Leveraging Supply Chain Business Intelligence for Better Performance

If I asked you to assess your overall business health right now, what would you say?

I’m asking not as a guy sitting next to you on an airplane, who expects a sanitized answer and is really just killing time until the drink cart comes by. I’m asking as a keen observer of the industry — someone who thinks about this stuff 24/7.

If you can’t answer my question ... well, good luck to you.

If you can answer my question, you’ve probably made an investment in supply chain business intelligence software at some point.

In that case, I have another question for you: Are you sure you’re looking at the right numbers?

Business IntelligenceMaking Sense of Business Performance
For the typical manufacturer or distributor, supply chain business intelligence is a double-edged sword. If you try to do without it, you’ll never have enough data about your overall business performance. If you do try to implement SCM BI, you may end up feeling like you have too much information. 

Which metrics are most important to track? How should you interpret the data you get? What are the fastest ways to use BI to enhance your bottom line?

This is where many organizations get tripped up. And this is why it doesn’t make sense for most manufacturers or distributors simply to find the BI platform that offers the most features for the price and then install it alongside their other business platforms.

A better approach is to find a supply chain planning system that contains native BI that’s specifically aimed at your industry. There are several ways in which having the right supply chain business intelligence functionality can help you.

Five Advantages to Supply Chain Business Intelligence
Make the right choice in SCM BI software, and you’ll be able to:

1. Eliminate silos. The typical business stores data in a series of disconnected databases — or even worse, spreadsheets. A good SCM BI platform will serve as a centralized repository for your most important decision-making data.

2. Extract data quickly. What good is an SCM BI solution that forces you to extract, transform, and load your data before performing any useful analysis on it? The best platforms will integrate business intelligence right into data tables. From there, it will be easy to create and share meaningful reports.

3. Drill down. There’s more to analysis than just looking at high-level reports, of course. To optimize every aspect of your supply chain, you’ll need to be able to drill down into your most disappointing numbers and find the exact causes of delays, stock-outs, and other common supply chain problems. SCM BI allows you to do this.

4. Master lead times. SCM BI can provide the foundation for predictive lead time information that helps you order supplies at exactly the right time, depending on the season as well as the many variables that affect your supply chain.

5. Get industry-specific functionality. Any sophisticated supply chain business intelligence platform should deliver analytics packs that are designed to help you focus on the most important metrics for your industry. So, whether you’re a decision-maker in the food and beverage, automotive, or apparel industry, you’ll be able to spend more time on your key data while filtering out the statistical noise.

Putting It All Together
We aimed to deliver these benefits — and many more — when we integrated supply chain business intelligence into the Demand Solutions DSX platform. The result is that you don’t have to waste time gathering and manipulating data before you perform analysis — the BI is available right there in the data tables. Come and see for yourself.