How Business Intelligence Helps Manufacturers

A challenge that seems to be universal within the manufacturing industry is deciding on technology and which advances to make. Because there are so many options to implement and grow your business, it can be overwhelming, and the projects can fail if you choose a technology that doesn’t align with your business. For those juggling the different technology options, you should know that investing in business intelligence has one of the highest ROIs you can get.shutterstock_628146863 (1)

Most managers in the manufacturing industry have received their reports in the same format from the same system for years. Now with the advancement of BI technology like Microsoft’s Power BI, this is changing. Business Analytics and reporting solutions can deliver answers to questions you never even thought to ask. For example, what cost saving opportunities are there, and what revenue options are lying around that you haven’t tapped in to? How can you reduce waste and eliminate bottlenecks? Are there ways to improve customer service by better meeting needs and expectations? Your competitors are likely already using BI technology and in order to remain in the race, you also need to.

During the infancy of big data tools and architecture, it was challenging to get the data from your custom system into the infrastructure needed to leverage analytics and big data. The formatting of this data was undecipherable to big data tools, meaning that manufacturing companies couldn’t take advantage of what their data was trying to tell them. However, with today’s solutions and technology, that is no longer the case. With a more advanced system, companies are able to transfer data into the analytics and reports they need to understand what actionable insights to prioritize.

With today’s BI tools, like Power BI from Microsoft, manufacturers can track an enormous amount of beneficial data, along with collecting information about:

  • The cause of machine downtime
  • The best process for machine repair
  • Where you can make improvements in the supply chain
  • Modifying inventory management
  • ROI tracking

Maybe this all sounds great to you, but you’re still thinking, “The implementation and training will take months, and we can’t afford that downtime.” This is a fair thought considering it wasn’t that long ago that taking on a new system would take weeks, maybe months. But today’s user interfaces make the implementation and training process as fast as a few hours to a few days! The average computer user can be effective with basic tasks in a few minutes, while it only takes a few hours to master an advanced functionality.

These powerful systems are available now to all manufacturing companies and if you would like to gain a competitive edge, contact us to get started.

Author: Mark Hatting, Director of Business Analytics

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