Sales-i's top business intelligence tips for manufacturers. Expert insights on business intelligence specially focused on the manufacturing industry. For more information and to read our other ebooks visit http://www.sales-i.com
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introduction whatis Guideproducedby sales-i business intelligence? 50% of businesses struggle to extract value from data 37% have or are planning to implement Business Intelligence in 2014 BusinessIntelligenceautomatesthetaskofanalyzing data,providingabetterunderstandingofcompany performance, championing a proactive sales technique, offering a holistic customer view for theentirebusiness and streamliningthesales and marketing process. Thepressureonthemanufacturingindustry is astronomical.Withtheincreaseinglobalization,aflaggingeconomyandademandingcustomer, manufacturersofallsizesarefindingthemselvessomewhatstuck.Thereis theoddpeakhereandthere,whentheindustryisontheup,onlytohave dreamsdashedandmanufacturerssoon findthemselvesbackwherethey started. Manufacturersthatwehavespokentoareoftenlookingtopointthefinger atsomeone(orsomething)thathascausedthisslumpintheindustry.Many blameglobalization,othersthelowcostalternativessomecountriesare churning out while some are looking closer to home and blaming the misuseof the heaps of data trapped insidetheirbusiness. It’snotalackofwantingtosucceed;it’ssimplyhowbusinessgoestoday.But itisoftenthosewhothinkoutsidetheboxthatprosperintimesofstrife.That iswhereBusinessIntelligencehassteppedupandsomemanufacturersare now sprintingtowardsthelight atthe end of thetunnel.` Now,morethanever,isthetimetoleveragetechnologyanddatatoremain aheadofthecompetition.ERPsystemsalonearenolongerenoughand CRMsystemsaren’teither.Butcombinethetwoandyou’llbehalfwayto what we know today as Business Intelligence (BI). ToomanyprovidersofBIbeataroundthebush,telling youitisonething and another,withnonereally landingonaclear,concisedefinition.Eventhen90%ofthatis marketing‘fluff’whileprobablyjust10%actuallymatters. So, we have let you in on what BI means to us. BIisnotthatdifficultorquiteasreminiscentofMinority Reportasyoumayhavethought.Whileitdoesdoalot moreandthereissomeofthemostpowerfultechnology behinditall,forthemostpart,thatisallyoureallyneed to know as an end user.
canitreallyhelp whatdoes itmeanfor manufacturers? yourbusiness? Before we get down to hard ROI and the big advantages,youwillbenefitfromdayonewithsimple accesstoyourdata.AshinynewBIsystemwillbea sourceofpower for your entire business, transformingyoursalesteamintothesuperheroestheyweremadetobe. Solet’slookatjustsomeofthewaysBIcanbenefit manufacturersofanyshapeorsize. BI REMOVES HEAVY DATASILOSTHATWEIGHBUSINESSESDOWN bettersupply chainmanagementwith company-wide insight quickly identify sales trends before your competition does organizeyourempiretobettermanagegrowth As a manufacturer, you thrive on processes and data. Everything has its place, has to be double and triple checked for quality and any slip up or efficiency is recordedandnoted.Datasoonbuildsupandyou’llhave somuchof itthatyouhavenocluewhattodowith it. So whyaresomanyofuschoosingtoignoretheopportunity that data can provide? Mostmanufacturersarerollingthousandsofitemsoffthe production line every single day and as a salesperson without BI, trying to keep track of which customer has bought which products, what they haven’t bought and whattheyshouldbebuyingisakintotryingtorunuphill withanelephantonyourshoulders.Itisnevergoingtoend well. Thereisaperceptionfloatingaroundthatyouhavetobe thenextStephenHawkinginordertoanalyzeanyamount of data. In short, you don’t. Technology has moved on andthereissoftwarethatdoesitallforyou.Youinputa questionandit’llsupplytheanswers.SomeofthebestBI solutions will even preempt your questions and provide an answer before you even know what to ask. AgoodBItoolchampionstheuseofdata,saleshistory, mobile applications and producesdynamic results in seconds, presenting valuable Business Intelligence in an efficientformat that can be actioned and used. BI removestheheavydatasilosthatweighbusinessesdown and beforelongyou’ll be cashing in ontheinformation trapped within yourbusiness.
