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Supply chain business intelligence helps optimize the systems in place

Supply chain business intelligence (SCBI) is essential to optimize business performance by using the available raw data within the company and converting it into useful information.

Procurement managers use business intelligence to identify ways to bring down spend and increase visibility of their supply chain operations.  It creates a possibility to improve supply chain delivery performance and reduce exposure to risk and avoid supply chain disruptions.

There are business intelligence tools which procurement professionals can use to perform a scenario analysis of their supply chain. For instance, there could be challenges in terms of transportation and timeliness. A scenario analysis helps to identify the best possible outcomes to handle crisis situations. Based on transit modes and distance, these intelligence tools help to calculate freight costs and choose a transportation network that meets the delivery requirements at an optimum cost.

Feed data to fuel decisions

Assessing the supply chain requires a combination of data points which is difficult to synthesize. Supply chain data and information is usually found scattered among multiple systems in multiple formats. Therefore making use of business intelligence tools or engaging supply chain intelligence service providers will resolve these complex data issues.

Procurement teams should focus on creating a supply chain-wide visibility that enables near-term and longer-term decision making.  While there may be a long trail of data, for key decision-making scenarios, only a small part of it might be used to support supply chain decisions.  Key problem areas in terms of processes could be identified. Over time, the scope of the information can be widened to support larger supply chain business process decisions.

Why the buzz for business intelligence?

The goal of procurement managers is to improve their operations and drive profitability. By investing in business Intelligence, they can receive the necessary inputs with an in-depth analysis of their operations and the entire chain of suppliers. SCBI enables tracking supplier performance against service level agreements to gain on negotiations, offer result-based contract rate and identify opportunities.

Another crucial aspect of business intelligence is the detailed reporting that goes in to analyze logistical areas such as routes, carriers and loads to understand costs involved. These reports can be made based on a standard model or be interactive. They can be accessed by managers anytime online and track the progress of their operations.

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