Seven key features of effective supply chain dashboards, by TAKE Supply Chain
A single screen or top-level view of all the activity within your supply chain can not only be helpful for you, but can also make the information you’re providing more easily understandable to others within your organization. Your top executives do not have time to analyze various reports, statistics and spreadsheets. Pulling the relevant infor
mation together into one place, with key data at the forefront, makes your data more valuable and helps executives make better decisions.
In order to ensure that your dashboards are as effective as possible, include these seven key features and functionalities:
1) Drawn from real-time data, delivering real-time analytics.
Stale data can be inaccurate data. Ensure that you are always looking at the latest information by having your dashboards interact directly in real time with the source data such as an ERP.
2) Customized for your business and the specific KPI’s driving the organization.
Prioritize the development of dashboards which are tied to the key KPI’s measured for your organization. Too much information or too many dashboards will result in distractions and lack of focus on the key issues. Through our work with various supply chain organizations we have found some KPIs that are generally helpful. You may want to consider these for you dashboards:
- Meeting Purchase Order requirements
- Lead Time on part delivery
- Price Variance
- Quality of shipments
- On-time delivery
- Invoicing delays / errors
3) Self-service capability for “deep-dive” views.
When you want to have another cut of the data, you shouldn’t have to go back to your developer to build a new view. Powerful dashboards include the ability to drill down to look into problem areas or fine tune a query to have a slightly different view etc.
4) Secure views based on user knowledge level and “need to know.”
Executive and mid-level management should have views customized to the level they require in order to make decisions at their level. At the same time, views should also be secured based on the user level. Individual users should not be able to view data that is beyond their access level.
5) Help drive decisions.
Along with #4, dashboard design should also provide an easy read of key data which the user is expected to analyze and make decisions on. This could include:
Consolidating all the various parts associates with supply chain (from inventory, to shipping, order tracking etc
Driving users into taking action on the data displayed
6) Shared views with outside vendors and suppliers.
Your dashboards don’t only provide information that’s beneficial within your organization. When you share your supply chain dashboards with your suppliers, they can see how they are measuring up and work to improve troubled areas, thereby improving the overall performance of your supply chain. For example: A dashboard that tracks the delay in PO acknowledgement by suppliers or delays in invoicing due to errors helps both buyers and suppliers to proactively look at and resolve this.
7) Accessible via mobile devices.
As smart devices continue to proliferate throughout the enterprise, real-time information visibility and control from virtually any location will become expected. Mobile access and control will ensure your supply chain continues to move smoothly 24/7.
Proactively resolve problems
With these key features, your supply chain dashboards should help to proactively resolve the problems faced by various stakeholders with your organization and can help in identifying areas for continuous improvement across your supply chain. Please watch for my next blog post on applying new technologies to supply chain management.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.