The cost of supply chain disruptions and inefficiencies have long plagued manufacturers and distributors alike. In the past, disruptions and inefficiencies were mainly the result of limited data and visibility. As data, Transportation Management Solutions (TMS), Warehouse Management Solutions (WMS), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems have proliferated, the problem has become more an issue of managing data and making sense of it, i.e. turning reams of information into actionable Business Intelligence (BI). And then, determining how best to use the power of BI technologies to support an efficient supply chain.
At WithoutWire, we work with Microsoft Power BI to help our clients gain the visibility and intelligence they need to avoid disruptions and inefficiencies in their supply chains. Power BI dashboards are highly customizable and serve these purposes well.
We understand that some of their goals include:
- Granular visibility into their inventory aging and recall exposure
- Identification of negative trends in staff resource utilization and performance in manufacturing
- Early identification of manufacturing work cell depletion of raw materials to enable fast replenishment
- “What-if” analyses of the service and cost trade-offs of different inventory optimization techniques
- Resource planning for upcoming manufacturing and other inventory operations
As we review even this small list of goals for effectively managing supply chains, a pattern emerges that allows us to group goals into three high-level categories:
When it comes to their supply chains, manufacturers and distributors are looking for reports that display the critical factors and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help them evaluate their suppliers and carriers. They want visibility into metrics on-time delivery, acceptance rates, and capacity commitments.
The overarching goal is to obtain a factual foundation for productive discussions with supply chain partners.
Power BI dashboards can be used by managers and executives who simply want a high-level overview of their supply chain network, or by end users who need to drill down into the nitty-gritty. The beauty of Power BI dashboards is that they can be easily created using drag-and-drop functionality. And, they automatically refresh every 15 minutes.
To better visualize current data points as well as trends, metrics can be displayed in pie charts, bar charts, or graphs, which makes the dashboards more intuitive to individual users. Controls allow dashboard content to be displayed only to users with specified permissions.
Benchmarking reveals patterns and comparative information found in historical data that can then be used for predictive analyses of future supply chain network risks and opportunities. These translate into real-time, data-driven decision-making capabilities.
Benchmarking data can provide both internal comparisons as well as comparisons to others in the industry. The ultimate goal is to create a responsive supply chain for smooth, uninterrupted operations.
For manufacturers and distributors, maintaining a healthy, nimble supply chain is not always an easy task. However, there are tools today that were not available even a couple of years ago. And these tools provide new opportunities for far greater control over your own destiny.
You may also be interested in looking at WithoutWire’s warehouse and staff dashboards
, which are included in your WithoutWire subscription.
Visit us at www.WithoutWire.com
. And contact us for more information at 612.343.0404.