When data ownership and trust collide

by Francisca CarvalhoJune 3, 2020
Photo by Jack Moreh on Stockvault

Supply chain inefficiencies have been brought to light by the current situation, driving decision-makers to find solutions to overcome them and start preparing for the future. In this discussion of current supply chain inefficiencies, a topic that has come up numerous times is data ownership and trust when it comes to data sharing. It has become a bottleneck for many supply chains, as various parties are involved in the data handling process.

The problem of data sharing

There is a lack of trust amongst the various parties involved in supply chain processes, leading to the discussion of who owns the data at any given stage of the supply chain. There is disagreement on who should access the data, what they can do with it, and what will happen to the data. This, in turn, becomes a point of inefficiency for supply chains. Information is not shared or is inefficiently shared, taking a much longer time than necessary to reach the final destination. However, in some cases, it does not reach relevant parties, hindering some supply chain processes. 

Photo by Jack Moreh on Stockvault

Furthermore, another concept within this argument of data sharing is the concept of data as a service. Data as a service is something that in recent years has gained some popularity, it is a data management strategy that uses cloud-based services to not only store data but also to analyse it and process it. Some companies have the rights to the data kept in the cloud and are selling it to other companies, turning data sharing into a business. This creates further confusion and discussions as some companies are having to purchase data to operate optimally. 

The benefits of data sharing 

Although data sharing can raise various questions, it is crucial to look at the possible benefits once a fair data sharing process has been put in place. Firstly, when data sharing takes place, this can allow for enhanced collaboration between different departments and parties that can help optimise the supply chain. It creates a possibility to analyse points of inefficiency and collaborate to ensure these inefficiencies are minimised. This could lead to increased trust between the parties involved as they work together to solve certain issues. 

Furthermore, as supply chains look to overcome the repercussions brought by COVID-19, it is essential to understand how data sharing can impact your business in terms of competitive advantage. The importance of data sharing to future-proof your supply chain is manifold; not only will you be able to leverage comprehensive data, but you can also ensure this data is shared with the right people. By promoting this sort of transparency and collaborative mentality in your supply chain, it is easier to improve your operations to future-proof your supply chain.