Predictive Analytics Crucial During Holiday Season
When it comes to holiday deliveries, customers are not generally very forgiving when packages arrive late. Retailers and manufacturers alike have to kick operations into high gear well ahead of the holiday season to meet the demand, and being proactive in optimizing the supply chain is vital. Thankfully, advanced analytics technology can help make the process run a lot more smoothly.
Some industries, like toy manufacturing, rack up as much as 50 percent of their revenue in the month of November alone, and their shipping volumes certainly reflect this. Getting those deliveries on time is absolutely essential. If a big shipment that was intended for the days before Christmas arrives a few days afterward, not only did it miss out on shelf space but it will also probably have to be discounted in order to move it. The revenue losses in such a scenario can be quite significant.
While demand forecasting is already pretty popular, other analytics technologies that are not as widely embraced can be just as helpful, such as detecting when disruptions occur in shipments and notifying supply chain managers in real time so they can ensure efficiency.
Meanwhile, predictive analytics can help shippers make smarter decisions, like which shipments should be expedited, which ports are congested, which of the carriers have capacity, which shipping routes are ideal for the transport method in question, and what time of day is best for getting through customs efficiently. This entails analyzing and correlating historical data gleaned from carriers, suppliers, 3PLs, transportation management systems, and ERP services.
Another important factor in on-time delivery is optimizing the pick-up times of cargo. Historical data can enable predictive analytics to calculate how long carriers take to reach pick-up locations using specific shipping routes. In addition, real-time shipment location data can be tracked and used to adjust anticipated arrival times taking into account historical patterns of everything from weather and port congestion to clearing customs.