Some of New Zealand’s most profitable businesses are made successful due to vast quantities of exports. Our agricultural sector, for example, ships 95 per cent of all products offshore, according to NZ Trade and Enterprise, with the dairy industry alone generating $17 billion in 2014.

The opportunities to improve supply chains through data-driven innovation are significant. However, many businesses struggle to integrate new processes with operations: 64 per cent reported feeling restrained by outdated technologies in PwC’s Global Digital IQ Survey 2015.

Where can data-driven innovation help in the supply chain?

Export businesses can be improved in many ways with innovations such as business intelligence. We have identified three critical aspects of the supply chain where introducing big data analytics solutions can have the most impact:

1. Speed to market

The industries upon which a significant portion of NZ’s economy depend are intensely competitive, not just locally but globally. Staying ahead of market competitors demands the ability to make decisions and adapt operations with great haste. Business intelligence solutions can offer insight into existing operational processes and enhance or accelerate initiatives, leading to faster achievement of strategic goals.

2. Reduced costs

Data-driven solutions present businesses with oversight of all manner of operational processes, identifying efficiency improvements and cost reductions. By automating elements of the supply chain, anticipating fluctuations in demand and supply via analytics or improving the user experience during purchasing, any wastage can be observed and strategies implemented to eliminate it.

3. Improved customer experience

Perhaps the most valuable area of digital improvement, streamlining the customer journey can lead to greater loyalty and retention, and ultimately higher revenues. Innovative channels of engagement driven by data allow businesses to effectively measure customer requirements, and track how those requirements are being satisfied.

Staying ahead of the market demands the ability to make decisions and adapt operations.

McKinsey research has shown that customers who complete their entire interaction digitally are 20 per cent more satisfied than those still navigating traditional purchasing channels. By having the metrics to measure the customer journey – and any pain points therein – businesses can more easily work on developing improved communications and purchasing processes.

Innovative, data-driven tools have the potential to significantly improve the fortunes of NZ’s exporters, and ensure our impressive global reputation remains an asset. For those organisations unsure of how to get started with digital initiatives, working with a skilled and experienced team of consultants may be necessary.

Stellar Consulting has worked with a number of the nation’s leading exporters, including world-leading agribusinesses including Fonterra and Zespri. To transform your supply chain and realise the potential value in digital channels, get in touch with our team today.

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