Specialist supply chain recruitment consultancies searching for the best talent for upcoming supply chain jobs will increasingly be seeking candidates with demonstrable data literacy, a new report from KPMG suggests.

Entitled ‘Data as an Asset’, the report provides growing evidence that is efficiently collecting, retrieving and analysing data about global supply networks is today considered by many supply chain executives and CEOs to be crucial for achieving success.

More companies than ever are now attempting to discover new methods of unlocking the real value of data in order to harness it for driving business growth.

The report outlines a series of principles for successfully leveraging data that can be implemented within a five-year window – the time interval that companies themselves appear to be setting for themselves.

The move to data capture, cleaning and analysis is likely to have a significant effect on the nature of both supply chain and procurement jobs.

KPMG’s four principles are:

  • Clarifying data accountabilities throughout the business.
  • Making the easy flow of data across the enterprise a strategic imperative.
  • Making data curation a core competency for key employees, procurement and supply chain professionals (a requisite competency that is likely to extend to supply chain and procurement interims).
  • Refashioning a frictionless supply chain.

A series of common strategies are outlined in the report to realise these principles in practice – these include:

  • Drafting a data value proposition rooted in real-world business-critical needs.
  • Building an operating model with clear functional accountabilities throughout.
  • Beginning the business’s transition toward data literacy.
  • Managing the cultural shift.

KPMG is optimistic about the prospects for achieving a frictionless and readily accessible data supply chain, provided that companies adopt new technological capabilities such as data as a service (DaaS) microservices, Lambda big data processing architecture and data virtualisation.

With the right mix of data-literate supply chain and procurement professionals and these technological enablers in place, the new data-powered supply chain is a realistic and highly desirable goal that’s tantalisingly within reach.

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