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The onset of the pandemic forced businesses to adapt to a turbulent economy, a shrinking workforce, and resulting supply chain issues. From blockages in the Suez Canal and backlogs at major ports, to a lack of truck drivers and warehouse space, the supply chain has faced disruptions on every level. These disruptions cost time and money and incite frustration among managers and customers alike.

Due to the inherent complexity of the supply chain, each disruption causes ripple effects across the global networks of data, finance, and people involved. The last few years have seen ample disruption, and as a result, US freight and insurance costs increased by 40% between 2019 and 2021. Supply chain disruptions are not out of the ordinary—a study done by McKinsey found that companies can expect supply chain disruptions of a month or more at least once every four years. However, COVID-19 has affected both supply and demand, which has left companies scrambling to tackle supply chain issues. Though companies are prepared for potential disruptions, solutions are often limited. Strategies like triaging, auctioning, or substitutions can solve demand issues, but they aren’t long-term solutions. Just-in-time manufacturing, a production model in which items are created to meet demand, is even more vulnerable to supply chain issues as it relies on rapid turnover to eliminate waste.

How Data Mitigates Disruption

As companies shift from solving short-term disruptions to planning for long-term success, data is the key to easing supply chain disruptions. Mobility data and geospatial analytics can help manage costs, predict trends, and provide real-time insights. There are several useful applications for mobility data in the supply chain, including:

  1. Demand forecasting and modeling – geospatial data provides in-depth analytics of an area’s demand trends
  2. Resource allocation – visualize the operation journey from end-to-end to allocate resources during demand peaks
  3. Route optimization – cut costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and maximize pick-up and delivery sites by discovering the most efficient routes
  4. Identify bottlenecks – pinpoint locations and causes for bottlenecks in your processes and routes

The Future is Here

Most companies are still in the early stages of understanding the full capabilities of visualizing the supply chain with a connected flow of data. Though some may be aware of the value in it, utilizing data effectively still requires a centralized location and can be a costly endeavor. With the help of a data clean room, the future of supply chain management is here.

What is a Data Clean Room?

A data clean room is a secure environment where multiple data sources can be imported, matched, and analyzed in a centralized location. As a result, data clean rooms provide a solution that mitigates the challenges of processing and delivering advanced analytics while maintaining strict privacy controls.

How Can it Help?

Data clean rooms balance availability of data with innovative privacy-protecting technology. This means higher quality data—and more of it. A survey conducted by Street Fight found that 92% of retailers feel that they cannot successfully pursue solutions for supply chain management because they lack the means to integrate data from multiple sources. Equipped with the spatial analysis tools available in a data clean room, companies can seamlessly integrate real-time mobility data with other sources—like inventory, traffic, and weather data—to identify future scenarios and determine a proper course of action.

Supply chain disruptions are costly to producers, merchants and consumers alike. They damage reputations, cause inflation, and have detrimental effects on the economy and businesses’ bottom line. Comprehensive analytics and informed, data-driven decisions maximize visibility and efficiency in the supply chain. With the help of mobility data and a privacy-safe data clean room, supply chains are more resilient and flexible in the face of inevitable disruptions.