Naturally, supply chain companies are always overloaded with data. In order to run smoothly, there needs to be processing of huge volumes of financial, customer, logistical and operational information that happens daily. It’s a given that this can sometimes place an administrative burden on a business instead of being a valuable business process.
However, data has crucial insights that can lead to a lot of opportunities and help with long-term business growth. Implementing Business Intelligence (BI) strategy successfully can allow supply chain companies to harness potential and create efficiencies company-wide.
Recent research established that most organizations – 9 out of 10 supply chain companies – acknowledge and note that they have to adopt BI software and other digital technologies so attain success. Although this has been recognized, most of them find it hard to implement these needs.
Here are five rules to follow in your company, suggested by Kevin McGirl, President of sales-i.
Keep your data clean
To implement BI successfully, there needs to be certainty of databases being clean and accurate first. Immediately remove any old and irrelevant records and make sure to do this practice regularly.
Have in place specific processes for data entry across the organization that will avoid inconsistencies, errors and missing information. Always be aware of where your data is coming from. Don’t make the mistake of exclusively relying on data bought from other sources as this can often be unreliable. What you should do instead is to focus on maximizing the data generated naturally by your business.
Build a clear BI roadmap for the entire organization
Establishing BI is an ongoing process that you will need a map for in order to be guided. Although the benefits will not be received or seen overnight, a good roadmap will assist you in speeding up the process and will guarantee greater success.
Your roadmap must clearly outline:
- Your current situation and how you plan to improve it using BI
- The technology and IT infrastructure you will need to have in place to carry out the correct use of BI
- Who in your organization will have a stake in BI and how they aim to achieve their specific objectives
Educate and empower your team to be data-driven
Have open channels of communication with your team to understand possible concerns they might have with adopting BI. It’s not easy to adjust to change and helping them understand how the new approach will benefit them in their specific roles will ease them into it.
Employees should be involved from the beginning with any major technology decision and must be provided with the right training as soon as possible. This will inspire them to be data-driven and make decisions based on real insights instead of basing everything on their gut instincts.
Consider different integration options to maximize efficiency
Think about how BI will fit in with your existing IT infrastructure and how you will develop it to accommodate BI. Your choice of BI software should take into consideration easy integration meant to better connect the process. This will boost efficiency and reveal many more data opportunities.
For example, a BI tool could pull data directly from different ERP modules like finance or HR, and analyze them to come up with insights that are useful to the business.
Monitor, evaluate and iterate usage
To make certain that you are pushing your BI system to its maximum potential, you need to monitor, evaluate and iterate how it’s being put to use and what results it delivers.
Keep reports so that you can show the positive impact BI has on your organization. This will encourage greater adoption and ensure a legitimate return later on.
Don’t forget to learn the Five Ways To Make A Success Out Of Your Logistics Business!
Source: Supply Chain Management Review