Business partnering and big data analytics: Two sides to the supply chain coin

By Ken Witt

A recent survey report by E&Y indicates that stronger business partnering between CFOs and supply chain leaders results in better financial performance than when the CFO is more traditionally focused on the core responsibilities of accounting, reporting, and controls.

While only 26% of finance executives say that their contribution to the supply chain is primarily around business partnering, 70% say their relationship has become more collaborative over the past three years. In terms of performance, the results show that among “business partner” respondents, 48% report EBITDA increases of more than 5% in the past year, while just 22% of those with a more traditional relationship were able to report that same level of improved profitability.

According to the report, improved profitability is not an either/or result of business partnering or data, but they are truly two sides of the same coin. Key to this success is robust information which the CFO business partner can access that provides insight on supply chain challenges and opportunities. This insight enables them to impact the bottom line by improving the alignment between strategy, sales, marketing and operations and optimizing supply chain performance.

The CGMA report From Insight to Impact: Unlocking Opportunities in Big Data outlines five steps to creating a data-centric business. For many businesses, greater supply chain partnering and enhancing the quantity, quality and insight of data in this arena can lead to very positive results.