This is so far the best article that I have been reading about the Big Data. It is what I have been advocating to people.
1. They talk about “bigness” and “data,” rather than “new questions”
… It seems most of the tech industry is completely drunk on “Big Data.”
… most companies are spending vast amounts of money on more hardware and software yet they are getting little, if any, positive business value.
… “Big Data” is a terrible name for the revolution going on all around us. It’s not about Bigness, and it’s not about the Data. Rather, it’s about “new questions,” being facilitated by ubiquitous access to massive amounts of data.
… If all you’re doing is asking the same old questions of bigger amounts of the same old data, you’re not doing “Big Data,” you’re doing “Big Business Intelligence,” which is itself becoming an oxymoron.
We are entering an era where it is becoming possible to detect supply chain risks much more quickly. A case in point is offered by AGCO. AGCO AGCO +1.96% is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of a wide range of agricultural equipment. In a discussion with AGCO’s Jan Theissen, Director of Strategy and Methods, and Jake Stone, Manager of Supply Chain Risk and Contract Management, I learned about this public, Atlanta headquartered corporation’s journey to improve their sourcing and supply base risk management capabilities.
AGCO’s products are marketed under a number of well-known brands, including Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra. The manufacture and assembly of their products occurs at 34 locations worldwide and historically each of these brands was managed as a separate supply chain. Further, because the company had grown by acquisition, these different supply chains used more than 10 different enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for direct sourcing.
Beginning in 2012, Mr. Theissen, a newly appointed procurement leader, led a transformation of the sourcing organization. AGCO moved from a fragmented and decentralized procurement to a centralized commodity management structure in order to better leverage buying synergies and increase the overall maturity level of this organization. Implementation of standardized roles and responsibilities, and global policies and procedures, were supported by an extensive change management program. The company formed a School of Purchasing to further develop the capabilities of the organization.
The risks associated with sourcing became part of each category manager’s job; these managers became responsible for supplier risk management, not just savings. Mr. Stone was brought into establish new, systems, processes and capabilities to manage procurement risk. One thing Mr. Stone put in place was a clear communication and escalation process to deal with risks once detected.
King Trade Capital announced it has established a $1 million supply chain finance solution for a Texas based startup. KTC was contacted by a nationwide factor to help accelerate the startups sales growth in the apparel industry. The owners of the startup have extensive relationships with small to mid-size retailers and years of experience sourcing goods from overseas factories. Through their relationships in the apparel industry they were able to secure annual production programs to manufacture branded goods on behalf of several men’s and women’s brands.
Due to the fact the client was a newly established entity with no financial or operating history, they were unable to obtain funding through traditional financing sources. The client was in need of a financial partner capable of providing the capital and structure necessary to have fabric sourced and garments manufactured overseas.
Initially the client’s factories wanted cash deposits in order to purchase fabric that would then be cut and sewn into finished garments. Payment for the cut and sew operations would then be due upon shipment. The owners, knowledgeable of the risks associated with sending cash deposits overseas, were seeking a safer solution to finance their inventory purchases.
King Trade Capital evaluated the experience of the owner’s and their customer and factory relationships, ultimately gaining comfort in their ability to perform. After negotiating with the factories, King Trade Capital and the client were able to structure individualized solutions for each factory, utilizing letters of credit that allow them to purchase fabric, complete the cut and sew manufacturing process and get paid according to their terms with the Customers.
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In exploring AGCO’s success with implementing a global supply chain risk management (SCRM) program, we can summarize our key recommendations to other manufacturers and services oriented companies in 10 tips:
- Start to engage with solution providers – Try them out, start to inflict the pain of visibility on your internal stakeholders, teach your organization to act with many blinders removed and adopt a more strategic level of thinking.
- Solutions are in a state of flux – Early adopters will likely have to go through radical changes in their programs as this industry matures, but this is preferable to remaining on the sidelines, getting stuck deeper in the old ways.
- Heuristics will make a big difference over time – Both in helping to eliminate false positives and also in identifying real issues with greater precision. Aggregated metadata from your third parties, combined with other big data sets, all processed in real time, will drive a change toward solutions that not only show what your supply base looks like but also helps manage risk scenarios and develop mitigation plans of action.
- A picture is worth a 1,000 conference calls – Think of a map, showing all your major internal and external business relationships (manufacturing facilities, warehouses and distribution facilities, logistical paths, suppliers and their suppliers, etc.). This simple illustration can quickly rally stakeholders around a common cause.
- Good SCRM analysis requires good data – Don’t skimp on the prep work. You know that sooner or later you do need to get to a clean master data management understanding, as well as item level PO analysis. You also need to fully assess your key suppliers and their immediate supply base and product lifecycles. This is a good time to start on that journey.
