The biggest supply chain data mistakes manufacturers are making

2 Minutes Read

When manufacturing supply chains are disrupted, they impact industries on a massive scale. But you may not realise that your logistics doesn’t actually have several individual disruptive problems. It’s got one massive one.

Manufacturing supply chains have a data problem. 

Whether you’re an enormous enterprise or a smaller SME, your data is probably holding you back from achieving your goals. Maybe your data is messy and hard to use. Or maybe it’s only historical and isn’t able to give you clear intelligence for right now. 

Or maybe you’re making one of the top mistakes that manufacturers are making with their data in 2022.


Only using historical data to optimise

If you recognise yourself in this, it’s time to step back and ask why you’re only looking at past performance. The past two years have made it clear that we are playing by new rules. Between Covid, climate change, unfortunate events like the Ever Given and global unrest, supply chains have to expect the unexpected now. 

That may seem like a tall order, but by using AI you can access real-time data and make a digital twin of your supply chain. A digital twin uses up-to-the-minute data impacting your logistics network and creates a virtual version of it. This can be used to help you get ahead of the curve and do more accurate scenario planning. It can also help you look to the future and determine the best paths forward for growth.

Read more: What is a digital twin for supply chains?


Not knowing your 'gap to perfection'

One concept taking the world of manufacturing supply chains by storm is the ‘gap to perfection.’ While there are probably lots of different ways to phrase it, the idea itself is simple. The gap to perfection describes the difference between what is currently being transported and what the ideal transportation scenario would be. How would the ideal delivery look? How many pallets to fill your trucks and how many items to fill those pallets? 

Knowing your gap to perfection allows you to see how your logistics can be better optimised to carry more with less. It also opens up the possibility of working with customers to incentivise more optimal ordering. In fact, combining this metric with your Scope 3 emissions goals can lead to orders that are both more climate- and budget-friendly.

Read more: Why tackling your Scope 3 emissions is important (and how to get started)


Not having consistent visibility

Many manufacturers we’ve spoken to have been through this. You undertake a one-off, third-party project that gives you pretty charts and graphs and temporary visibility. And then that’s it. You can’t do anything with the data to change the way you see or use it. It doesn’t show the insights you thought it would and you don’t have the in-house capability to access the data correctly. 

As soon as you don’t have a system that can see what is happening and adapt in real-time, your data starts to lose its power. But you also don’t want to hire and implement a whole new team just to use the data that you already have.

Learn more: Supply chain resilience for 2022 and beyond


Avoiding digitalisation projects

Too often, supply chain leaders try to put off full logistics digitalisation projects. Fear of lengthy implementation phases and resource-intensive transitions can make supply chain leaders wary of new software. Even if the future payoff is clear.

That concern isn’t always well-founded, however. For example, at 7bridges, we’ve had implementations go live in only a few months. In fact, for Thread, we managed to get them set up and rolling out a whole new distribution network in 30 days. Speed of launch is an important factor for success, particularly in our rapidly shifting economic climate. That’s why we don’t make your digitalisation journey a long, drawn-out process.


Individually, these mistakes can make your supply chain less efficient and resilient. But if they start to accumulate, you will find yourself missing opportunities. Right now, an impactful supply chain is one of the best competitive advantages a business can have. Don’t let data be the reason yours falls behind.

Find out how 7bridges can help you make your supply chain data work for you. Get in touch.

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