The Role of Business Intelligence (BI) in Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is notoriously complicated. Managing the range of connections alone can be daunting. With the myriad aspects of the supply chain, machine operation, and logistics involved, it is critical to make meaningful data connections between each process to stay profitable.

This is where business intelligence (BI) comes into play, helping manufacturing companies bridge the gap between systems and supporting a data-driven approach to decision-making in the process.

Why BI is critical to business growth

As manufacturing processes become more nuanced, profitability has decreased significantly. Increased government regulations compound the issue, slowing down operations and increasing the potential for costly delays.

Making informed business decisions is more critical than ever. Having the right data at your disposal is the key. After all, if you are looking at yesterday’s news, you’re already behind the eight-ball. Timeliness, accuracy, and quality are the hallmarks of today’s BI.

What can Business Intelligence do for your manufacturing operation?

Having access to real-time business intelligence has many benefits in the manufacturing industry:

It improves operational efficiency

Today’s organizations generate enormous volumes of data, but not all of this data is useful. Today’s BI solutions take all your data, translating it into a form that is immediately understandable and actionable. It allows you to reduce or correct errors on the fly. Moreover, it enables you to project the demand for raw materials and analyze processes throughout the supply chain to assure optimized efficiency.

It provides insight and oversight of financial processes

BI tools provide you with insight into sales, profit and loss, raw materials usage, and can generally help you optimize resources to improve your ROI. Knowing your cost-benefits helps you manage production costs, monitor processes, and enables you to better manage the value chain.

It helps you manage your supply chain

Since you likely work with multiple carriers, the complexity of managing these processes can be a challenge. BI provides insight into deliveries, freight expenditures, and general supply, allowing more precise control over shipments, costs, and carrier performance.

It helps reduce inventory costs and errors

Overstocks and out-of-stocks are among the most significant challenges to profitability. BI can help you track inventory across time and location while highlighting problems like product defects, inventory turnover, and margins based on individual distributors.

How IoT powers BI

With wide adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in manufacturing, the data you need to drive BI is already there.

What BI does is to take this data and process it into insights you can then act on. Issues and activities that would, in the past, not have been accessible as it was happening are now available for you to leverage to its greatest advantage. Whether that means ramping up production to meet a surge in demand or taking advantage of dropping prices on raw materials, the time to act is shortened, giving you a significant business advantage.

Based on the data delivered, some processes can be automated, allowing you to direct your time and attention to other tasks.

In conclusion, an IoT infrastructure adds value to your manufacturing operations, delivering vital intelligence that supports end-to-end improvements in process and profitability. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, reach out today.

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Jim Donaldson

Jim is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at Mojix, Inc., a leading provider of ITEM LEVEL intelligence solutions to the retail and industrial markets. Jim has more than 30 years experience working for both start-up and public technology companies.

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