Companies are always finding new ways to use data to inform their decision-making processes. When many people think of location intelligence, they automatically think of marketing and advertising. But did you know that the use of location intelligence goes far beyond marketing and advertising use cases?
In this month’s column, I go through some different use cases for location intelligence, to help managers understand how to use location intelligence to inform supply chain planning.
Dear Gwen, I’m just starting to learn about location intelligence. I know that it is traditionally used for marketing and advertising purposes. What are some non-traditional or creative use cases for location intelligence?
Thanks for your help,
A: Dear George,
Location intelligence isn’t just for advertising and marketing. Our data can be used to observe and analyze foot traffic trends during major consumer events, such as Black Friday, or to understand other consumer behavior patterns. Companies in many different industries can stand to learn a lot from where we go – after all, where we go is who we are! City and urban planners use location intelligence to determine which businesses best fit their neighborhoods based on the interests of residents. Researchers are using this data to analyze how consumer behavior has changed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Let’s dive into an example related to agriculture: foot traffic data can be used to determine shifts in supply and demand and ultimately, for predictive analytics. More agricultural companies are using data-driven management to make better business decisions. A major agricultural company can use location data to understand foot traffic patterns to large-production corn facilities. The data provides the company with information about spikes in foot traffic at these facilities, which may indicate when corn has arrived for processing or milled corn departs the facility for shipping. By using location data, agricultural companies can understand how the supply of and demand for corn changes over time, and then model how the price of corn is impacted as a result. At the same time, the company gets a better picture of how they are doing compared to their competitors – other companies within the same sector of the agricultural industry.
Keep in mind that these are only a few examples. The location data industry is always evolving, and location intelligence use cases will continue to move along with the industry.
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Q: Dear Gwen, I work in supply chain management at a major retailer. COVID-19 has really affected my company’s supply chain. How can I use location intelligence to inform supply chain planning and meet customer demand?
A: Dear Annie,
Supply chain planning is a great use case for location intelligence. The first thing to understand is what your customers need, and location intelligence provides insights into where your customers go in the real world. Knowing what stores they visit or how their activities have changed is incredibly valuable. You can also enhance your existing customer data with location intelligence. Finding and identifying these trends can help you figure out which products or services your customers are currently interested in.
To plan for demand, you need to keep a close eye on inventory and customer fulfillment. Location intelligence in your tool belt helps you determine which stores are seeing increases in foot traffic. You can also uncover where foot traffic is coming from. From there, you can figure out how to meet customer demand. Supplementing your inventory management software with location intelligence can even give you a better picture of which stores (or warehouses) are seeing movement and which are not.
Finally, you can use location intelligence to enrich supply chain analytics. Supply chain analysis tools provide reports for demand forecasting, logistics analysis, and transportation analysis. Can your company meet an increase in demand from all locations at once? Is there a need to increase delivery trucks in certain locations? Better plan your delivery areas and determine which locations are experiencing bottlenecks.
Supply chain managers can use location intelligence to enhance their supply chain analyses. At the same time, they can improve the customer experience by understanding what customers are interested in and where the demand is based on market trends. When you keep up-to-date data on what your customers want, you can get their favorite products to them much more efficiently.
ASK A QUESTION
Have a question for me about location intelligence? Email your questions to [email protected] with the subject line “Ask Gwen.” I’m looking forward to hearing from you.