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Manufacturing and Distribution companies all over the world use Oracle JD Edwards ERP software for managing and planning their production processes. This provides great operational information, but for most professionals this is not enough. These professionals ask themselves how they can easily and correctly interpret production data and how they can analyse this data to be prepared for the future. Being able to evaluate production processes and recognize new trends are also important for these professionals. In this blog we will discuss how Business Intelligence (BI) will help.
The first step of implementing a BI solution is creating a detailed plan and gathering a team that brings together stakeholders from IT and the target group of people who will be using this BI solution. By following these steps, you will be able to set up a detailed plan for implementing a BI solution:
The first step is to determine who the stakeholders are, and to formulate the . The implementation of BI for manufacturing can be approached from different angles. Your wish might be to gain more insight into the transition from production to sales and inventory strategy for example. And you might also want to know whether or not you are producing corresponding to your internal norms and sales agreements. You can also use BI as a tool for reporting on the roll-out of an operational excellence programme and to support the analysis of yields and wastage. Another thing you want to have clear is if your production processes meet your internal quality standards. Formulate the objectives as carefully as possible and implement them in a plan for the medium term.
The choice of BI infrastructure is extremely important for your IT management organisation. As an organisation, you might want to choose for a on-premise or legacy solution, in which you conduct all of the administration yourself.An in-house BI infrastructure offers great amount of flexibility and control over your own BI environment. However BI Cloud Services are getting more and more populair. The advantages of BI Cloud Services are numerous; you can leverage a proven BI solution and it won't be necessary to do everything yourself. From the investment perspective, there is another approach that may be appropriate: an acquisition that has an impact on Capex (Legacy BI) or a purchase that is only a burden on OPEX (BI in the Cloud).
The next step is to define which detail information is important together with the stakeholders. Keep the form in which the desired information is available into consideration. You can assess the quality of the information sources based on the quality of the data.
Next, you should be choosing the desired reporting or analysis environment. Your production dashboards should be easy to interpret. This may be obvious, but the top-5 characteristics of successful BI reports are: they have to be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-specific).
The data model and the nature of the production reports generated by BI naturally depend on the nature of your production processes. If you produce to customer orders, then the production reports will be organised differently than in the process industry. The design of the data model can be tailored to the individual company by using a Legacy BI solution. The benefit of a BI Cloud Services solution, on the other hand, is that you can utilise existing data models.
Once you have completed the steps above, you have a solid foundation for a successful implementation. So let’s get to work! In the next blog, we will describe some real-life examples of Oracle BI in a manufacturing environment that uses Oracle JD Edwards ERP.
Author: Bob van Geenen, Finance Consultant Cadran Consultancy