Data and analytics solutions support growth and efficiency for the supply chain


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Data and analytics solutions support growth and efficiency for the supply chain.

Information Builders, the business intelligence (BI), analytics solutions provider, and data management solutions, attended the SCOPE Supply Chain Conference held 18-20, March 2018, in Chicago to highlight the ways it has helped customers like Lipari Foods effectively and efficiently manage the complex, modern supply chain.

Using Information Builders' solutions to enhance enterprise data and empower supply chain stakeholders, customers from across industries are increasing throughput and ensuring on-time delivery of goods, while also reducing costs, fulfilment times, and cash-to-cash cycles.

An organisation's ability to effectively manage its supply chain can have ripple effects that impact its growth, market share, and profitability. As the supply chain has become more complex and difficult to monitor, the need for effective management has become critical. Simultaneously, it has become rich with data that empowers stakeholders with the insights needed to mitigate risks and minimise disruptions, uncover and reduce inefficiencies, and anticipate changing customer demands.

Information Builders' WebFOCUS BI and analytics platform brings transparency to the supply chain by providing access to real-time, comprehensive insights across the network. This allows organisations to quickly and efficiently assess plant, warehouse, and distribution centre activity, measure performance against key metrics, and anticipate factors that impact performance. However, this comprehensive view is only possible when the underlying data in an organisation's myriad supply chain application is integrated and governed. By bringing together vital information from both internal and external sources, such as those maintained by suppliers and other third parties, businesses can begin to break down supply chain silos, seamlessly automate order processing and other activities, and eliminate the costs associated with bad data.

WebFOCUS supply chain analytics in action

Operating in the highly competitive food industry, Information Builders' customer, Lipari, had a wealth of data within its systems that needed to be constantly monitored to remain efficient. Prior to deploying WebFOCUS, the regional wholesale food distributor leaned on individual reports generated by IT to address specific business needs, and multiple reports were often required for decision-making. Lipari recognised the immense opportunities to increase its supply chain efficiencies from the warehouse to the customer, and implemented a self-service reporting tool.

Using WebFOCUS' self-service capabilities, vital information is now instantly available around product transportation, inventory, warehouse activities, and customer needs. Additionally, exception-based reports are automatically distributed when activities fall outside of typical parameters, helping Lipari to spot potential errors in orders and shipments, for instance, and address them quickly. As a result of insights from the transparent information environment, Lipari Foods has identified new ways to leverage data and streamline its business. For example, the company used the insights to optimise one of its warehouses and eliminate the need for costly expansions.

Michael C. Hegarty, director ERP|CRM Corporate Strategy, Lipari Foods, LLC, said: "We had defined our supply chain through 2017 to include Lipari, our suppliers, and our customers. Now in 2018, we have included the consumers' choices as part of the supply chain. The point at which a consumer chooses where to buy the item now affects the global supply chain."

Joe Beydoun, director, SCM/Business Intelligence, Lipari Foods, LLC, said: "Supply chain data has evolved to more than just transactional data from an ERP or WMS System. Today in 2018, we have various data sources that we capture, collect, and react in a near real-time state."

Michael Corcoran, chief marketing officer, Information Builders, said: "The modern supply chain is complex, yet critical. Information Builders proudly partners with customers across industries to tackle these complexities and deliver supply chain transparency that brings to light valuable information across their network. It's rewarding to hear from customers that they can grow their business and thwart many of the most common industry challenges using our solutions, and we look forward to helping many more do just that with the hidden data in their supply chain."

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