How Location Intelligence Improves Supply Chain Management
The effects of the pandemic have strained the global supply chain, resulting in manufacturing and shipping delays that impact nearly every business that receives goods or ships products. It’s clear that supply chain management now requires an increasingly digitized strategy. That’s why companies should use real-world data, like location intelligence, to enhance their supply chains.
Too often, supply chain managers are in the dark about where materials are coming from or who the end-tier suppliers are. Location intelligence can help increase visibility by revealing unknown locations in a company’s supply chain.
Furthermore, with location intelligence, companies can measure foot traffic at supply chain locations, monitor for changes or anomalies, and mitigate any issues as soon as possible.
For example, if a retailer starts to see a sudden decline in foot traffic at a warehouse, it can immediately reach out to the warehouse manager to find out why this might be. If there is a confirmed issue at the warehouse, the retailer could begin adjusting its supply chain plans right away to mitigate the problem before it snowballs into a larger issue.
Beyond providing increased visibility into the supply chain network itself, location intelligence can also provide greater insight into consumer behavior, trends, and demand.
Where people choose to spend their time and money illustrates what matters most to them. With location intelligence, businesses can understand where consumers go in the real world and learn more about their interests and preferences.
Adjusting Inventory to Meet Demand
Consumer interests differ across the country, so it’s important for companies to understand the nuances of each city, state, or region. For instance, consumers in a rural region might be more interested in outdoor activities than those in a big city. With the insights gained from location analytics, retailers can pinpoint consumer interests like this and adjust their inventory accordingly.
Similarly, retailers can use location intelligence to see increases or decreases in foot traffic by store. By analyzing movement trends, businesses can direct inventory to stores that are seeing a significant increase in traffic, ensuring that consumer demand is met. They can determine how to meet customer demand for the short term (60 to 90 days) or long term (12 to 24 months), or even map out a weekly operations process.
Lastly, location intelligence can provide richer insights into supply chain planning. The cookie taught us how to understand online behaviors; similarly we can understand offline behaviors through mobile movements.
Observing changes in consumer movement can help predict changes in consumer behavior. For example, if a restaurant sees declines in foot traffic over a few months, the owners can identify this shift, assess why this could be happening, and adjust various business strategies such as ordering less inventory over the next few months. With location intelligence, companies can more effectively manage risk, increase planning accuracy, and drive greater ROI.
The pandemic has upended the way companies manage their supply chains. With a data-driven approach, businesses can increase visibility, become more agile, and build a strong supply chain that can thrive in a post-pandemic world.