, and when U.S. rules change, businesses have to be ready to react or they are at risk of losing time, revenue, and customers. Those who will win in this new environment are those who embrace new strategies to manage and make better use of the data flowing through their supply chains.

A recent survey conducted by American Shipper found that more than 50 percent of respondents receive some portion of their supply chain data from 15 or more data sources. And, more than a quarter receive data from more than 50 different internal departments, service providers, and customers.

The proliferation of data sources highlights the need to connect all of the data and make sense of it. It’s not so much about having more data than it is about having the most relevant data, and then using advanced data analytics to build the different views to make faster, smarter decisions when the trade rules change.

Mitigating Risk Requires Agility

International trade is inherently filled with risk, and disruptions from weather, manufacturing delays, worker strikes, or shortages of drivers and equipment are an everyday occurrence. Experience has taught most supply chain professionals how to pivot around these situations when needed. But, with the rapidly evolving trade landscape experience and knowledge may not be enough.

With so many rules of trade changing over the last two years, many companies have been forced to move faster than normal to keep up with the increasing amount of change. Operations have to be built on more agile processes. Supply chains need to quickly adapt to the latest changes in trade policy, be it tariffs or renegotiated trade agreements.

Without Data, Businesses are Flying Blind

According to the American Shipper report, 53 percent of companies are not using a business intelligence tool to make better sense of the data in their systems. That lack of adoption suggests companies are still relying too much on manual effort to sift through data. These processes translate to longer reaction times and increased risk.

Today’s analytic tools can help identify trends and create greater visibility, allowing companies to see potential trouble spots earlier. Ultimately, business intelligence tools can help supply chain leaders make more informed decisions and be increasingly proactive.

To create greater efficiency in the supply chain and reduce reaction time to new trade rules, companies need a better view of the data flowing through their systems. When new tariffs or trade policies are enacted, businesses may have only weeks or days to adapt.

Data analytics can quickly provide the data viewpoint companies need to understand the impact and quickly operationalize the necessary changes to stay ahead of potential impacts. While it may be hard to predict the next new tariff or new change in trade regulations, businesses that have are making use of their data and will be ready to pivot when necessary.

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