Top Business Intelligence Tools

Top Business Intelligence Tools for the Supply Chain

For supply chains, business intelligence tools have the power to turn the mass amounts of data that’s either floating aimlessly uncollected or being collected and unused into answers. These answers have the power to help decision makers drive efficiencies and add value. Which supply chain BI tools are the best? Read on to find out.

Transportation Management Solutions
Transportation management systems are one of the most popular BI tools companies who ship freight are using, and they may be integrated into a larger ERP system. Also known as TMS, these systems can potentially help with all aspects of transportation, including:

  • Freight tracking
  • Invoice and bill of lading generation
  • Planning
  • Flexing with outside influences like weather and traffic issues
  • Hazmat compliance

Whether freight is ingoing and outgoing, a TMS can help with decision making in every area of transportation, and the user-friendly dashboards can put data front-and-center in an easy-to-read format.

Warehouse Management System
Like a TMS, a warehouse management system (WMS) may be a stand-alone program or it may be integrated into a more comprehensive ERP system. These software solutions may help track any number of warehouse operations including receiving, order filling, and shipping functions. Other functions incorporated into a WMS may be:

  • Yard management
  • Labor management/productivity reporting
  • RFID/AIDC barcode scanning
  • Put-away
  • Warehouse design

Some warehouse management systems may have integrated programs that take data from across the warehouse, combine it with past data and/or outside market information to help companies effectively plan for the future. Procurement is another function sometimes incorporated into warehouse management software.

Inventory Management
Most warehouse management systems have some form of inventory tracking and management built in, or other inventory management systems are incorporated into these systems. Inventory management systems may include barcode scanning software to scan items in and out of the inventory on hand.

Supply Chain Execution Systems
The terms supply chain execution system and enterprise resource planning system can sometimes be used interchangeably. They’re the same in that several other types of supply chain software are often incorporated under their umbrella. These systems help combine data collected from across the supply chain and disseminate it to wherever it’s needed, providing analyzation and a clearer view across the supply chain.

Integrating Business Intelligence Tools
Sometimes, getting your systems of choice to work together can be a complicated ordeal, especially where data-rich business intelligence tools are involved. If you need help choosing, implementing, integrating, or using your supply chain systems, Blue Grace may have answers. Contact us here for a consultation.

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Independent research shows that improved supply chain management can yield:

  • 25 – 50% reduction in total supply chain costs
  • 25 – 60% reduction in inventory holding
  • 25 – 80% increase in forecast accuracy
  • 30 – 50% improvement in order-fulfillment cycle time
  • 20% increase in after-tax free cash flows
  • Supply Chain Mapping

  • Review Market Conditions

  • Determine Operational Inefficiencies

  • Outline Opportunities

  • Implement Changes

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