BI Gaps Haunt the Supply Chain - InformationWeek

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BI Gaps Haunt the Supply Chain

Most BI platforms and supply chain management (SCM) applications fall short in capturing and modeling the intricacies of global supply chain networks.

Most BI platforms and supply chain management (SCM) applications fall short in capturing and modeling the intricacies of global supply chain networks. It's not easy to gain broad intelligence given that companies usually have two or more SCM apps, one or more ERP systems and best-of-breed apps linking inventory replenishment and transportation management.

SCM vendors are adding BI and performance management capabilities to their applications. Therefore, it's not unusual to find dashboards, activity monitors and integrated event management tools for supply chain planning, manufacturing execution, warehouse management, transportation management or supplier relationship management.

To get a bigger picture, many companies have rushed to adopt BI platforms that tap into enterprise data warehouses or operational data stores that capture transaction data from the main ERP and SCM systems. Yet this strategy often fails to support distributed decision making, master data management, visibility of trading partners and predictive performance management analytics that evaluate supply chain "what-if" planning scenarios.

Some BI vendors have made progress, but none supports trading partner visibility and detailed supply-and-demand scenario planning, which requires integrating trading partner data and a mix of planning and transaction information. To take these steps, businesses are turning to vendors including IBM, Kalido, Saqqara and Tibco for trading partner master data management; Interlace, Kinaxis or SymphonyRPM for scenario planning; and RiverOne, seeCommerce or Viewlocity for trading partner visibility. Be on the lookout for SCM-related integrations and acquisitions.

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