ODYSSEY: The Leader in Defense Commerce Solutions Blog

How Big Data Will Affect Your Supply Chain

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 14:09 PM

supply chain.jpg

Big data is a hot topic, but one of its most promising applications is in supply chain management. Leveraging big data to inform and automate your supply chain, especially for Department of Defense suppliers, is the next step to increasing your efficiency and reducing your long-term spend. Here are 7 ways that big data will affect your supply chain.

Full Automation

What if you had insight into your entire supply chain? And what if your supply chain ran itself? That’s the kind of future we’re talking about by using the Internet of Things through RFID technology to bring big data to your supply chain. Increasing automation means time savings, compliance assurance to meet DoD standards, and a supply chain that’s flexible enough to adjust to market changes.

Last-Mile Delivery

Traditionally the last mile of delivery has been a patchwork of outside carriers, transportation, and deliveries. Aligning big data with your supply means that you know where your products are at all times, ultimately offering insight into your entire supply chain.

Responsive Operations

By tapping into your data, you have the ability to be more responsive to changes in DoD requirements and in your environment. Project scope changed? Big weather front coming in? With full visibility and a connected supply chain, you can shift your operations easily. You’ll spend less time potentially fixing issues and more time optimizing your supply chain and ultimately getting paid.

Route Optimization

Even in our digital world, transportation is still time-consuming and expensive. Delivering products to different locations isn’t easy, and the expectations for smart supply chains are increasing. Connecting the Internet of Things to your supply chain means that you can optimize how you transport your products and get the right products to the right locations as efficiently as possible.

Address Verification

While our goods are connected and our data is abundant, delivery can still present a challenge. We’re at the mercy of systems that require physical addresses to deliver our goods and services. Leveraging big data and RFID to verify these addresses can reduce points of human error and introduce additional efficiency.

Risk Evaluation & Resilience Planning

Increased visibility and flexibility throughout your supply chain means that your operations are more structurally sound. Your risk is lowered, your ability to meet DoD compliance standards is increased, and you can plan for long-term complications that might affect your supply chain.

Contextual Intelligence

Amassing large amounts of data isn’t enough anymore. Having a contextual understanding of that real-time data and tying it into your business operations is what drives the most value for DoD suppliers. By connecting big data to your supply chain, you have the opportunity to gain a complete, holistic vision of your business and introduce additional efficiency into your supply chain.

In order to take advantage of these benefits of big data, you must have the ability to properly identify your supply chain structure as well as your sources of data. A smart implementation takes into account your entire operations process as well as your assets and internal stakeholders. While these are just a few ways that big data will affect your supply chain, Odyssey can help you implement these concepts so you can take advantage of the benefits of using big data to inform your supply chain logistics. Contact us today to learn how our cloud-based software can help prepare you for the next evolution of supply chain operations.




Topics: RFID, IoT, data, supply chain

Machine Learning and Industrial Internet of Things

Posted by James Lusk on Tue, Sep 5, 2017 @ 14:09 PM


Machine Learning IoT.jpeg

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? If you’re like many people, you reach for your phone. You turn off your alarm clock, check the news, and review your email. All of this creates a digital presence that tells a story about your world. The digital world has become a seamless part of our lives, and it’s no different for businesses. All of your systems work together to tell a story, whether it’s about inventory, manufacturing, or people. Your world is connected by bytes and coding, and it’s only becoming more prevalent. The data we create is growing at an astronomical pace, and our ability to tap into the potential of our digital world is based on how we analyze that data.

We create a lot of data. By 2020, the digital universe is projected to grow to 44 trillion gigabytes. IoT embedded systems are expected to account for 10% of the digital universe by 2020, and the containers from those systems (like digital files, RFID tags and sensor files) will become 99% of all of the files in the digital universe (IDC, The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things). It’s more than data now; your connected devices are communicating in real-time to create a digital picture of your operations.

The rise of IoT.

None of this is news. In 2016, less than 40% of organizations surveyed had completed at least some kind of IoT implementation. That number is predicted to grow to over 80% by 2020 (Bain & Company, How Providers Can Succeed in the Internet of Things). IoT is quickly becoming the norm, and teams that are able to successfully implement these solutions stand to increase productivity and reduce costs. In fact, 47% of organizations implemented IoT solutions to improve quality of service or product, leading to price premium, lower support costs and 44% did it to increase reliability of operations (Bain & Company, How Providers Can Succeed in the Internet of Things).

