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Creating More Intelligent Supply Chains with BI Technology

By Sam Smith

computer guyAmong the many factors that need to be explored while creating a supply chain management strategy, Business Intelligence (BI) Technology has long reaching benefits.  As companies grow in size, manual reports using Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access become time-consuming and impractical because of the limited amount of detailed information that can benefit the company.  A recent article found in Inbound Logistics, http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/creating-more-intelligent-supply-chains-with-bi-technology, outlined the numerous ways in which BI Technology can benefit a large or growing company.

Among some of the highlighted benefits of integrating BI tools is the amount of time that is saved generating reports and making reporting cycles much smaller. BI tools can precisely track automated order processing, production, fulfillment and other critical business procedures.  They also can present data graphically, which makes it more accessible to everyone in the company (sales, finances, operations, management), instead of limiting the data to tech-savy employees.

The article mentioned how the BI tools enabled companies to do many things such as monitor vendors and distributors.  At Supply Chain Coach, we use our BI tools to monitor carrier performance in terms of cost and on-time performance. We also can forecast demand such as seasonal changes in fuel prices, changes in carrier rates, trends with product profitability, and changes in transportation volume and costs.

BI technology has numerous benefits that all lead back to a leaner supply chain, thus a higher profit.  Determining if your company is ready for the investment depends on the missed opportunities or mistakes made due to manual data collection and reporting.  Eventually successful, growing businesses need to explore the benefits of BI Technology.

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