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There are a prolific amount of data sets and data sources available that can help overcome the aforementioned challenges. The problem is that “big data” is coming in from so many varied sources, and manufacturers simply do not know what to do with it or how to use it. The answer lies in supply chain analytics. With the right analytical tools, manufacturers can obtain actionable, meaningful, and supported insight from available data in order to make better business decisions. When it comes to AIDC, supply chain analytics are most useful in two chief areas: device optimization (the technology itself) and labor management (those who are using the technology).
AIDC Device Optimization
With supply chain analytics, manufacturers can receive timely and relevant feedback about their AIDC platform to determine how the technology is performing – feedback beyond what is provided by a typical Mobile Device Management solution. Through this insight, users can better understand the underlying causes of inefficiencies, identify areas for continuous improvement, perform predictive analysis, and more. For example, through dashboard and reporting tools, manufacturers can easily see device utilization data to determine user adoption rates. They can monitor battery performance of their devices in the field to prevent downtime. Or, they can even make sure that the right tools are available at the right time. As a result, manufacturers can optimize their mobile deployments to attain additional ROI.
The second component to this equation involves labor management. Using supply chain analytics, it is possible to match the right tools with the right people, and the right people with the work. Analytics platforms accomplish this by gauging and managing the labor resources that use the technology in terms of measurement of activity benchmarking, engineered labor standards, and dashboard reporting. These tools take into consideration production data (volume), integrated with labor, cost, customers, and time data.
Achieving Analytics Success
Supply chain analytics tools can provide practical and fully actionable (fact-based decision making) information to help optimize the supply chain from an AIDC and human capital standpoint. Along with the right AIDC tools and support organization behind those tools, supply chain analytics can assist in driving more revenue, reducing your cost structure and improving the experience of your customers and your workforce. Yet, this is only a piece of the supply chain analytics puzzle. Looking forward, manufacturers will continue to extend the capabilities of analytics tools to gain insight into the overall performance of the manufacturing facility. With the influx of the Internet of Things (IoT), more data points are available than ever before, which allows manufacturers to gauge the efficiency of a particular production line or overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).
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New Business Performance Management Solution from InsightSoftware.com Offers One System for Optimal Visibility
InsightSoftware.com, a leading provider of reporting, budgeting and reconciliation solutions for Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards, today unveiled three new products designed to empower business users with the information they need to directly impact business performance, while also helping them realize a new level of value from their existing enterprise software systems. The products, announced today at COLLABORATE 2014, include two new additions to the award-winning InsightUnlimited product suite – InsightUnlimited Planning and InsightUnlimited Reporting for PeopleSoft – and a new business performance management solution called Hubble.
“New technology does not always equal business gain. Our goal with these new solutions is to help users gain a new level of value, not only from the data in their ERP, but also from their existing software solutions,” said Paul Yarwood, General Manager for InsightSoftware.com. “Data and technology is meant to empower – not slow you down. Hubble and our expanded InsightUnlimited solutions empower users with their information and their software so they can do their jobs better and directly impact business performance.”
With Hubble’s complete visibility, users can collaborate across multiple departments and through various levels of detail. Hubble also allows users to:
- Connect finance data from multiple sources into a single consolidated view;
- Easily search for metrics, discussions, workspaces and even people;
- Create an intuitive layer of organization, without the burden of traditional file structures, using innovative tagging capabilities;
- Share data with people inside and outside the organization without having to worry about permissions and privileges; and
- Make data powerful with infographic-style metrics that define goals and highlight important corporate milestones.
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Choosing a Business Intelligence is a bit like making coffee for the whole company. Everybody likes it their way, and they want it right now. Plus, everybody wants it differently. So, given that everyone has different requirements, how do you go about keeping everybody happy? If you think about how hard it is to keep everyone happy when you’re just making coffee, think how hard it is to select a business Intelligence solution. Not just any solution…. the *right* solution.
So, given that everyone has different requirements, how do you go about keeping everybody happy? If you think about how hard it is to keep everyone happy when you’re just making coffee, think how hard it is to select a business Intelligence solution. Not just any solution…. the *right* solution. The one that will keep everyone happy and give them what they want. The solution that will keep the ambulance away from the door, where constraints must be met or there will be serious trouble. The solution that will keep everyone out of danger whilst making sure that the sprinkle lovers get their sprinkles, and the folks who like a chocolate covered spoon in their coffee get a little chocolate covered spoon – in milk, dark or white…
Hopefully this article could provide an insight for you to decide the best BI tools for you company. If you would like to know further, or if you have any question, please contact us or leave us comments below.