Transforming Your Supply Chain: From Batch Processing to Change Data Capture

by Reed Stepleman

The Need for Agility in Today’s Supply Chain

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, agility is paramount. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of supply chain, where the ability to react swiftly to changing market conditions can mean the difference between success and failure. To achieve this level of agility, companies are increasingly turning to technologies that enable near real-time insights, and one such technology that is gaining traction is Change Data Capture (CDC).

From Stock Tickers to Supply Chains: The Evolution of Real-Time Data

But before we delve into the significance of CDC, let’s draw a parallel with a familiar concept: the evolution of stock tickers. In the not-so-distant past, stock tickers provided investors with delayed information on stock prices. Investors had to wait for updates, sometimes minutes or even hours, before they could react to market changes. This delayed information often resulted in missed opportunities and suboptimal decision-making.

Fast forward to today, and we have real-time stock tickers that provide investors with up-to-the-second data on stock prices and market movements. This real-time information enables investors to make split-second decisions, capitalize on emerging trends, and mitigate risks more effectively.

Now, imagine applying a similar concept to your supply chain operations. Traditionally, many companies rely on batch processing methods to collect and analyze data from various sources within their supply chain. While batch processing has served its purpose, it inherently introduces delays in data availability and analysis. By the time insights are derived, the window of opportunity to act upon them may have already passed.

Change Data Capture (CDC): The Game-Changer in Supply Chain Analytics

This is where Change Data Capture (CDC) comes into play. CDC is a technology that captures and delivers changes made to data sources in real-time or near real-time. Unlike batch processing, which involves processing data in large chunks at scheduled intervals, CDC continuously streams data updates as they occur. This means that the moment a change is made within your supply chain—whether it’s an inventory update, a shipment status change, or a labor allocation adjustment—it is captured and made available for analysis almost instantly.

The implications of this shift from batch processing to CDC are profound, particularly when it comes to building the AgiSight Supply Chain data platform. With CDC, the AgiSight platform can provide near real-time visibility into warehouse operations, labor allocation, transportation logistics, and more. This enables stakeholders across the supply chain—from warehouse managers to procurement specialists to logistics coordinators—to make data-driven decisions on the fly.

Proactive Decision-Making and Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty

Consider the scenario of a sudden surge in demand for a particular product. With traditional batch processing methods, it might take hours or even days to identify this spike in demand and adjust inventory levels accordingly. However, with CDC-powered insights from the AgiSight platform, supply chain managers can instantly recognize the uptick in demand, optimize inventory allocation in real-time, and ensure that shelves remain stocked to meet customer needs.

Moreover, CDC facilitates proactive decision-making by alerting stakeholders to potential issues or anomalies as soon as they arise. For example, if a shipment is delayed or an warehouse associate is out of work in a zone is detected, alerts can be triggered in real-time, allowing stakeholders to take immediate corrective action and minimize disruptions to operations.

Embracing the Future of Supply Chain Management

In essence, the transformation from batch processing to Change Data Capture represents a paradigm shift in supply chain management—a shift from reactive decision-making based on stale data to proactive decision-making based on timely insights. By embracing CDC and leveraging the AgiSight platform, companies can build a supply chain that is not only agile but also resilient in the face of uncertainty. Just as real-time stock tickers revolutionized the world of finance, CDC has the potential to revolutionize the way we manage and optimize supply chains for years to come.