Latest Posts

Using Business Intelligence Software to Improve Inventory Levels

Published by

inventory balanceA significant cost to many manufacturing and distribution organizations is the inventory they have to carry in order to support customers and sales. This inventory can easily represent 40-50% of a company’s capital investments. Right-sizing inventory gives companies the ability to increase their “return on inventory investment” without compromising service levels. After all, cutting corners that impact your customers, such as cutting inventory to cut costs which leads to shipment delays, causes more problems for the company in the long run. View Article…

The Successful BI Project – Start Small … Think BIG

Published by

BigSmallEmbarking on a Business Intelligence project can be intimidating. 

For many organizations, it’s new territory – a major step beyond simple reporting.  A BI project shares many of the same characteristics as more traditional I.T. projects.  However, there are aspects of the BI project that can be leveraged to help make the process and deployment a success.

View Article…

Stratum.Server: DALOAD & GISLSDRV

Published by

Stratum Under CoversIn my previous posts, I covered the four main components of Stratum.  Now, it’s time to get a little more in-depth about each of them!

In this post, we’ll cover the Stratum.Server DALOAD process for IBMi and the equivalent GISLSDRV process for Windows.  View Article…

Mining the Manufacturer’s CRM

Published by

Mining the Manufacturer’s CRMMany companies, but particularly manufacturers, are removed from their end-users because they sell through multiple third-party distributors and retailers. The complicated nature of their supply chain keeps them from directly interacting with their actual customers, making it harder to understand exactly what their customers want and need, as well as how they act. For these companies, customer relationship analysis can look at various data feeds and provide a valuable picture of customer trends that the manufacturer might have otherwise missed. View Article…

Rationalizing Supplier Relationships

Published by

VendorAnalysisOrganizations today are spending as much as 60 percent of their revenue acquiring the goods and services needed to support their business. Such large procurement budgets and a reliance on numerous suppliers and hundreds to thousands of products can make business goals increasingly complex.

Ultimately, procurement executives may be charged with reducing the organization’s overall spend while simultaneously increasing the bottom line. To get there, purchasing professionals need a high-level strategic sourcing plan that lets them minimize supplier risk, create and maintain effective supplier relationships, monitor the quality of materials received from suppliers, and leverage supplier information to negotiate better contracts. View Article…

Importance of the Right Data in the Demand Planning Process

Published by

ForecastingThe operational side on the intelligent enterprise is driven by Sales and Operations planning and in turn S&OP is driven by an accurate demand forecast.  While this is simply stated, it can be very challenging to consistently produce good forecasting results.  At the core of the challenge lies an important first step of harnessing the right data.  Many forecasting and planning projects are abandoned or considered failures due in part to data issues.  The right data input to the forecasting and planning process has several important dimensions that must be considered. View Article…

Comparing Performance to Plan with a BI Solution: It Should be Simple…

Published by

Compare Sales to PlanTo plan or not to plan … this is not the question for this entry, although it is an interesting topic.  In this post, I’d like to suggest a simple way to save time by taking further advantage of your business intelligence system to see just how close you are to the plan you established for this year’s performance.

When we talk to our customers about Flexible Information Delivery or FID (see my earlier posts), part of that concept is “what is it that we are trying to deliver?”  Generally, we are trying to deliver either a comparative view, a trended view or a graphic view of information.  There are many variations and combinations of these view types but they tend to be variations on a theme.

Then it’s what type of information are we delivering? Of course the answer to that question can be many and varied — just look at all the different types of information that can be collected and viewed in a solution like Silvon Stratum.  But, one of the most common comparisons that we see is “sales to plan.”

View Article…

Increasing Customer Value with CRM Analytics

Published by

CRM AnalyticsToday, the availability of econometric, demographic, lifestyle and psychographic data, business intelligence systems, the internet, and other customer access techniques are helping marketing and senior management make customer care a reality rather than just a vision. Companies no longer want to treat their customer base as a homogeneous collection of revenue-generating units; they want to – or rather, must – get up close and personal with each of them individually.

CRM takes a holistic view of the customer by trying to understand the total value of each customer over their entire life rather than on a transaction-by-transaction basis.  This allows businesses to serve the customer better and maximize profitability through increased loyalty.  View Article…

How Manufacturers Can Be More Efficient with Business Intelligence

Published by

Mfg-Efficiency-BlogManufacturers today are facing more complex business challenges than ever before. In order to stay competitive in a global marketplace manufacturers are under pressure to produce higher quality goods at faster response times and with lower costs. Mass customization, outsourcing, and leaner margins are also increasing competitive pressures. Labor and machine resources often continue to be underutilized, making it harder for manufacturers to keep pace with demand, and many businesses still have limited insight to the production costs they actually incur.

Without a 360-degree view of their business and the ability to pinpoint bottlenecks and pain points, manufacturers cannot be as efficient as they need to be to keep up in today’s marketplace.

On any given day production managers, shift supervisors and business managers are faced with numerous questions relating to manufacturing processes that ultimately impact their efficiency and their bottom line. For instance, View Article…

Understanding Stratum.Viewer

Published by

Stratum Under CoversThis is the fourth and last in a series of blog entries where I have been discussing the four main integrated components of Stratum. I have covered Stratum.ServerStratum.Planner and Stratum.Connector. Today I will discuss Stratum.Viewer.

Stratum.Viewer is an HTML web client that serves end users wishing to access and analyze the data stored in the Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cube generated by Stratum.Connector.  Stratum.Viewer is installed on a Windows server and as part of the installation process we create a Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) website that utilizes Windows Authentication to secure access to Viewer.

View Article…