Supply Chain Dashboards: Which Metrics Matter the Most?

Supply Chain Dashboards: Which Metrics Matter the Most?


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Supply Chain Management is integral to any business that deals with tangible goods. Managing supply chains can be complex. Customer-facing dashboards simplify this by highlighting key actions through data visualization and analysis. Particularly, when these dashboards are infused with embedded analytics, they become pivotal in decoding the myriad data strands of the supply chain.

Key benefits of using a Supply Chain Dashboard include:

  • Enhanced Decision Making: Actionable insights are presented clearly, enabling swift and informed choices.
  • Spotting Inefficiencies: Visual representations help pinpoint bottlenecks or delays, prompting timely interventions.
  • Real-time Monitoring: With live data updates, businesses remain agile, reacting promptly to emerging situations.
  • Forecasting & Predictive Analysis: Leveraging historical data, dashboards anticipate future trends, setting the stage for proactive planning.

Understanding Critical Supply Chain Metrics

Dashboards act as a strategic convergence point, merging various metrics from inventory, logistics, and supplier performance to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the entire supply chain.

Inventory management metrics provide insights into how products move within a company's storage, be it a warehouse or a retail store. These metrics highlight not just how products are consumed, but also hint at potential inefficiencies or market demand shifts.

  • Inventory Turnover Rate: Reveals how frequently inventory is sold and replaced. For example, a high turnover for a newly launched shoe might suggest it's a hot seller.
  • Days Sales of Inventory (DSI): Shows the time taken to convert inventory into sales. A high DSI for summer clothes during peak season might indicate pricing or trend mismatches.
  • Stockout Rate: Measures instances when items are unavailable. For instance, an "out of stock" label on a bestselling book might hint at forecasting errors.

 It's crucial to track the journey of a product, whether it's from a warehouse to a customer or from a manufacturer to a retailer, using logistics and transportation metrics. Delays or cost overruns in this phase can erode trust and profit margins.

  • On-Time Delivery Performance: Assesses punctuality of deliveries. If an E-Commerce platform consistently misses two-day delivery promises, it signals a logistics issue.
  • Freight Cost per Unit: Details the shipping cost for each item. A high cost for shipping small items might point to non-optimal logistics partnerships.
  • Order Cycle Time: Captures the duration from order placement to receipt. For services like pizza delivery, a prolonged cycle time might indicate inefficiencies.

Supplier performance metrics monitor the success and performance of the key inputs into your supply chain. Their punctuality, product quality, and responsiveness directly impact a business's operations and output.

  • Supplier On-Time Delivery: Monitors vendors' punctuality. Delays in receiving auto components, for instance, can stall production lines.
  • Supplier Quality Index (SQI): Evaluates product quality from suppliers. A low SQI for smartphone batteries might hint at potential safety concerns.
  • Supplier Lead Time: Measures the time taken by suppliers to fulfill orders. Extended lead times for fabric delivery can disrupt fashion brands' production schedules.

By monitoring these metrics with dashboards, businesses can enhance operations for smoother and more profitable outcomes.

Building Effective Supply Chain Dashboards

Given the extensive data in Supply Chain Management, creating effective dashboards requires both strategy and intuition. Begin with choosing the right tools and platforms, prioritizing solutions designed for embedded analytics to ensure smooth data integration and crisp visualization. With the right tool, supply chain managers and data analysts can begin building dashboards that follow these three best-practices:

  1. Clarity in Visualization: Create easily comprehensible visuals. This is crucial, especially for operators that manage complex datasets and need clear indicators to broader teams.
  2. Data Integration: Combine multiple data sources for a holistic view of the supply chain, ensuring a nuanced understanding of operations.
  3. Mobile Responsiveness: In today's mobile-centric world, a dashboard must be adaptable for on-the-go access, enhancing accessibility and actionability of insights.

With each aspect checked off, your supply chain dashboard transforms from a tool to a strategic asset.

The Future of Supply Chain Dashboards

As supply chain dashboards continue to evolve, they are being fortified with emerging technologies, enhancing their ability to deliver more nuanced, actionable insights.

Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics, for instance, enable Amazon's dashboards to predict product demands accurately. This lets Amazon adjust stock levels efficiently, balancing storage costs and delivery.

Utilizing blockchain technology gives Walmart the ability to trace the origin of food products from different suppliers. With this system displayed on supply chain dashboards, Walmart and trace and pinpoint the source of food-bourne disease and only discard affected products. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolutionizes real-time tracking. Maersk's containers, with IoT, send constant data on location and conditions. Displaying customer-facing dashboards for their clients enables their customers to monitor the flow of their goods and improve supply chains.

In today's evolving tech landscape, innovative dashboards offer businesses a unique view of their supply chain data.


Understanding crucial supply chain metrics, from Inventory Turnover Rate to Supplier Quality Index, is essential for business optimization. As the quantity of data increases with the transition into an era dominated by AI and IoT, the role of dynamic embedded dashboards becomes indispensable. They don’t merely display data—they transform it into actionable insights.

Get the insights into your supply chain with the embedded analytics platform solution, Explo. It expertly blends complicated data from a variety of sources into easy-to-use dashboards and report builders. 

Get started with the top-rated embedded analytics platform, Explo, today.

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