Big Data and supply chain management are increasingly linked, as witnessed by the radical transformations that value chains have undergone in recent years.

The year 2020 has further accelerated an unprecedented organisational, technological and operational change.

It is nothing new to talk about supply chain 4.0: a management of production and distribution processes made more efficient by the use of advanced analysis, useful to optimize operations along the entire supply chain in order to synchronize partners’ activities and align supply to expected demand.

While Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have long been an integral part of the transport, storage and sourcing operations of many sectors, these issues must also find an adequate place at a strategic level.

The so-called new normal and social distancing have had a heavy impact on individuals and communities, including companies.

The effects inevitably also affect the management of all partnerships relating to supply and distribution relationships within the outlet markets.

What does all this mean?

That the culture of data, understood as the development of skills and knowledge related to the use of data, will be increasingly linked to the way in which companies identify their partners for the supply of raw materials and the distribution of products.

In one of our articles we pointed out that the cancellation of trade fairs was one of the strongest signs to push for a change that is now not just an option, but an obligatory step: the construction of new relationships between companies looks beyond the traditional opportunities to meet, embracing more and more data-based solutions.

If, in fact, having the right information to align production with market demand is important, so is defining a priori the best counterparts to achieve this goal.

Obviously, not all companies have the possibility to develop their own data strategy that also includes the management of their supply chain from a smart perspective: the technological tools and skills required are difficult to develop internally, especially for SMEs.

Moreover, mapping markets to identify the best suppliers or distributors could prove to be a complex challenge, particularly in a business context such as the Italian one, where the family-run business model dominates.

However, there are technological solutions within reach of even the smallest realities with which to exploit the potential of the data-driven strategic approach described.

What is it about?

Modular services adapted to the needs of all companies, regardless of sector and commercial situation: a means by which to obtain a complete vision of one’s own reference market and the counterparts within it.

Certainly advanced stock management, transport optimisation and order management systems are important, both for B2B and B2C companies.

However, the aspect that we mentioned earlier, namely the use of reliable information in order to create the right synergies along the supply chain, must not take second place.

Since its foundation, Matchplat has made this goal the heart of its business, which is why services such as Overview and Explore have been developed.

Thanks to the former, for example, it is possible to view on a map the main industrial and commercial hubs relevant to its activity, while the latter makes it possible to obtain profiled lists of potential distributors and suppliers.

In this way, geographical data and in-depth searches for ideal partners are combined with a single objective: to help companies in the strategic management of their supply chain.

What makes the difference is the completeness and reliability of the data processed by Matchplat, which includes everything that is important to a company: not only the location of the partners, but also the products processed, the certifications, the patents held and much more.

All this without having to develop costly and time-consuming processes internally: a quick way to prepare for the new set-ups that the global economic scenario brings with it.