quickly identify better supplychain management salestrends BItoolsaregreatforyourentirebusiness,buttheyare particularlyusefulforthoseinasalesormarketingrole. Yoursalespeopleareprobablysome ofthebusiestinyourbusiness,followedcloselybymarketing.Bothof thesedepartmentsarepivotaltokeepingcompany revenues flowing. EVERY STEP OF THE SUPPLYCHAINMUSTBEKEPTUPDATED BIin action Any good BI tool can help a flagging marketing department to generate specific campaigns to both existing customers and fresh prospects, feeding the salesteamwith a steadystreamof warmleads. Most BI solutions feed off the information you input throughyourcurrentbackofficeoraccountingpackage (something like SAP, Sage, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and the like). Extracting sales-ready, actionable data fromsuchasystemwouldtakesometime,timethatno salesperson or marketer has to spare. BIin action Managingandtrackingeveryinteractionateachstage ofthesupplychainisdifficulttosaytheveryleastwithout BI. Say you have a customer in France. Your team in the USA is charged with supplying 10,000 units to your distributorbasedinEnglandwhowillthenworktogetthe producttothecustomerontime. Thereis littledoubtthatsupply chains arebecomingmoresophisticated,nottomentionmorecomplicated. Asamanufacturer, itislikely thatyou’llworkandinteract directlywithvendors,distributors,partners,retailersand end users all in tandem; each with varying needs and requirementsfromyouastheirmanufacturer.Theseneeds are difficult to manage and satisfy without software of somesortinplace. Whileitisnottimewasted,BIwilldoalotofthework, freeinguptimetodowhattheydobestandconcentrateon more pressing matters. With intuitive dashboards, proactive alerts to opportunities and targeted campaignlists,yoursalesandmarketingdepartments can be taken to the next level in a couple of clicks. Predictingsalestrendsandidentifyingsalesopportunities isn’teasytodomanually,butaBItoolcanrespondto yourquestionsandprovideyouwithacampaignplan thatwill actually pushyourprospects’ buttons,rather thanchurning out uselesscampaignswithlittlereturn. Forasupplychaintooperateatitsbest,informationmust besharedacrossthebusinessforacomplete360-degree viewofoperations.Fromcustomerinteractions,tosales activity and business performance, everything can be monitored withinaBItool.You’llbeabletospot areasof improvement,you’llbepromotingeffectivecollaboration andreal-timedatasharingwhileyourentirebusinesshas all the information they need right at their fingertips. Every step of the supply chain must be kept updated with expected delivery times, logistics, involved team members and customer expectations to optimize customerservice.Yourglobalsupplychainwillfallapart ifeachbusiness unitisn’tawareofwhatis occurringinneighboringbranches.
bestpractice organizeyourbusiness empire for BI Aswithanynewtechnology,BItakesabitofworkon yourpart.Beforeyoucanevenconsiderinvestingina solutionyouneedtoworkoutwhatyouwanttogetfrom it,whowillbeusingitandwhy.Ifyoudon’tknowwhyyou needitorhowyouwilluseittoyouradvantage–why areyou spendingthemoneyonit? Preparationiskey,particularlyifyou’reworkinginalarger organization and you have a lot of people to please. BI PROVIDES CLEAR-CUT INFORMATIONIN SECONDS THAT IS USEFUL AND ACTIONABLE Identify pain points Haveachampion First and foremost, you have to clearly define what problems or issues the adoption of a BI system will respondto.Addressandrefertothesepainpointswhenyou are reviewing BI tools. As a global manufacturer, you aregoingtohavetodoyourhomework,reviewingyour currentpracticesandsoftwarebeforeanyBIprojectgets offtheground. Nominatesomeoneinhousetomanagethenew solution, take ownership of deployment, manage training, handle simple questions and act as a point of contact between your users and your provider. BIin action BImakesiteasierforyoutogrowyourempireandoutsmart thecompetition.Sellingtens ofthousands ofproducts makesittoughforyourteamtoeffectivelyanalyzesales information and valuable opportunities will be passing thembyeverydaysimplybecausetheydon’thavethe hours in the day to keep things organized. Globalizationdoesn’thavetobeabadthing;infactmost manufacturershavethrivedinthisperiodofinternational businessandtrade,withnewinternationalsaleschannels andopportunities.Butyourplansforworldmanufacturing dominationwillfallflatontheirface,however,ifyou’re notorganized.It’snothingnewthatasbusinessesgrow, processeschangeandtheflowofinformationbecomes somewhat blurred. What’s more, the harvesting and storageofdata is doneinhundreds ofdifferentways. Acquisitions, mergers, buyouts and joint ventures will only add totheconfusion. Thechampionwillideallybeinapositionofworking directly withthoseusingthenew systemand will beusing it themselves. New tools of any kind can get messyveryquickly ifyou havehundredsof userstrying to master it so having a central point of contact will reallyhelpout. YouneedtoknowwhatBIisgoingtodotobenefityour business so take a moment and think about what you wantfromit.Spendtimewitheachofthedepartments across your business, from sales and customer service to marketing and finance, get under their skin and understand which of their problems BI will solve. It will makesignoffandapprovalmucheasierwiththesupport of key departments. Data, data, data AnyBIsystemisonlyasgoodasthedatathatfeeds it.Jumpinginfeetfirstwithlittleconsiderationforyour dataqualitywillseeanyBIprojectfailtomakeasplash. NoBIsystemwillfillinthegapsorcorrecterrors;itisa simplereflectionofyourdata,albeitinabetter-looking and more efficient manner. BI can quickly identify the precise products that a customer has bought, what they haven’t and more importantly,whattheyshouldbebuyingfromyou.Having instantaccesstoinformationwillmakeavastdifference and youwon’tbewastingtimesortingthroughorder forms and sales invoices to spot your next sale. But the best thing about Business Intelligence is that it feeds on ERP software, CRM systems and even ancient spreadsheetstoprovideclear-cutinformationinseconds thatis useful and actionable.Acentral information‘hub’ will provide simple data access and encourage collaboration across branches and even borders. Thebiggestandmostexpensiveriskyoucantakewhen deploying any new piece of technology is not having clearly defined goals from the outset.
Research shows that an average salesperson costs companies$500perdaytoemploy.For$504(assales-i costs $4 per user per day) sales-i provides a profitablefocus for sales activities so that time is not wasted. Gerry Brown, Senior Analyst Giveusatry,just20minutescouldchangethe wayyousell. Contact us fora free,onlinedemonstration and judge our software for yourself. find out more e: firstname.lastname@example.org North America 1840 Oak Avenue, Suite 100, Evanston, IL 60201 t: 877-646-8277 UK Prologis House, 1 Monkspath Hall Road, Solihull, B90 4FY t: 0845 508 7355 www.sales-i.com