August 11th, 2021

Maybe you’ve heard that content is king, but we think there’s a new ruler in town: Data. Its importance has been stressed for years, and not without reason. Data has penetrated daily life to the point that it’s hard to remember a time when we made decisions based on (cringe) assumptions. Can you imagine not being able to see the weather forecast for the upcoming week? Even worse, can you imagine not being able to look back at your organization’s financial history and make educated forecasts for the future? Cringe again!

Say it with us: Data is king. It enables us to make informed decisions in virtually any situation, and using it wisely increases our chances of success. But in order to use data wisely, we need to know which data to pay attention to and which to set aside.  

So Much Supply Chain Data, So Little Time

In recent years, you’ve likely noticed an influx of supply chain and other business data floating around your organization. Maybe it started with the addition of a new application that, in theory, should have helped you to make use of predictive analytics to make accurate spend forecasts. If you find yourself in the majority, you probably ended up with tens or even hundreds of these solutions, all of which populate “useful” data (often overlapping). This has resulted in data overload.

That being said, many organizations now find that they have an (over) abundance of data available to them. This makes it increasingly difficult and time consuming to sift through the noise and pull out the data that’s most important to focus on. This especially applies to (real-time) supply chain data.

If you want your supply chain to be successful, without a doubt, you need to utilize data to the fullest. Once you determine the key areas on which you should focus, it becomes a matter of gaining easy access to the insights you need without having to manually piece everything together. That’s what we mean by cutting through the noise and gaining actionable insights.

Actionable insights are critical when it comes to maximizing efficiency within the supply chain. But you can only begin to truly benefit from actionable insights when they are automated and, furthermore, tailored to your needs. As trading partner networks, and, therefore, document exchanges, continue to grow, it’s important to adopt solutions that have the potential to show you exactly what you need to see instead of showing you everything and nothing at the same time.  

How Automated Actionable Insights Work in Practice

A lot of supply chain data goes in and out of your organization on a daily basis, and the manual work required to make sense of this data and use it to your advantage is quickly becoming to be too much of a hassle. It’s not always easy to discover improvement opportunities quickly, but you can dramatically speed up the process by implementing automated actionable insights for document exchange—if your solution supports the necessary requirements, that is (like our FLOW platform).

Here's some advice on how to implement the automated actionable insights that can help you take action quickly and boost supply chain efficiency as a result:

1. Configure Custom Notifications
When you have the ability to configure custom notifications within your EDI or e-invoicing solution, you'll receive alerts at the exact moment something requires your attention. This alone has the potential to significantly improve response times, but you can also configure custom notifications to alert you when something positive occurs. In that case, you’ll be able to monitor your progress and set new goals over time. Custom notifications enable you to monitor document exchanges at a deeper level, and you’ll quickly begin to uncover invaluable data that you may not have had the time to analyze manually.

2. Organize Your Exchanges
Supply chain professionals often spend a lot of time sifting through document exchange data in order to find what they're looking for. For example, it’s often the case that all document types are grouped together—invoices, purchase orders, you name it. Being able to locate the exchanges you need, when you need them, is a must. When you have the ability to neatly organize documents by type, it becomes much easier to spot inefficiencies.

3. Extend Custom Notifications to Your Trading Partners
It's one thing to improve your own understanding of document exchange data, but automated actionable insights have the potential to become even more valuable when custom notifications are extended to your trading partner community. For example, if you discover through your own automated insights that one of your trading partners is always late to respond to a particular document type, you may want to notify them before it's too late. This can lead to improved response times on their end as well and can significantly improve supply chain operations. Better yet, it can positively impact your cash flow.

This Just In: Get Automated Actionable Insights with FLOW

If you’re able to implement our suggestions above within your own EDI or e-invoicing solution, you’ll quickly find that you’ll be able to cut out the noise and focus on the supply chain data that matters. Overall, you’ll enable yourself and your trading partners to properly distribute attention and improve productivity.

At TIE Kinetix, we identify the supply chain trends that matter and continuously make improvements to our FLOW platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers. That’s why our developers have enhanced the platform by incorporating the option to configure automated insights with the help of:

  • A controlled notifications widget for trading partners
  • The option to configure an actionable data widget for document exchanges
  • The ability to configure new tabs within FLOW to sort exchanges by document type


Want to know more about the improvements we make each quarter? Read our release notes.