The interpretation of acquired data is the key
July 8, 2020 - Bahaa Abdullah

“The introduction of the integrated value chain at Iskraemeco was a logical and also the best decision we have taken in the field of upgrading the company’s information systems. Data fragmentation across various systems and departments in the company has been carefully studied, and the data properly structured, unified and related to specific locations. Thus, data sets were turned into enriched information that carries useful value.

Interpretation of Data

Different people interpret the same data and information differently so it is of key importance that all data come from a single source. The first step on the way to integrated value-chain management is therefore to establish the ‘Single Truth’. We know that the data we are viewing are trustworthy because they are collected in a single data repository or data warehouse, which is the heart of business intelligence. Enriched data are identical for all employees, i.e. directors, sales managers, purchasing officers, R&D engineers and production staff and do not allow different interpretations. In this respect, all employees are provided with proper data with content ready for further processing. For example, when any member of our staff now opens an inventory report, they will also see inventory movement history and component price details.

Much quicker and more efficient decision-making

Data in itself is no longer relevant, as it is readily available – but interpretation of acquired data is key. If an indicator shows a positive or negative trend, we can dig deeper into the data to understand the current situation, as well as how and why it emerged. This enables much quicker and more efficient decision-making, helping us turn negative trends back to positive.

Deeper insight and visualization of the company’s activities have helped us get greater control of the profitability of specific products. Profitability is about much more than the price paid for components, the cost of manufacturing products and the money earned from selling them; profitability is also impacted by indirect costs such as IT systems, transport, back-office, electricity and water, and the risk of claims.

This way of working has also yielded impressive results this year, although far from the ordinary due to the pandemic. Business intelligence is an extremely valuable tool that helps us manage the supply chain, which is now key to the company’s performance due to extremely long lead times for certain components. Excellent planning and very positive sales forecasts, which are recorded in our CRM system and then integrated in the BI system, promptly alert staff to potential inventory shortage. Integrated value-chain management has been instrumental in ensuring uninterrupted business operations and fast response to the market conditions even in these uncertain times.

The success of the company was based on a mix of decisive factors – clear project objectives and content, engagement of top management, which played a crucial role in generating support for the project, and an outstanding team of highly-committed employees who have, through their agile approach, motivation and engagement, significantly contributed to the implementation of the project and achievement of desired results, of which we are immensely proud.”

The article was originally published in the newspaper Finance, 29.6.2020