Unpacking Business Intelligence Benefits for Supply Chains

Constant access to data empowers the day-to-day operations of every supply chain, keeping everything running on track. But many logistics managers are struggling with information overload and may be at a loss as to how to make proper use of the sea of numbers at their disposal. Through the use of business intelligence tools this data can become gold mine to delve into for strategic business insights.

What is Business Intelligence?

Consultant Howard Dresner is credited with coining this term in 1989 to describe the use of data analytics techniques to assist companies with key business decisions. Today business intelligence (BI) has become a must-have for transport and logistics companies desiring to make the most of the data they have at their disposal. BI is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of tools, applications and processes that collect data from various sources and prepare it for analysis. Reports, dashboards and data visuals can be used to make the information accessible and areas to be addressed can be easily identified.

3 Categories of Business Intelligence Tools

  1. ReportingToday’s BI reports are versatile and extremely detailed, displaying information in a much more usable format. For example, factors such as delivery times and whether capacity commitments are met can be quickly and easily assessed to determine the overall performance of transport carriers. This information can be used in productive discussions with supply chain partners.
  2. DashboardsThis vital component of BI software provides users with a visual interface to view key performance indicators and statistics at a glance and in near real time.  The information displayed on the dashboard can be customized to the specific needs of the user and it is constantly updated, giving managers the ability to react to problems as they occur.
  3.  BenchmarkingThe ability to perform data comparisons based on customisable factors gives a more complete picture of company performance. Many supply chain providers are using BI tools to discover patterns and trends to assess future risks and opportunities.

Benefits of BI

Business Intelligence software gives companies the much-needed insights to pinpoint and correct even the smallest inefficiencies. BI tools unlock the ability to make effective decisions and improve business processes, which will ultimately result in gaining the competitive edge.


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