The Role of Business Intelligence in the Supply Chain

Coping with an increasingly dynamic and globalized market is now imperative for companies seeking to solidify their position and meet the challenges of competition for further growth. To achieve this, it is essential to activate optimization processes for management and control of production operations and make decisions based on reliable data. The supply chain, as a critical and fundamental component of business processes, is no exception to this trend. Business Intelligence (BI) emerges as the ideal solution for companies aiming to equip themselves with tools and approaches capable of transforming vast amounts of data into strategies and directions to ensure sustainability and competitiveness. Let's explore the role of Business Intelligence in the supply chain and its benefits.

What is Business Intelligence and Its Purpose

When discussing BI, we refer to the use of technologies, processes, and practices aimed at collecting, integrating, analyzing, and presenting information to provide the company with comprehensive and real-time metrics to support more effective decision-making processes. It is a broad field that must be focused on the strategic objectives identified by the company. BI tools can play a crucial role for managers looking to optimize supply chain management, improve production process efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction by predicting demand, optimizing inventory, monitoring and increasing quality, and promptly identifying issues or inefficiencies.

In the current context, Business Intelligence has progressively evolved with new functionalities and applications, proving even more indispensable to address emerging challenges such as digitization, automation, Industry 4.0, and environmental sustainability. Therefore, it is essential to understand how Business Intelligence in the supply chain has expanded its role, offering innovative solutions and continuing to provide tangible benefits.

Business Intelligence Tools for the Supply Chain

Modern Business Intelligence solutions go beyond providing descriptive analyses; they extend to predictive and prescriptive analyses. For example, Demand Planning is a fundamental tool for refining product demand forecasts and optimizing the entire production process, from raw material sourcing to supply. The adoption of Business Intelligence in the supply chain is strategically beneficial in various aspects, including:

  • Decision-making Agility: Companies can adapt quickly to changes with access to up-to-date information and the implementation of data-driven strategies.

  • Cost Savings: Process optimization and operational efficiency resulting from BI can lead to cost reduction.

  • Customer Satisfaction: BI contributes to improving the customer experience by promptly responding to market needs.

Phases of Business Intelligence

A Business Intelligence activity, to achieve its predetermined objectives, must proceed step by step through a series of data analysis phases, summarized in three essential steps:

1️⃣ Collection: Extracting a large amount of data from various sources, ranging from ERP systems to social media and e-commerce.
2️⃣ Cleaning and Integration: Essential for ensuring that the company has only relevant data in line with its needs by removing errors, duplicates, or irrelevant information.
3️⃣ Analysis: Analyzing data to extract useful information, including trend identification, statistical analysis, and forecasting, depending on the perspective and tools used.

Business Intelligence in the Supply Chain 4.0

In perspective, Business Intelligence is becoming a cornerstone of Supply Chain 4.0, a model that involves deep integration between digital technologies and production and distribution processes. This includes:

  • Automation and Robotics: BI provides valuable input for managing automated and robotic systems, contributing to the efficiency of the entire supply chain.

  • Environmental Sustainability: With BI assistance, companies can monitor the environmental impact of their operations and adopt more sustainable practices.

  • Offer Customization: Data analysis allows a better understanding of customer needs, facilitating the creation of personalized products and services.

It's important to note that needs vary based on the nature and size of the company and the complexity of its supply chain. Therefore, approaches and tools must align with the specific business requirements. Common tools include interactive dashboards, predictive analysis software, performance management systems, and data warehousing solutions. Compass10 - MES is the Business Intelligence module developed by Plannet, allowing the creation of customized dashboards to monitor and analyze all performance indicators and production process data. Through data collection, integration, and facility monitoring, Compass10 supports the gathering of useful information to achieve planned results.


➡️ Discover the benefits of Plannet's Compass10 software.

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