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Reshaping Supply Chains with BI

Reshaping Supply Chains with BI

Today’s corporate world demands facilities and systems that would help them make decisions faster in an ever-competitive world. Business Intelligence (BI) systems enable enterprises to make straightforward decisions through improved data reporting.

Currently, over half of organizations recognize BI as crucial for thriving in today’s technological landscape. According to a recent report from a research agency, the BI market systems are helping companies increase their CAGR substantially in revenue.

A separate study highlights that factors like growing investments in analytics, higher demand for dashboards, a strong focus on digital transformation, and the rise of cloud adoption and IoT in the supply chain and other sectors have spurred BI’s growth. The market is projected to reach $33.3 billion USD by 2025, presenting new opportunities across various industries.

In particular, the supply chain and on-demand logistics sectors have significantly integrated BI solutions. Industry experts suggest that to remain competitive in supply chain management, it’s crucial to identify organizational weaknesses and develop strategies to address them. Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, and BI help pinpoint potential risks and enable timely interventions.

Simply put, BI provides insights from real-time actionable data, offers automated recommendations, and allows for the evaluation of production processes alongside transactions. Whether it’s managing inventory, coordinating shipments, or processing orders, BI ensures all relevant data is easily accessible.

Focusing on why the supply chain and operations sectors are increasingly adopting BI solutions, the primary driver is the digital transformation within the supply chain, where BI plays a pivotal role in various areas.

Impact of Business Intelligence in the supply chain process

The supply chain sector handles an immense amount of data. Business Intelligence (BI) is about transforming this vast data into actionable knowledge for business use. What types of supply chain data are managed by BI?

BI manages data like repair costs, transportation expenses, key performance indicators (KPIs) for carriers and suppliers, strategic planning metrics, and trend analysis.

This data is further refined into essential information needed for research and analytics. The resulting insights guide companies on actions aligned with their performance and business goals.

BI tools for the supply chain, such as dashboards and scoreboards, provide detailed breakdowns of company performance on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, helping monitor progress. This highlights the crucial role of Business Intelligence in the supply chain process.

The BI Model in Four Key Supply Chain Areas

When considering BI’s impact on the supply chain process, four major areas are significantly influenced by the Business Intelligence model. Let’s briefly explore these areas.

  • Business Intelligence for Product Distribution

BI plays a crucial role in ensuring timely product delivery to customers. Business Intelligence software monitors delivery services, tracking area-specific deliveries. If delays occur, managers can promptly address and resolve the issues.

Beyond product tracking, BI also monitors external factors such as fuel costs, delivery time estimates, and other business expenses. Essentially, BI provides detailed information to help maximize profits.

  • Business Intelligence for Demand Planning

Another critical aspect of supply chain management that heavily relies on Business Intelligence is demand planning. Effective demand management is vital as it determines the production levels needed to achieve profitability. Business Intelligence solutions assist in forecasting demand by combining sales pipeline data, historical figures, and market segment analysis to estimate the necessary time and resources to meet customer demands.

Accurate demand planning is essential since underproduction or overproduction can directly impact profit margins, making this a crucial element of the supply chain.

  • Business Intelligence for IoT Machinery

Supply chains have widely embraced the smart industry trend. IoT in manufacturing involves interconnecting various machines and devices through the Internet of Things, creating a data-driven cycle. The data gathered from IoT provides insights into machine uptime, ensuring consistent product quality. BI utilizes this data to generate monthly reports highlighting areas for improvement.

Additionally, these interconnected devices can notify businesses when routine maintenance is required, helping to minimize outages and manage expenses effectively.

  • Business Intelligence for Inventory Management

BI tools enable efficient optimization of inventory levels for higher profits by providing access to comprehensive inventory data. Most BI inventory solutions track sales, purchase numbers, and supplier information. This consolidated data on a single platform ensures that businesses maintain optimal inventory volumes at all times.

These various elements integrate into the supply chain BI model, where data is transformed into actionable insights.

What is Embedded Business Intelligence (BI)?

Embedded BI involves integrating Business Intelligence solutions directly into business portals or applications. For instance, if you have a mobile app that needs BI capabilities to monitor your supply chain operations, embedded BI can provide features such as reports, interactive dashboards, data analysis, and predictive analytics.

Unlike traditional BI, embedded BI incorporates all the capabilities of Business Intelligence within your business application.

Some key reasons why embedded BI is crucial for supply chain businesses include:

  • Driving revenue growth
  • Achieving over 40% adoption in the supply and manufacturing industries
  • Enhancing user experience and customer satisfaction
  • Adding significant value to business applications
  • Increasing customer engagement by encouraging longer use of the application

Supply Chain Management with Embedded BI

Integrating Business Intelligence solutions into your supply chain allows you to identify potential challenges before they escalate.