This market is only growing. B2B IoT connections are projected to increase to 5.4 billion by 2020. That’s about one device for every two people on the planet. The organizations that leverage these connections are expected to be 10% more profitable (SparkLabs Global Ventures, Internet of Things & Hardware Industry Overview 2016). Can you imagine such a huge boost from such tiny devices?

The use of IoT by businesses is expected to drive $964 billion in spending this year. By 2020, hardware spending is projected to increase to almost $3 trillion for both business and consumers (Gartner, Forecast: Internet of Things). On top of that, the Industrial IoT market is expected to grow to $319.6 billion by 2020 (SparkLabs Global Ventures, Internet of Things & Hardware Industry Overview 2016). These devices represent a significant investment for any organization, but the return can be huge. Many Department of Defense suppliers have already seen the benefits.

A lost opportunity.  

Unfortunately, many organizations are not realizing the full potential of their IoT investment. McKinsey Global Institute predicted in 2011 that the manufacturing industry could see up to a 50% lower product development cost, 25% lower operating cost, and a 30% gross margin increase. As of 2016, only 20-30% of that predicted value as been captured (McKinsey Global Institute, The Age of Analytics: Competing in a Data-Driven World). While labor and workforce integration is part of the issue, much of the barrier remains in computing power.

 Just about .5% of that data is ever analyzed (MIT Technology Review, The Data Made Me Do It). Think about that. Even with such a huge investment and an even bigger opportunity for optimization, IoT is not yet driving the data revolution.

 Driving efficiency with machine learning.

 Enter artificial intelligence and machine learning. By 2019, cognitive/AI capabilities will support 40% of all digital transformation initiatives and 100% of all effective IoT efforts. (IDC, IDC FutureSpace: Dawn of the DX Economy and the Digital-Native Enterprise). This technology presents an opportunity to improve regulatory compliance, reduce risk, improve decision-making and operating efficiency, and enhance security. 79% of executives report that AI will make their jobs more efficient and easier (The Economist Intelligence Unit, Artificial Intelligence in the Real World).

 We’ve moved beyond simple data analytics in both our personal and our professional lives. In order to stay ahead of our competition, we must take advantage of current technologies and prepare for the future. Odyssey can help you leverage these emerging trends and ensure that you’re prepared for the future of business. Contact us today to learn how integrating cloud-based solutions for DoD suppliers can help you drive efficiency and compliance.

Topics: Internet of Things, data, machine learning

Why You Should Care About Data

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Jun 1, 2017 @ 13:06 PM

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Data has become critical to our lives over the past 30 years. It has changed the way we are educated, entertained, and even how we do business. The sum of all the data created, captured, and replicated is rapidly increasing and will only continue to do so.                                                           

The amount of data created worldwide will increase by tenfold by 2025, according to a recent white paper published by International Data Corp (IDC). The paper, titled “Data Age 2025”, says that because of the major increase in data, organizations will have to prioritize which portions to manage and how. Organizations that don’t manage the data correctly could lose revenue, provide poor customer experiences, and suffer operational inefficiencies.

“As data grows in amount, variety, and importance, business leaders must focus their attention on the data that matters the most,” says IDC. “Not all data is equally important to businesses or consumers.”

The white paper predicts that virtually every organization will somehow be impacted by the increase in data. There are a few key trends organizations can expect to see by 2025.

Enterprises will create the bulk of the world’s data

Data Age 2025 predicts that one of the biggest shifts will come from new data sources, as enterprises will soon replace consumers as the primary creators of the bulk of the world’s data. The study says that organizations will create 60 percent of the world’s data in 2025. To provide additional context, in 2015, they created less than 30 percent of data.                                           

Data will evolve from business background to life-critical

Once inaccessible and mostly underutilized, data has now become essential. When defining “life-critical”, IDC says:

“Data usage is being analyzed by its level of criticality as indicated by factors such as the need for real-time processing and low latency, the ad hoc nature of usage, and the severity of consequences should the data become unavailable (e.g., a medical application is considered to be more consequential than a streaming TV program).                                                                                            

IDC estimates that by 2025, nearly 20% of the data in the global datasphere will be critical to our daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical.

