Businesses generate volumes of data every single day. Most of that data is valuable when you are able to put it into a context that you can use. Big data doesn’t always translate to good data and good data doesn’t always translate to usable data.
An example of harnessing data to a competitive advantage can be found in “Don’t Pay for Data You Can’t Use,” posted by John Parkinson on CFO.com. A retailer began collecting point-of-sale and point-of-service data to determine which inventory items were moving faster than others and where inventory was located – in stores, on trucks, or in distribution centers. Over time, the retailer was able to study customer behaviors and sales activities, and identify where to send inventory that best matched predicted demand. The retailer also discovered that being so focused on brick-and-mortar stores almost caused them to miss the growing interest in online shopping.
You can use a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to collect and use the type of data that this particular retailer was collecting. You can monitor financial, supply chain and inventory, manufacturing and distribution operations, and other core business processes from a single, integrated ERP solution. Customer data can be monitored with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. You can manage sales and marketing activities as well as customer specifications, preferences, order fulfillment, and other details in a CRM solution. Together, ERP and CRM can capture the volumes of data generated by manufacturers and distributors and the built-in business intelligence features can help you make sense of the data that you collect. You can identify trends in customer behavior and product sales, for example, and use that information to improve inventory management, prevent stock-outs, and improve customer service as well as protect thin profit margins.
Are you drowning in data that you can’t use or are you able to make sense of it and use it to your competitive advantage? The difference could be found in your business software solutions and how you use the data that you collect. Contact The Resource Group for more information about using ERP and CRM solutions to capture your business data and put it into a context that you can use to drive growth.
By The Resource Group, Washington Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner