Advanced data analytics and supply chain capabilities in the FMCG sector.

Matuli-Bulimwengu, Acquim
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In today’s ever-changing business environment it is becoming increasing challenging for organisations to improve their supply chain reliability, responsiveness and agility. South African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) organisations face the same challenges. Addressing these challenges is therefore a main priority for organisations. Although advanced data analytics have shown considerable promise in sectors such as the information technology sector (for example, Google and Amazon), and the retail sector (for example, Tesco in the United Kingdom), there have been numerous reports of failed attempts. A burning question for South African FMCG supply chain managers, therefore, is what exactly are the conditions for ensuring that the power of advanced data analytics is leveraged in improving supply chain capabilities? Based on the literature, this study presented and confirmed four necessary conditions, three of which – a high quality data management capability, a high quality analytics processing capability, and an emphasis on the evidence-based management culture – are the foundations of this analytics leveraging capability, and one – the ability to work with and co-evolve with network partners – explains the mechanism through which supply chain operational capabilities are actually improved by advanced analytics. A questionnaire-based survey comprising 38 questions was designed and disturbed on LinkedIn. Some 105 South African FMCG professionals participated in this survey. The findings showed that of the three analytics-leveraging fundamental capabilities, collecting and managing data was the most strategically important. The findings further demonstrated that analytics processing capabilities were the least strategically important and should therefore be outsourced. In addition, the study confirmed that it was necessary for organisations to have developed the ability to leverage their network partners’ capabilities and to work synergistically with them. It also found that these network capabilities, or the iii firm’s dynamic supply chain capabilities, were enabled through the three fundamental analytics-leveraging capabilities. This meant that it was not through moderated mediation but rather through moderated moderation that the firm’s dynamic supply chain capabilities helped mitigate the negative effect of environmental complexity on the predicted impact of analytics on supply chain capabilities. In light of the results, this study proposes that, first, in order to ensure that the power of data analytics is leveraged, South African FMCG companies need to start collecting data about every activity, every partner and every customer, from both primary and secondary sources; second, success in this endeavour will require that supply chain managers get everybody on board in supporting the development of an evidence-based management culture within the organisation; and lastly a dedicated, partners network analytics team should be established to speed-up the development of the firm’s ability to leverage network partners’ capabilities and to co-evolve with them.
Business logistics -- South Africa. Strategic planning -- South Africa. Consumer goods -- South Africa. Manufacturing industries -- South Africa.