Here’s how to utilize embedded Business Intelligence in your daily product cycle. Below are a few routine supply chain processes that can be easily tracked with an embedded BI application:

  • Cash to Cycle Time: Measures the duration between paying for materials and receiving payment for sales.
  • Customer Order Cycle: Tracks the time from receiving an order to its delivery.
  • Fill Rates: Indicates the percentage of lines, orders, and units shipped on the first attempt.
  • Days of Supply: How long you can operate without restocking or reordering.
  • Outstanding Payments: Measures how promptly you collect payments from customers.
  • Turnover: Reflects how efficiently you convert working capital invested in inventory into profits.
  • Inventory Velocity: Identifies underperformers and best sellers.
  • Gross ROI (Return on Investment): Assesses the total profitability from inventory investments.

Another significant challenge for supply chain enterprises and manufacturers is tracking inventory across multiple vendors. Implementing innovative BI supply chain solutions can help you develop a unified dashboard that consolidates data from various sources, creating interactive tracking reports for comparison.

Three Essential Business Intelligence Aspects for Every Supply Chain Enterprise

Business Intelligence revolves around leveraging data to enhance strategies and decision-making. Here are three crucial BI categories that every supply chain enterprise should employ to enhance productivity and efficiency.

  • Reporting Tools

In the present, supply chain enterprises heavily depend on scorecards, which aid managers and decision-makers in optimizing workflows. Predictive analysis and comprehensive data insights enable detailed analyses of daily operations, revealing potential pain points. These insights can then be utilized to refine and enhance supply chain strategies.

  • Dashboards

Real-time actionable visibility via dashboards is a key highlight of Business Intelligence. It provides immediate insights into the ongoing supply chain processes, facilitating prompt responses. BI dashboards offer customizable features that simplify navigation and scrolling. Enhanced data visualization can be achieved through features like data tables and filters, offering a clearer overview of internal operations.

  • Benchmarking

Benchmarking provides a competitive edge to any enterprise within the supply chain industry. This involves comparing your supply chain operations against industry standards to enhance performance. BI-driven benchmarking is tailored to optimize operations and uncover growth opportunities.

The Advantages of Implementing BI in Supply Chain Management

Here are some of the primary functionalities and advantages of Business Intelligence tools that facilitate enterprise-wide data sharing across various functional units, ensuring consistent decision-making.

  1. Data Layer Drill-Down: Supply chain BI solutions enable the breakdown of data into various formats such as charts, spreadsheets, and hyperlinks for in-depth analysis. This capability supports the continuous monitoring of daily workflows within the enterprise.
  2. Balanced Scorecards: BI solutions incorporate balanced scorecards to consolidate databases for performance assessment. This process generates relevant data views that enhance clarity on critical information.
  3. Integrated Reporting and Dynamic Query Generation: BI tools offer built-in integrated reporting features and dynamic query generation functionalities. These capabilities extract intermediate data and conduct analyses to anticipate potential challenges.
  4. Metric Baseline Identification: Through additional BI features, enterprises can establish baselines against specific metrics to determine what needs measurement on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
  5. Customization: BI solutions allow for dashboard customization, enabling the provision of contextual information that fosters deeper insights into operational processes.

Enhance Your Supply Chain with Business Intelligence at Technoforte

To fortify your supply chain operations, integrating Business Intelligence is essential. BI represents a comprehensive method for gathering, processing, and disseminating data to enhance business performance and customer satisfaction. Partner with us to accelerate your supply chain growth through our tailored Business Intelligence solutions.

Technoforte offers BI services and solutions designed to empower enterprises to embrace and excel in technological advancements. From BI consulting to the development and maintenance of robust BI solutions, we provide comprehensive support throughout your journey.

FAQs on Business Intelligence in Supply Chain

What are the potential future advancements in business intelligence as applied to the supply chain?

Business Intelligence (BI) is a technology-driven process that transforms business data into actionable insights delivered to managers, vendors, operations teams, and suppliers for informed decision-making. With the increasing role of big data in BI processes, its evolution shows no signs of slowing down. BI solutions and tools are becoming more proactive, collaborative, and insightful to manage operations effectively.

How is BI used in supply chain management and logistics?

BI solutions provide comprehensive data through reports and dashboards, enabling vendors, production managers, and distributors to monitor machinery and shipments. Additionally, supply chain reporting is crucial for cost control and resource optimization. BI aids logistics monitoring by analyzing timely order returns and reasons for returns, facilitating the identification of order patterns and opportunities for product personalization.

What is the difference between Business Analytics (BA) and Business Intelligence (BI)?

As BI gains prominence, confusion arises between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics. In essence, BI utilizes present and historical data to drive current business decisions, while BA focuses solely on historical data to meet current business needs. For a detailed comparison, refer to Business Intelligence vs. Business Analytics.

What is the process of implementing BI software?

Reliable BI solutions and services guide enterprises through a structured implementation process. Typically, this includes design, shaping, modeling, and visualization stages tailored to business needs and requirements. The ultimate goal is to make data accessible and actionable for informed decision-making.

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