Introducing Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence (BI) is a process for analyzing data and presenting information to help businesses make more informed decisions. Simply put, it is a way to gain intelligence for your business. Due to the advancement of Big Data and business analytics any industry could benefit from Business Intelligence. But supply chain management could benefit from it especially.
Supply Chain management is probably the most complex operation due to its matrix of departments like Inventory Management, Demand Planning and Distribution that operate interdependently. This results in the production of many data silos, that isolate valuable information and therefore, make it difficult for administrators to find all the relevant data. This is where BI really steps in.
Business Intelligence tools help gather and combine the data necessary to create a holistic view of business operations. We know that now. But, in addition to that, BI tools are designed to solve current problems plaguing the supply chain industry. Which in turn helps achieve desired supply chain management goals. How exactly? This is how.
Business Intelligence in Supply Chains
First off, we know that Demand Management determines production levels of a company for profit. Consequently, BI solutions can actually help companies better forecast their demand needs. By combining historical data and current sales information coupled with current market trends, supply chains can estimate the amount of time and resources they will need, for better production. The under-or-over production affects a company’s profit so therefore, an accurate forecasting plays a vital role in determining profit.
It is very important for a company to ensure that a product reaches its customer within a stipulated amount of time. Business Intelligence also helps distribution departments by tracking their transport fleet & making sure they’re following service level agreements in regards to on time delivery. If deliveries are taking more time, then BI solutions help managers resolve such issues. Yet another upside to BI.
Additionally, most inventory BI solutions can track supplier data, purchases and sales numbers. This means users can ensure business optimal inventory volume at all times, by leveraging all of the inventory data into one business platform. Many supply chains would like to implement smart machines, IoT products or connected devices to produce a large amount of data. However, it can get difficult to manage such data. That is why supply chains should use Business Intelligence platforms to sift through large data & get granular insights.
The Internet of Things provides data or information to companies so they can make the appropriate decisions for consistent production. One way IoT does that is by incorporating machinery alerts for when they need repairs or require routine maintenance. This helps cut down power outages and finally maximize profitability.
We have just begun looking at BI in Supply Chain. It actually offers numerous other advantages. For one, labor costs are drastically reduced with BI implementation because data collection is automated. Therefore, reports are automated and designed in a simple manner so training-time is also shortened since reports are no longer in excel.
Information bottlenecks are reduced as well since users can prepare their own dashboards based on operational data. This means users can run reports autonomously. BI produces Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. KPI’s are centralized and presented, intelligently for better decision making purposes. KPI targets can even be assigned to a single business unit to measure the progress towards achieving goals.
Even better, data analysis can be done without IT assistance. Business Intelligence provides actionable data that follows one particular data model, thereby, preventing conflicting definitions and inconsistent data. The real-time reports generated to provide current business trends and insights. However, these reports don’t provide historical data for a reason. BI focuses on current real-time data for data analysis and decision-making. This way only relevant data is delivered to a specific user in a role-based environment. The drill-down functionality combines several data sources’ of information into one dashboard. Thus, users can save time collecting information from different sources and can prepare different dashboards quickly.
Although these report gives some insights into the role of Business Intelligence in Supply Chain Management, the results ultimately rest on the individual management team. Supply chain’s must choose what type of BI solutions to implement that best suits their company in the long run. Regardless of the tools chosen, Business Intelligence can maximize productivity and minimize the cost in all fronts.
So as you can see BI can help Supply Chain management in many ways. Let’s look at the value it adds in regards to user dashboards.
- Order fulfillment dashboards can monitor orders as they progress through different processes and identify problem areas.
- Supervisors can take the data anywhere with handheld devices for easy and efficient floor management.
- Operations managers can monitor key metrics in real-time and track budget projections against actual performance.
- Business Intelligence information can inform customer service if service levels are satisfactory or help find ways to restore it.
The advantages of Business Intelligence in Supply Chain go beyond warehouse operations, storage or in-house management. BI is an overall great tool for companies to grow and profit. At BoxOn, supporting your company`s technology requirements comes with the territory. BoxOn is a division of Iblesoft, an Enterprise-Level Open Source and .Net development company. Our service and support team at BoxOn knows how important it is to implement the right technology into your business to increase efficiency and productivity.
That is why we built BoxOn Logistics as a technology platform that mirrors your business needs and makes it far more efficient and profitable than ever before. It’s a similar basis to BI technology in your business. If you’re looking for technology to improve your business, then try our FREE DEMO or Contact Us Today!