Using Location Intelligence to Inform Supply Chain Planning

Using Location Intelligence to Inform Supply Chain Planning

During this unprecedented time, many companies are shifting their business strategies. Many brands are dealing with how to adjust their supply chain to meet the needs of their customers.  Before you consider making adjustments, you’ll need to revisit your supply chain plan. Supply chain planning (SCP) involves the coordination of different processes to ensure that goods or services are streamlined from the supplier to the customer. This involves sales and operations (S&OP), demand, and supply planning.

A large part of supply planning involves your customers and understanding how to meet their needs. By understanding what your customers need and where demand is the most, you can adjust your demand and supply plans accordingly. Location intelligence can give supply chain managers additional insights, which can allow them to adapt their business processes.

Here are three ways location intelligence can be used to help supply chain managers adjust their planning to the current climate:

UNDERSTAND YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS

Most importantly, you need to first consider your customers’ needs. To create an environment for supply chain innovation, it is important to put your customers first. Location intelligence gives you an understanding of where your customers go in the real world. It can help you answer questions such as, “What stores do they visit often?” This information gives supply chain managers a better idea of what their customers might be looking for. For example, if your store’s customers tend to visit wholesalers frequently (sometimes more than one) and have attended gourmet food festivals in the past, then this could indicate that they are potentially looking for a food product, which is both cost-effective and high-quality. 

Consumer data gives you insights into who your customers are. Supply chain management can enhance their consumer data with location intelligence. Meet with your sales and operations teams and work closely with them to integrate this data together and prevent data silos. Combining enterprise planning with supply chain planning helps supply chain managers to consider different scenarios and how to best use resources. Look for trends in the data to help you understand consumer behavior around your brand. Are your customers going to stores less or more? How long are they spending time in your store vs. your competition? What types of stores are they visiting before and after they visit your store? These location-derived data insights allow you to understand what products your customers are interested in.

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DETERMINE WHERE SUPPLY DEMAND IS

Demand planning involves inventory management and customer fulfillment. It’s an important part of your supply planning process – the more accurate your demand plan, the more accurate your supply plan will be. Using aggregated and anonymized location intelligence, you can determine which stores are seeing increases in foot traffic. This can give you an idea about where the demand is coming from. Is there a particular region that is seeing more foot traffic than another? 

Once you identify where the demand is coming from, you can better determine how to meet customer demands for the short term (60-90 day horizon), long term (12 to 24 months), and even map out weekly operations processes. By pairing location intelligence with data from your inventory management software, supply chain managers can get a better picture of which regional stores are seeing movement in inventory.

Inventory turnover is a KPI which measures how an organization moves their inventory. By enriching your inventory management software, you can better understand your brand’s inventory turnover. In addition, supply chain managers can also use this enriched data to measure another important KPI, inventory accuracy. Inventory accuracy is the measure of what is physically in your store versus what is shown in your inventory database. For example, if you see that foot traffic is higher at one store, then you know that you need to ensure that your store has the right amount of inventory to meet the increase in consumer visits.

ENRICH YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN ANALYSIS

Location intelligence can be used to enrich supply chain analytics reports within your SCM planning tool. Supply chain analytics allows companies to improve their ROI, manage risk, increase planning accuracy, and reduce waste. Supply chain analysis tools give supply managers the ability to analyze the entire supply chain and generate reports such as demand forecasting, logistics analysis, and transportation analysis. Location intelligence allows you to conduct a deeper analysis into your supply chain including mapping out delivery areas and determining which locations are experiencing bottlenecks. This allows you to answer questions such as:

  • Which areas are in need of your brand’s product?
  • Which areas are showing less demand?
  • Can the company meet an increase in demand from all locations at once?
  • Which areas are experiencing issues with delivery? Which ones aren’t?
  • Is there a need to increase delivery trucks to certain locations? 

With the supply chain being impacted by COVID-19, it is important for brands to be one-step ahead. Not only can supply chain managers use location intelligence to enhance their supply chain analyses, but they can also improve the customer experience by understanding what customers are interested in and where the demand is based on market trends.

Location intelligence gives insight into your competition. Get ahead of your competitors by connecting with a Gravy Analytics sales representative today.

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