Maximize the value of your data with these 5 steps

Want to gain more control over the data in your factory and make better decisions based on digital information instead of gut feeling or endless discussions?

Then Business Intelligence (BI) software may be for you.

More and more metal companies are achieving success with tools such as Power BI, Tableau and Qlik Sense, which interact directly with your data. And the good news is that start-up costs have dropped significantly, allowing SMEs to access this technology as well.

But before you purchase and implement a BI tool, there are a number of steps you need to go through for a successful project:

Step 1: Start with one major goal and work that down to a maximum of five sub KPIs. Define your goals and the key business questions you want answered in the SMART format.

Step 2: Choose the right tools and technologies that fit your business needs. Work with simple software, for example, Power BI. Note: Custom ERP builds, or standard embedded templates give only a limited view. Ideally, you want to fathom entire organization….

Step 3: Ensure data quality. Remove duplicate data, old unfinished orders, delete and filter unused categories, groups and classifications, and enrich your data with necessary additional fields. Think 5S: Separate, arrange, clean, standardize and maintain.

Step 4: Develop dashboards and reports that are visually appealing and easy to understand. Focus on key KPIs and make sure your users understand them. Less is more, the simpler, the better.

Step 5: Train your employees and encourage collaboration. Teach them how to modify the filters in the dashboards themselves, or better create their own versions of them. Make BI an integral part of your corporate culture and make sure your employees are familiar with the tools and technologies.

If implemented correctly and continuously optimized, your business can become a data-driven enterprise, with many benefits, including:

  • Better decision-making: you have real-time access to data and dashboards that can be customized to your specific needs, allowing you to make faster decisions. You don’t have to wait until the end of the quarter, which is often too late.
  • Higher efficiency: by consolidating your data and automating processes, you can increase your team’s productivity. In the process, it prevents many mistakes by alerting you to trends and changes more quickly.
  • Cost savings: with BI you can optimize your business processes and save money on things like overproduction and unnecessary (intermediate) inventories. In addition, you can quickly see whether customers are still profitable and suppliers are not overcharging.

If you still have questions about BI or would like more information, please feel free to contact me. I am ready to help you transform your business with Business Intelligence specifically for the metalworking industry.

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