For manufacturers, BI (business intelligence) should be about quantifying business assumptions that were previously too costly and time-consuming to challenge. For example, they are using it to identify hot sellers, to cut costs, and to discover new business opportunities. ACF Office Seating, for example, manufactures, unsurprisingly, office seating. The company’s IT manager, Paul Griffiths, was a long-time user of Visibility ERP. The most significant addition to it was the SQL Server 2000 data mart and analysis services reporting cube. We had this linked to our sales tables some 18 months ago and since then it has become the most used reporting tool in the company. The sales team uses the cube analysis daily to track sales and invoicing by month, area, product and range. It has become an indispensable tool for sales analysis and forecasting. It’s easy to use and very versatile. While BI programs get at the data using different techniques, OLAP (online analytical processing) cubes that slice and dice data remain central to the methodology.
Manufacturing Journalist Thomas R. Cutler profiled Business Intelligence in the current issue of Manufacturing Computer Solutions. The full feature can be read at http://www.mcsolutions.co.uk/articles/7868/MCSOCT_P29.pdf.
An OLAP cube is a data structure suitable for fast analysis of multi-dimensional problems, converting raw data into compelling data visualizations. Using data analysis features, manufacturers can explore graphical comparisons and trends to better understand how, for example, to enhance profitability. Reports can also be web-based and can be deployed over the Internet.
Visibility Corporation (www.visibility.com) is a leading developer and supplier of business software solutions designed for the unique needs of project-based, engineer-to-order and to-order manufacturers. Visibility’s Enterprise Application solutions help midsize manufacturers of complex products operate their businesses effectively. Visibility has an extensive customer base throughout North America and Europe and has the strongest representation of ERP among complex manufacturers.
VISIBILITY.net is an integrated ERP solution and more. Offering unparalleled functionality and integrated workflow, this browser-based solution cost effectively delivers the power of .NET-based Web services for use with either a Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle® database. Conducting business any place, any time, any where is a reality, deployable with unprecedented flexibility.