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Supply Chain Optimization Depends on Persistent Data Mapping

Data mapping makes many things possible, like data integration and migration. It's also essential for effective logistics and supply chain optimization.

Imagine you're a chef, and you've got to make dinner for a big group of potential investors who are interested in your restaurant. You've got the recipes picked out. The ingredients wait for you in the kitchen. Your staff are all trained and lined up for work. There's just one problem: you don't speak their language, and they don't speak yours.

What's missing?

You need an interpreter. Without someone or something to translate your instructions to the team, you'll wind up cooking alone and your investors will walk away. To come together and create your vision for the dinner, you and your staff must be primed for cooperation. Only then will your investors — or customers — stay for the meal. And only with data mapping can you ensure that your separate databases are communicating and working as one unified whole.

Mapping acts as the interpreter for your divergent data sets, getting each one in shape to communicate with the others. You wouldn't give a speaking tour to a vacationing family who can't understand you, though that wouldn't be as hard as optimizing your supply chain without proper data mapping.

Integrated data makes the dream work

A phase of data modeling, mapping opens the door for so many possibilities with your data. It's an ice breaker, sparking the conversation that leads to data integration and more, just as your linchpin interpreter unites you with your staff so you can cook together. Once your various data have been mapped from source to target, whether through an automated or manual technique, they'll be on their way to a successful integration.

The purpose of integration is to harmonize the conflicting formats that your data may come in, allowing quantitative facts about your inventory and budget to mix seamlessly with qualitative details like customer service information. Discordant bits of truth are brought under one roof, tearing down the data silos that prevent your operation from running smoothly. When you've got all of your diverse data working together as a team, you can make a solid game plan for optimizing your supply chain.

First map, then migrate 

You and your staff are now working as a unit, and the time has come to set up shop in a larger kitchen to grow your business. You won't be needing your interpreter for that, right?


Someone has to prep the new space for your arrival, keeping you apprised of developments so that you can adjust for changes. So your interpreter accepts the challenge.

Should you need to move your data from one base to another, mapping is the crucial first step. Data mapping makes migration possible, whether you're going from an on-premises system to a cloud-based service or just from one software platform to the next. With cloud technology providing increasingly greater convenience and security, more and more enterprises rely on it for supply chain optimization.

Cloud-based solutions have become the go-to system for key functions like:

  • Supply chain planning
  • Sourcing and procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Logistics

As data must be transported to meet your evolving software needs, data mapping must be at the vanguard of any migration.

Transforming data for supply chain optimization

Now that you feel at home in your new kitchen, and your team is a well-oiled machine, surely your interpreter's job is done. Of what further use could they possibly be to you?

Well, you'll need to turn a few of your cooks into a waitstaff since you don't have one yet. They'll have to be trained for the roles and you'll have to account for their absence from the line. A shakeup like that will require some serious accommodations throughout your operation. Sounds like a job for that factotum interpreter.

The simple conversion of an XML file to a CSV calls on data mapping to make it happen. With countless formats in which data may come, and new ones popping up every day, the importance of having robust mapping capabilities is huge. This is especially true as the effects of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning continue to reverberate across supply networks worldwide. With massive volumes of data being generated faster and in more forms than ever before, mapping provides a critical bridge in your route to supply chain optimization.

Now, once your data is united in collaboration and ready at your fingertips, how would you like it to serve your organization? Because having data and using data are as different as reading recipes and preparing entrées, it behooves you to find a reliable partner who will tailor a logistics plan to your needs. In addition to creating customized plans, Morgan routinely audits your processes to boost supply chain efficiency and keep you from overspending. To find out more about optimizing your supply chain, contact our team.

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