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Creating and Executing an Inventory Plan

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InventoryInventory is one of the largest assets on the balance sheet of most manufacturing and distribution companies ― understandably making it a favorite cost reduction target by financial executives. My perception is that too often the effort is placed on reducing inventory levels without a good, manageable plan. View Article…

5 Steps To Bringing Operational Analytics Online

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Operational Analytics-BThere is an increasing emphasis on leveraging operational analytics throughout the enterprise, but some businesses can end up less than happy with this strategic investment if they don’t approach it properly. Supply chain professionals can easily avoid some common errors as they implement the business intelligence (BI) solutions that provide those analytics.

Whether it is an entire suite of analytic applications, an inventory management solution or customer relationship management (CRM) analytics, here are five steps that every enterprise should take as it brings new operational analytics solutions online: View Article…

Setting Sail With Sales & Operations Planning – Part 2

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SetSailIn Part 1 of “Setting Sail with Sales & Operations Planning” I discussed the wide variety of reasons companies move toward a more formalized S&OP process, the inputs required to sustain the plan, and the supporting technologies to make it all work. This second post will discuss the metrics that can be used to target different types of improvements in the enterprise and finally some of the headwinds to realizing the value from a technology-driven S&OP process. View Article…

Setting Sail With Sales & Operations Planning – Part 1

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SetSailA number of business challenges are driving more and more companies to formally embrace Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). While the benefits are usually obvious, the challenges of implementing a formalized S&OP process are sometimes hidden and can be enough to sabotage a project if discovered after the process has begun.

In this two-part series, we will look at the various elements of the S&OP process and the considerations that should be taken into account while designing the process. This post will review the front end of the process and what drives it, along with the technologies needed to support and sustain the S&OP process. View Article…

Flash Reporting: Tips For Monitoring Your Business Daily

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Flast ReportCompanies use flash reports to see how the business is doing on a daily basis and to communicate key performance indicators (KPI’s) and progress against business objectives on a recurring basis to all levels of the business. The reports are intended to fill the gaps between more detailed monthly or quarterly business reports and provide management with a sense of how the business is performing and what the period-end may look like so corrective action can be taken beforehand if needed. View Article…

Using Analytics to “Trade Up” on Promotional Programs

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Trade-Spend1Marketing professionals are finding more and more creative ways to use trade funds and promotions to increase product turnover and overall sales. However, no matter how creative the promotion, when the program is complete, marketers often aren’t able to accurately analyze how promotional funds were spent and whether those investments generated a return. That makes it nearly impossible to determine whether trade funds and promotions are effective.

Having intelligence to support and validate trade fund and promotional decisions is essential to sustaining the success of any marketing program. View Article…

Determining the ROI of Forecasting Systems

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ROI2Estimating the Return-On-Investment (ROI) for a new demand forecasting system can be difficult and requires an appreciation of the downstream impacts of more accurate forecasts.

An improved forecasting and planning system involves new software and highly specific consulting services to produce the desired results. Depending upon the level of sophistication, projects can range from $40K to $80K for software and consulting services. View Article…

How Sales Analytics Can Drive Productivity

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Make things happen motivational reminder - handwriting on a green sticky noteThe volume and complexity of sales information that resides in CRM, ERP and other business systems is increasing with greater velocity to become one of the most valuable productivity assets of an organization. The challenge is turning that data into actionable intelligence. View Article…

Forecasting Information Hub Drives Supply Chain Efficiency

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Forecasting3From a manufacturer’s perspective, the effectiveness of relationships with suppliers usually nets out to be a function of price, availability and dependability (quality times on-time delivery). From a supplier’s perspective, the effectiveness of relationships with manufacturers comes down to profit, volume and consistency (order patterns).

More and more, information plays a key role in optimizing these elements not only for the manufacturer, but for the supplier as well. View Article…

Good Data Visualization Makes for Better Business Decisions

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Data Visualization2In a recent study of more than 400 IT organizations using Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions, 26% of large companies have implemented dashboards and scorecards over the last several years, with another 13% implementing them currently underway. Mid-size companies are following suit, with 15% currently implementing dashboards and scorecards, and another 34% of mid-sized companies in the process of evaluating them.

The ability to visualize data is a critical concern for many of those looking to invest in business intelligence software. View Article…