Gaining insight

Transforming big data into actionable intelligence

In a recent survey of third-party logistics providers, 98 percent said improved, data-driven decision making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes, and that the effective use of big data will become a core competency of supply chain organizations.

Although shippers see the value of all the information that big data delivers, the majority of them believe these initiatives should focus more on managing the variety of data — the many sources, including reports, emails, photos, audio, video, tracking and monitoring devices, even social media.

In logistics and transportation management, data that is important to shippers — the origin and destination, size, type and commodity — is aggregated, summarized and presented to the user in a format that enables quick planning and action. This business intelligence provides access to timely and comprehensive data that drives supply chain planning and operations.

Data accuracy

At Jarrett Logistics Systems, data accuracy is paramount. We call it “clean data,” because it has been scrubbed. All the clutter — incorrect zip codes, destination addresses, bills of lading and purchase orders — has been removed or corrected. JLS Advanced Analytics provides clean data to our customers as a dashboard that is well-presented and is tailored to exactly what the executive wants to see, enabling quick and informed decision-making.

Data accuracy enhances internal efficiencies and operations, resulting in improved integration across the supply chain.

An excellent example of this is the On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) program developed by UPS. It uses fleet telematics and advanced algorithms to calculate countless amounts of data to provide UPS drivers with optimized routes. The technology helps UPS drivers to determine the optimal way to deliver and pick up packages, saving more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

A human touch

Successful big data initiatives are an asset to every industry because they allow businesses to gain insight for planning, production, inventory management, staffing, etc. The essential information harnessed from a big data platform enables businesses to collect better market and customer intelligence and use it in real time, giving them the competitive edge. Organizations can then bring their product to market in the most efficient and expedient way.

Of course, with every great leap in technology, there are associated risks. To rely solely on the efficiency of data at the expense of human interaction is a mistake. The relationship you have with your customer cannot be neglected — you must not lose that touchpoint. Ongoing communication is vital; following up with clients to discuss and interpret the information ensures their understanding of the data, and further develops your strategic partnership.

Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of information is not knowledge. It is being able to take the right action.” At JLS, we transform big data into actionable intelligence to help our clients make good business decisions in order to drive continuous improvement, increase efficiency and boost profitability within their organization.

Both of Michael Jarrett’s companies, Jarrett Logistics Systems and PackShip USA, have won numerous awards, including the Weatherhead 100, Cascade Capital Growth Award, Inc. 500/5000, The Entrepreneurial Edge Award and NEO Success Award.