Collins Computing, Inc.

How Does Business Intelligence (BI) Software Help Distributors?

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The term ‘Business Intelligence’ (BI) is thrown around a lot in the distribution software industry, but what does it mean and more importantly, what does it mean for your business? The definition of business intelligence, according to Wikipedia, is the ability for an organization to take all its capabilities and convert them into knowledge. Now you may have a lot of data at your organization produced by multiple systems and reports, but does that data give you the information needed to make informed business decisions about your inventory or operational management?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to push business intelligence to the forefront of your business strategy. Without it, it’s almost impossible to grow and scale to changing market and customer demands. If you’re not convinced, here are three ways Business Intelligence improves business for distributors:

  1. Inventory Control: Business Intelligence makes it possible to see what you have leaving the warehouse as well as what’s coming in. If you don’t have total control over your inventory, then you’re completely ‘winging it’. ‘Winging it’ is not a good practice in the distribution industry when competition is high and the economy is wavering. You need to have the right inventory in stock to provide what your customers need. Too much or too little can put you at risk for failure.
  2. Financial Management: Having an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution such as Microsoft Dynamics GP to handle your financials is obviously crucial, but make sure that ERP solution can integrate with your other systems. Microsoft Dynamics GP is built on a scalable platform so it’s possible to make systems talk to one another. Only then will real-time business intelligence be at your fingertips.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: No matter what you distribute, there are guidelines and regulatory procedures to follow. How do you know if you’re meeting those standards if you have no insight into your operations? Making this visible and traceable with BI software, you can fix issues immediately and make changes to prevent problems in the future.

Yes, the term ‘Business Intelligence’ may be overused but for good reason. In conclusion, you need to make sure the data you get out of your systems give you the tools to be successful. For more information on how to achieve this, contact us at Collins Computing.


By Collins Computing, a Microsoft Dynamics GP Gold Certified Partner in California

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