Business Intelligence software is becoming ever popular among business owners. Between powerful data warehousing and financial and budgeting features, it can give rich insight that wasn’t previously so attainable. However, a lot of manufacturers haven’t caught on yet to the new found love for business intelligence. Majority of this issue stems around a lack of information surrounding what business intelligence can do and how it will help manufacturers, specifically. We’re going to dive into manufacturing business intelligence and cover the must-have knowledge to decide if it’s right for your business.
Integration of Data
There are two options available, depending on the manufacturing business intelligence software you choose, to store your data. The first, and most commonly thought of, is by integrating your manufacturing business intelligence with your existing ERP system. By integrating with an ERP system, you are able to access real-time analytics and data live from the software. Your other option is using a business intelligence data store, similar to a data warehouse where you can store company data on a stable platform providing high performance analytics.
Using a business intelligence data store, you will need to replicate your data once to the database in order to receive up-to-date analytics. The benefit to this type of storage over ERP is less time is wasted compared to querying the ERP system to run reports. However, this can also be a more costly option.
In manufacturing business intelligence there are three options to consider for your software platform; excel based, web based or a combination of the two. Excel is the typical route for financial reporting and are sometimes seen as the easiest to implement. However, although the manufacturing business intelligence software will enhance and “turbo charge” the typical Excel functions, it is hard to ignore the power of the web. Web- based reporting can give you the financial information you need from wherever and whenever. You can achieve this in a cloud-based format or in a web-based format that will have the look and feel of Excel.
Ease of Use
Software has come a long way in the past decade. Manufacturing business intelligence software should be easy for you to use and have all the functions you need, such as collaboration and security. If the product is difficult for your team to learn, it probably will not be worth the time, effort and money to use. No matter if you choose to integrate with your ERP, use a data shop, go with Excel or web-based, you should be able to collaborate with your team on analytics and do so securely.
Now, to the most important functions for a manufacturer. If you want your manufacturing business intelligence to serve you specifically in your industry there are a few modules that you should look for. A sales module can help with manufacturing analytics in customer orders, back orders, finished goods, and sales orders. Know whether you’re requesting raw materials, organizing various supplier components or proper tooling equipment with a purchasing module. Better manage your warehouse with analytics in an inventory module. Focusing specifically on manufacturing with a production module, you can run Build of Materials reports, allowing more transparency into what is being built, by which line and what work is in progress. There are many different modules in manufacturing business intelligence that is beneficial specifically to your industry.
Manufacturing business intelligence has many powerful tools that can make your company make more insightful decisions and find the information you need more efficiently. Join us for a webinar on Solver BI360 to find out more on the financial and budgeting functions specifically for manufacturers.