WHAT IS OPERATIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
“IF ONLY WE’D KNOWN…”
For some businesses, that plaintive cry is only too familiar. They’ve struck trouble that they could have avoided. A big order is lost due to slow or inadequate response; they’ve overstocked on products they now can’t sell; jobs aren’t getting done because the departments jointly responsible aren’t up to speed with each other’s actions.
The source of the problem? Lack of knowledge. Either the data that they had was out of date by the time they saw it, or it wasn’t available at all.
The way to avoid such crises is called Operational Intelligence (OI).
WHAT IS OI?
For a start, it’s not Business Intelligence (BI). Understanding the difference is crucial. Both rely on analysing data, but each do it in different ways. BI analyses data after the fact; OI is data delivered to you live, so you can see what’s happening in your business right now.
Implementing a modern business management (ERP) solution with strong workflow and business process credentials will empower you to manage your business with proactive access to relevant and timely information – that’s OI.
THE BENEFITS OF OI
At any time, executives, managers and staff can see what they need to know. They can track the progress of orders, get live updates on inventory, check Accounts Paid and Accounts Receivable, examine customer records, or analyse sales by commodity, department or individual performance.
In short, they can take the temperature of any part of the business whenever they wish, knowing that the data is fully up to date and accurate.
For executives and directors, this means that strategic and policy decisions are made with the best information available. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable at a glance and as the old adage goes: you can’t manage what you can’t measure.
For managers, it means that processes are instantly reviewable. Efficiencies can be implemented, processes automated, people who need mentoring to work better can get the guidance they need. Staff can be freed from drudgery to do work that’s more valuable and more interesting. Often, more productivity can be achieved without having to hire extra personnel.
Above all, however, departments are now truly sharing information for maximum benefit. A dilemma faced by many businesses is lack of communication between departments and staff. Nobody operates well in a vacuum, but the bad habit of keeping data isolated in “silos” means people who need to know things don’t find out unless they actively ask for data. OI breaks down those barriers, ensuring that information is shared automatically with all those who require it. Sales, Warehousing, Accounts, Customer Service and Management all get their own personalised view of what’s important to them.
With the integrated live data-sharing made possible by OI, businesses are able to work smarter and perform to their best expectations – it’s that simple.
THE DREADED “WHAT IF…?”
What if a key person in your organisation was suddenly lost? Would you lose a key repository of information as well?
Keeping vital data in one person’s head is simply bad business practice. Here is where Operational Intelligence (OI) becomes your insurance policy. As part of an integrated business management (ERP) solution, it takes the risk of dependency on individuals out of the equation. All their knowledge and experience is stored in an operational database accessible to those who need it.
Naturally, creating such a resource requires a change in both thinking and practice. People in key roles must be encouraged to document their knowledge, knowing that failure to do so might leave the business vulnerable. Treat it as a team-building exercise, because in the end, cooperation and teamwork are crucial to the success of OI.
WE3: THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL OI
Applied and Greentree know the value of teamwork when it comes to building Operational Intelligence that delivers the results.
This strategy is called We3: Greentree, its Partners and its customers working together. If one of those components fails, the whole enterprise falls over.
This is why Applied always takes time to get to know you, the customer. Our job begins when we fully understand your business pressures and problems. When it comes to OI, our goal is to help you work smarter, not harder. We pride ourselves on having a 100% success rate at getting our clients’ ERP systems working in as short a time as possible. We succeed where other partners might fail because we go the extra mile to help our clients – hence our motto: “Our People Your People”.
To understand Operational Intelligence properly, please read the Greentree Operational Intelligence eBook attached. And for an in-depth assessment of how OI could benefit your business, contact us.