Manufacturing Companies Struggle with Operational Business Intelligence Programs

Issues include data timeliness, transparency and availability.

In a recent survey over 90% of the companies participating reported challenges with implementing a successful Operational Business Intelligence (BI) program, according to Archstone Consulting. "The changing business environment for manufacturing companies toward increased use and dependency on extended and diffuse partner networks has created new operational complexities that have put a strain on traditional management practices," commented John Ferreira, industrial manufacturing practice leader at Archstone Consulting.

"As outsourcing and off-shoring continue to extend the supply chain network, the need for manufacturers to implement successful operational business intelligence programs is crucial to the health of their organizations," Ferreira added.

While the survey found that 80% of respondents have implemented Operational BI programs, the study also discovered several key challenges companies face when implementing successful Operational BI programs including:

  • Lack of data timeliness, transparency and availability (92%)
  • Insufficient actionable data (85%)
  • Enterprise applications "silo'ed" (77%)
  • Shortage of effective governance/maintenance (69%)
  • Lack of analytic skill sets (62%)

For companies successfully implementing Operational BI programs, the benefits can be significant. Some of the advantages reported by respondents include; reduced cost of goods sold, improved customer service levels, improved cash management and improved overall sales.


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