Data is mobile and in real-time

It is increasingly more important for data to be instantly available whenever and wherever anyone needs it.  Businesses everywhere are transforming their digital platforms to meet these requirements. In fact, IDC says that real time data will grow at 1.5 times the rate of overall data creation and by 2025, more than a quarter of data created in the global datasphere will be real time.        

These predictions and insights could impact virtually every organization, but they are especially important for suppliers to the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, our industry maintains a vast amount of information like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Item Unique Identification (IUID) to effectively track and ship products, meet DoD requirements and complete transactions. Because of the advances in technology, data is more crucial than ever to remain competitive. 

Our clients rely on us to provide accurate, real-time data every day to keep their businesses running and prospering. With the data that our DoD-approved software provides, our partners can:

  • Make better informed decisions
  • Increase productivity and efficiency
  • Reduce the number of errors made
  • Lower operating costs

These trends will only continue to drive the world of data in the years to come. By collecting and analyzing the right data, DoD suppliers can save time, money and resources getting the job done. Executives and data professionals should keep a close eye on these trends and adapt their strategies as needed. We wrote about this a little more in depth in April when discussing 2017’s biggest data trends. You can learn more about our data-driven services here.



Topics: DoD approved software, RFID, UID, DoD, department of defense, data

4 Trends Shaping the World of Data in 2017

Posted by James Lusk on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 13:04 PM


Data is commonly defined as, “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.” With the help of technology, the process of collecting and analyzing data continues to evolve and is now bigger than ever. Businesses are relying on mass amounts of data to gain insights into their customers and meet their objectives.

Data is especially important for suppliers to the Department of Defense (DoD). For example, our industry maintains a vast amount of information like Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Item Unique Identification (IUID) to effectively track and ship products, meet DoD requirements and complete transactions.

We’ve noticed a few trends that are shaping how we use data, and these trends aren’t slowing down in 2017. 

Data volumes continue to grow

As the internet of things (IoT) continues to grow, the amount of data created worldwide is expected to increase tenfold by 2025. That’s a lot of data. In fact, according to an International Data Corp (IDC) white paper, “By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day – basically one interaction every 18 seconds.” 

From a business perspective, organizations need to be strategic about what portion of that data to manage and how to manage it. If not done correctly, organizations could lose revenue, provide poor customer experiences and suffer operational issues. 

More and more data moves to the cloud

Due to the increasing amount of data, organizations are taking more of their applications to the cloud and out of their data centers.  Data centers can be expensive to manage, especially for small businesses, and companies today don’t want to be required to lock in for multiple years to on-premises equipment. 

The cloud is based on subscription services, is scalable to your business needs, and offers greater flexibility. There are many benefits to working with cloud service providers that offer the big data processing platform, as well as the expertise. For these reasons, many organizations have already moved to the cloud, and even more will follow suit.

Many of the DoD suppliers we work with enjoy the ability to work in the same dashboard as their coworkers located around the country. All data in the dashboard is updated in real-time through the cloud.

Companies place great importance on security

Although a slow process, companies seem to finally be catching on to the importance of data security and are putting resources toward it.  And as more companies than ever are relying on data, they will be forced to evaluate and improve their privacy and security procedures. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2018, 50% of business ethics violations will be related to data.

We want immediate gratification

Today, most everything can be done with the click of a button, leading customers to demand instant gratification. The same goes for companies when it comes to their data analytics. Executives and managers want to see analytics that offer immediate, actionable data. Gone are the days of waiting hours or even days to get answers and insights. Real-time data programs, like Odyssey, offer the ability to make accurate and real-time decisions, based on the data provided. Fresh, timely insights will be more important than ever. 

These trends have already emerged, but they will only continue to drive the world of data in the years to come. All businesses, especially those working with the Department of Defense, should see themselves as data-driven companies. Executives and data professionals should keep a close eye on these trends and adapt their data strategies as needed.

By collecting and analyzing the right data, DoD suppliers can save time, money and resources getting the job done. Learn more about our data-driven services here.

Topics: RFID, IUID, cloud computing, department of defense, data