Transform Manufacturing with Business Intelligence

BI Manufacturing

BI for Manufacturing 

Data forms the backbone of modern enterprises. That’s especially the case for manufacturers. Manufacturing is a data-intensive business that involves metrics for production, delivery, customers and more. But for today’s industries, the issue isn’t whether they’re generating enough data; it’s whether they’re getting any value from that data.  

That’s where business intelligence (BI) comes in. Manufacturers often don’t know what to do with the data in their ERP, CRM and other software applications. They need BI to interpret data through reports, forecasting, analysis and data mining.  

Not sure where BI fits into your manufacturing processes? Let’s look at how BI can transform your data into actionable insights.  

Machine Monitoring 

One study found that 79 percent of manufacturers regarded predictive and prescriptive machine maintenance as the most important application of BI and data analytics. IoT sensors and BI tools can measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), alert users of dips in machine performance and recommend maintenance. Users see this information in real time on their software dashboards, so they can respond in no time.  

This helps manufacturers avoid detrimental downtime. With insight into equipment performance, users can proactively schedule maintenance or reroute production before experiencing any issues. Real-time machine monitoring can cut costs in maintenance while protecting your business from errors and delays.  

Supply Chain Optimization 

There’s more to your supply chain than production machinery. In fact, for today’s manufacturers, supply chains are more complex than ever. Without sophisticated business intelligence, you can’t expect to effectively track and analyze your manufacturing performance. BI organizes data from across your supply chain to provide granular insight into your operations.  

For example, manufacturers can use BI to attack waste. An in-depth inventory analysis will reveal whether you’re overstocking items. BI can also leverage historical data to identify buying trends and accurately forecast demand to help you improve your inventory strategy. Additionally, BI exposes supply chain inefficiencies. Reports reveal a variety of factors, like which product and work orders are most often overdue or causes of delivery delays. This insight allows users to drill down into their supply chain performance and improve processes.  

Decision Making 

Ultimately, business intelligence exists to fuel data-driven decision making. BI makes sense of all the raw data generated from across your enterprise by organizing it into readable reports and dashboards. With a variety of valuable KPIs, metrics and more information at your fingertips, you can act on new opportunities, respond to issues and make informed decisions quickly.  

These capabilities prove especially critical when it comes to improving customer experiences. Powerful insights enable users to detect problem areas in customer relationships. For example, rather than manage Return Material Authorizations (RMAs) through cumbersome spreadsheets, you can utilize your BI tools to analyze RMAs and figure out why customers are returning their purchases. Additionally, your BI solution can comb through order histories, production scheduling and delivery schedules to analyze your order performance, so you can ensure that the right orders are getting to your customers on time. By maximizing the value of your data, BI drives smarter strategies and decision making.  

What are Your BI Options? 

For Epicor users, you have a few strong options for incorporating BI into your manufacturing operations: 

  • Epicor Data Discovery: EDD is a sophisticated data visualization tool that offers real-time production data. Users can easily drill drown into short-term, up-to-the-second enterprise data. BI insights are made easily available on your Epicor 10.2 Active Home Page and dashboards through EDD.  
  • Epicor Data Analytics: Unlike EDD, EDA provides longer-term data exploration with pre-built content packs run in a data warehouse. EDA consists of customizable dashboards that provide full visibility into multiple areas of your organization. Fully integrated with Epicor ERP, this BI tool allows you to drill down into data with the click of a button.  
  • Jet Analytics: Both of Epicor’s BI solutions have earned acclaim, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone. Those who need to consolidate data from multiple sources or have grown used to other reporting tools would earn greater value from Jet Analytics. Jet Analytics allows you to use Excel or Microsoft Power BI to report against even the largest Epicor databases. By creating a complete data warehouse and offering easy-to-use reporting tools, Jet Analytics gives users real-time insights without hassle.  

Wrap Up 

To make it in an increasingly competitive marketplace, manufacturers must work smarter and faster than ever. BI technology generates a wealth of insights, so you never lose sight of your operations. At Datix, our ERP consultants can help you make the most of your enterprise data. We’re an Epicor Gold Partner specializing in solutions for manufacturers and distributors. With our Jet Analytics solution, we capture end-to-end insights in a single, user-friendly data warehouse and reporting tool. 

Don’t let your data go to waste. Get in touch with one of our software experts today to learn how BI can transform your manufacturing performance!  


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