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Retail Operations Future: Using Data Analytics For Supply Chain, Logistics Implementation

Most companies are looking to invest in analytics to be able to forecast delivery volumes, expected delays, supply status, etc. as the demand of orders increases, and due to this there is an urgent need to streamline logistics ops and they use analytics to deliver a seamless customer experience.

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The festive season is just around the corner. Festive time has always been important to brands and corporates as there is a spike in demand, which leads to more revenue. At the same time, the festive rush also brings in the pressure of meeting higher demands than usual in a seamless way. At this time, businesses see a lot of hustle to manage logistical operations and ensure timely deliveries across their  supply chain. In the current scenario, many businesses are adopting a data driven approach to manage supply chain and meet the festive rush efficiently.

According to Intellicus, a leading data integration and analytics platform, there is a huge spike in the orders being placed online or through apps for all types of items. Also, the stores that did not sell online earlier are now using existing platforms or bringing up their websites for online shopping. Therefore, to channelize the operations smoothly and offer seamless customer experience overall,  almost 70 per cent of retail and Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies are using data analytics. They are investing in AI ML driven analytics to be able to forecast delivery volumes, expected delays, supply status, etc. and manage the festive spike effectively.

Most companies are looking to invest in analytics to be able to forecast delivery volumes, expected delays, supply status, etc. as the demand of orders increases, and due to this there is an urgent need to streamline logistics ops and they use analytics to deliver a seamless customer experience.

Logistic Sector

The most recent couple of years saw a gigantic change in the development of the supply chain and logistics sector. A silver lining here is digital transformation. Quite a bit of this has been the effect of data analytics.  

"Considering that the festive season is the busiest time of the year, proactive demand forecasting is essential to manage the demand and supply efficiently. Customers’ purchasing behaviour is extremely volatile during this time, and data analytics can examine vast datasets to deliver instant, accurate insights and make relevant recommendations to customers for both current and future orders. Besides, to analyze the distance covered at a time when fuel prices are reaching an all-time high, leveraging data analytics can help avail real-time, actionable insights to deliver an impeccable experience to customers, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction and retention in the long run,” said Saahil Goel, CEO, and Co-founder of Shiprocket.

One clear reason that data analytics will become significant for the logistic sector is the unavoidable shift toward big data. The logistic industry is seeing the worth of groundbreaking big data as the main concern. To have the option to change over information into profits, logistics companies can zero in on smoothing out logistic tasks to expand straightforwardness, permitting undertakings to settle on better choices. 

Soham Chokshi, CEO, and Co-founder, Shipsy said, “Data analytics helps in demand forecasting and ensures delivery scalability based on that. AI-powered solutions leverage Machine Learning algorithms that seamlessly analyze various parameters such as past performance, serviceability, cost, etc., to simplify 3PL selection for faster and cost-efficient deliveries. Moreover, predictive analytics capabilities drive modern logistics management platforms. It helps businesses accurately predict whether deliveries will be delayed, done on or before time. This significantly improves production planning and makes supply chain operations proactive. Such a platform also leverages advanced data analytics to intelligently club orders based on routes, vehicle capacity, delivery times, weight and more, significantly optimizing fuel consumption, reducing miles travelled and shrinking delivery costs per order.”

FMCG Sector

The increasingly high demand for omnichannel shopping experience is propelling digital marketing and innovation to oblige the changing business elements. FMCG organizations are progressively utilizing big data and analytics arrangement as it assumes a significant part in value creation and accomplishing versatility of business tasks and higher creation in the powerful commercial centre.

Sandip Chhettri, CEO, TradeIndia, said, “FMCG companies are using technology to track consumer behaviour through social ‘listening’ and digital interactions, and understand the demand trends. Technologies like big data, predictive analysis, and social media are contributing high to the change of course for FMCG companies. Customer behavior can now be predicted almost accurately by just cherry-picking buyer behavior which will help to personalise their festive campaign. Companies are also developing ordering apps for buyers which enables them to place contactless orders safely and provides them visibility on the fulfillment of those orders right from placement to logistics to supply.”

Meanwhile, Dolly Kumar, Founder, and Director at Cosmic Nutracos, the parent company to FMCG Brands Gaia said that for both our brands - Gaia and Skinella, we are using Business Process Management (BPM) and leveraging this tool for data analytics. This gives us strong insights for projection and forecasting of sales, gives us access to data points and learnings from the past, for instance, if there is any region where there can be transportation issues, or whether there will be a stock shortage, especially during the festive season. 

“The data even tells us what schemes or offers will work with our consumers, the quantity that needs to be taken into consideration for planning in the factory. Additionally, we also get insights from Amazon and Flipkart on consumer behaviour which help improve the effectiveness of marketing and maximise supply chain efficiencies,” Kumar said.

Retail Sector

The retail sector is under persistent strain to meet sales targets. The robust ascent of eCommerce and M-commerce stages is the element for the present circumstance. In any case, the retail area, as different businesses, is going through a significant change, getting a genuinely necessary improvement in the form of advancements. Understanding customer’s behaviour, disposition, requirements, and trouble spots are significant for progress. The ideal information at the perfect time can help settle on informed and information-driven choices. Furthermore, adopting a business insight solution is an amazing method to pursue retail goals.

Veerendra Koujalagi, Managing Director at Sleepypanda said, “Inducing data analytics in logistics and supply chains can aid in lowering the risk of equipment obsolescence, sales projection, and low sales pressure for the supplier. An approach based on data towards supply management can resolve the inventory storage issues for retailers and FMCG companies. Inducing data analytics with logistics in times of covid can benefit retailers in updating their customers with estimated time and date of delivery.”

Most existing models in retail and logistics that have been built and trained have essentially gone for a toss due to multiple lockdowns. Smart folks will focus on getting the demand forecast right to not get caught flat-footed and get their inventories in order. But a truly data-driven organization will aim to capture the festive demand data and bake that in for the supply side as well. However, we've seen only the largest of retailers and aggregators get this right. These practices should trickle down to the smaller players as well. Everyone focuses on getting the demand right with statistical methods.

"Data-driven decision making for more efficient supply chain management has been more crucial than ever in the post-pandemic business environment; wherein logistics networks and entire supply chains have been disrupted and gone into a state of shock. The key mantra is to use analytics to redesign entire supply chains while making them more agile. As in most categories, the comfort & bedding industry is also quite seasonal in terms of consumer demand; and the festive season offers the biggest challenge (read 'opportunity') to use intelligent forecasting models and hybrid supply chain strategies (which are now possible thanks to GST) for consolidation on one hand and hyper-localisation on the other - all this backed by real-time analytics,” said Uttam Malani, Executive Director, Centuary Mattress.

Nikhil Kurhe, CEO, Finarkein Analytics also said that supply-side forecasting and logistics is something that is neglected further. The complicated situation in China with Evergrande, container shortage, and commodities gyrating up and down. If you don't get this right as a business, you miss your projected targets on revenues and profits as margins will drastically swing.

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data analytics fmcg sector retail logistics platform