Manufacturing is an industry that holds a uniquely large amount of business data and it is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to sort through that data and make insightful business decisions at a moment’s notice. That is why Business Intelligence (BI) is quickly becoming a necessity of doing business for manufacturers.
According to a 2012 Forrester Research cross-industry study, 60% of manufacturers consider BI to be critical to their businesses and 31% of the manufacturers polled had immediate plans to increase their use of BI. If you are a manufacturer in this group, you may already have powerful BI tools in your possession that you can use to make an immediate difference in your business. The great thing about these BI tools is that they don’t need to be integrated with your data source, because they are part of it, in your ERP solution.
Mid-sized manufacturers can take advantage of advanced Business Intelligence functionality in:
Microsoft Dynamics GP – If you are using the Manufacturing Suite or any of the manufacturing modules within Microsoft Dynamics GP, then you can also take advantage of any of Business Intelligence and Reporting capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics GP comes with over 220 customizable reports built-in. If you need more, SmartList Builder enables you to create personalized SmartLists or Excel Reports. Additionally, the Business Analyzer tool gives you powerful, role-specific insight from virtually any location with the ability to assign tasks and collaborate with others. Enterprise Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics GP helps you gain tighter control of consolidations, financial reporting, and budgeting across your enterprise. Microsoft Forecaster helps you create accurate budgets and gain control of the entire budgeting and planning process.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV – The manufacturing granules in Microsoft Dynamics NAV are focused on helping you analyze your manufacturing data and make business decisions, including forecasting demand and planning your supply. Business Analytics lets you analyze data from different application areas within Microsoft Dynamics NAV and view data measures of your choice across dimensional models or within Excel. These tools are easily customizable so that you can help your people make fast, informed decisions and reduce ad-hoc requests to your IT department.
Sage 500 ERP – Combine the comprehensive Manufacturing Management capabilities of Sage 500 ERP with its extensive Business Intelligence and reporting functionality to get instant visibility across your business. Sage 500 ERP offers you the freedom to choose the reporting tools that work best for your business and then turns those reports into actionable data that is accessible to business decision makers through the Business Insights Explorer, Analyzer, and Dashboards. Combine that with Alerts and planning tools and you have a complete BI solution for your manufacturing organization.
If your BI needs extend beyond your ERP solution’s capabilities, there are additional BI specific tools, like PerformancePoint for Microsoft SharePoint, that can integrate with your manufacturing data.
If you are part of the manufacturing majority that is looking to improve your business intelligence because you recognize the necessity of having real-time insight, Socius can help you identify if the BI functionality available in your ERP solution will serve your needs or if an additional BI solution is necessary.