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Business Intelligence Helps Find Huge Savings in Daily 3PL Operations

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"People don't talk about the operational value of BI very often. It seems more interesting to talk about units picked per hour than the nitty-gritty of everyday operations. But BI tools can help you find huge savings in those routine, daily operations - and pretty soon the tools start to pay for themselves." - Colton Griffin, CEO of WMSight

BI is visible through dashboards that give users a macro-level view of what's happening in the warehouse, plus the ability to drill down further into the details.

  • An effective dashboard provides data around in three key aspects of running business: People, processes and technology.
  • Health and status checks can help identify areas where configuration parameters can be changed to optimize process. For instance, identifying when and where an order has been sitting on the dock for too long. Inventory that is getting held up for too long, for example.
  • Outbound order fulfillment dashboards monitor the status of orders as they progress through workflows allowing users to drill down and chase the orders whose processing time guarantees are falling behind a committed service level. Complementing this view might be a dashboard that measures replenishment tracking so that if this task falls behind, a manager can intuit the effect this will have on in-flight orders, or those orders already in the process of being worked.
  • WMS software already has order-level visibility, but a good BI tool will give you a broader view of workflow task counts by status, then pair that data with labor and performance measures alongside operator-level information and any tasks that might be holding up other work—so the composite view is well within grasp of a facility manager charged with making fast work of all this complexity.
  • These real-time operational views around metrics and performance can deliver tremendous decision-making insights to operations and executive management. The more complex an operation is, the more likely it needs visibility across the entire chain of operations.

HighJump 3PL Quote from Customer

In some companies, basic information, much less insight, remains cloistered and hoarded away because of anxiety over how information gets used and who should have access to it. But this anxiety is easy to relieve. Today, more simply, quickly and cost-effectively than ever, businesses can gather the data they need to arrive at-and share-insights that enable innovation.

“Business Intelligence isn't just about gathering the data, it's about getting a group of people with varying levels of background and comfort to understand the data and act upon it. Some managers can glance at a dashboard and glean everything they need to know, but others may recoil at a large amount of data! An ideal BI solution has to relay information to a diverse group of people and present challenges for them to think through." - Chris Brennan is the Director of Innovation for Hall's Warehouse and also the President of the HighJump 3PL Customer Advisory Board

Download our "Business Intelligence" Whitepaper to Learn More!