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MANUFACTURING TIDBITS

Business Intelligence Made Affordable for Small Manufacturers

by T.R. CUTLER

Rob Collie examined why so many BI (business intelligence) solutions are overpriced for small and mid-sized manufacturers. He recognized the importance of providing affordable and actionable data.

real-time, actionable insights in response to massive sales spikes for the cleaning product, as well as uncovering millions in working capital from inventory inefficiencies.

Collie suggested business intelligence is suffering a “hangover” during the past three-decades when BI was strictly the domain of large enterprises. Beyond the steep price tag were equally expensive implementation costs. While there are more affordable BI solutions available to small and mid-sized manufacturers, the platform selected may prohibit smaller companies from accessing meaningful data.

Small manufacturers discover critical data elements Relative sources of revenue often fluctuate more frequently (and sharply) than assumed. These fluctuations leap off the screen with good dashboards. This information is even more important when something like COVID throws out the old playbook, and each day seems to bring a new set of conditions.

Collie’s company, P3 (Power Pivot Pro) specializes in BI because it is specifically designed to be affordable for the SME market. For $1,000 a month small manufacturers receive the same modern tools as Fortune 500 companies. Clients frequently project positive annual ROI’s in the six figures within even a few weeks after implementation.

The same themes apply when examining costs. Using a standard cost model usually means data is not updated frequently enough to match the shifting realities of the market. Small manufacturers can least afford lack of real-time data. Indirect cost allocation is also a notoriously difficult problem that rarely receives the ongoing attention required.

SerVaas Labs, manufacturer of Bar Keepers Friend, implemented Power BI a few months prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. The dashboards provided

There are a number of important inputs that should be updated in real-time, without requiring any manual labor. The tools used, capture

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Manufacturing Outlook / September 2020

Profile for Manufacturing Outlook

Manufacturing Outlook for September 2020  

In this issue: Manufacturing Extension Partnership Extraordinary Results, Business Intelligence Made Affordable For Small Manufacturers, Sup...

Manufacturing Outlook for September 2020  

In this issue: Manufacturing Extension Partnership Extraordinary Results, Business Intelligence Made Affordable For Small Manufacturers, Sup...