There are lot of executives who are smart. Many of them in fact are on the Inc 500 and other esteemed lists, such as the Stevie Awards.
However, no matter how smart a company is the executives can’t just rely on their gut instinct to manage their business. They must rely on factual data to make decisions. One important piece of software in this regard is business intelligence (BI) software which helps managers interpret information and turn it into executable intelligence for the overall betterment of the company.
KPI Online’s blog post What is Business Intelligence? A primer for small and medium sized businesses is very useful to understand the basics and benefits of BI.
Creative Vistas announced new BI software called OSS-IM View which helped their customer Rudder Capital gain 6 distinct benefits for their company:
The first benefit was in reduction/redeployment of “administrative” functions.
The BI tool automates much of the supply chain, reducing indirect overhead…direct cost reduction in overhead staff. It’s resulted in automating order entry, payroll, purchasing, accounting and account reconciliation.
Automation allows for less customer service reps ’s doing “routine/repetitive work”…freeing up time for true customer service, or a reduction in the number of of CSR’s.
Second: Decreased “chargebacks”:
Customer “charges” Rudder for poor performance and software and business analytics has decreased the chargebacks Rudder received from 12% of revenue to less than 7%.
When charge backs do occur the tool allows a “flow through” and cost recovery from contractors.
Third: Decreased “lost equipment charges”
Inventory (both company owned and customer owned) is now fully controlled at a technician and truck level (this is a huge leap, where lost equipment costs have virtually been eliminated.
Historically, Rudder would be charged $20,000 per month in lost equipment. This has decreased to almost zero. The new software provides Rudder with ability to have much better, fact based discussions with customer.
Fourth: Control/business intelligence on all cost drivers
Its is a high volume, low margin business – decreasing a few points on materials, fuel have direct bottom line impacts – business intelligence and exception reporting allow greater focus on cost drivers
Fifth: Improved decision making
Business analytics become real time – allowing management to have access to info that was normally not available for weeks/months (if available at all).
This allows management to adjust to cost impacting factors in real time, deal quickly with quickly quality and customer issues. (Remember how fast Wal-Mart during the Katrina storm)
Increases “span of control” – decreases management overhead, allowing managers to have a higher technician base, and allow management to spend more tie with employees (coaching, mentoring)
Six: Improved scheduling, workforce management and jeopardy management allows for increased productivity – also business analytics identify and allow you to deal with technicians that are in need of support, training, or “corrective action”