Globalized industry conditions affect manufacturers in multiple ways. Emerging competitors from almost anywhere can rapidly enter your market and go after your customers. A complex, cross-border supply chain network of existing and potential trading partners may offer better economies than doing business with companies in your region alone, but you may need to take some extra steps to ensure that deliveries happen on time and the quality of the goods meets your standards. On the other hand, even after you reshore operations to be closer to customers in North America, you might still position at least a subset of your product portfolio to an international audience.
Strategic initiatives require intelligence
Reshoring may intensify the already demanding requirements for manufacturing intelligence, because you undertake a business-critical project that may be unique in the life of your company. At the same time, however, you can combine your own insight and the findings and recommendations from business intelligence to make reshoring as manageable and predictable as you can. In a way, it’s not unlike other projects or strategic initiatives you commit to. Some of your customers may be thrilled about the outcome, but not necessarily interested in how you actually create it.
No matter whether your reshoring effort is planned or underway, some business conditions may be the same as those you face every day. As ever, you need to satisfy increasingly demanding customers with the right products. Your most important customers may look to you to innovate, providing them with superior capabilities that make them a more successful, more customer-centric business. If you aim to provide them with more value while generating additional, recurring revenue, you may want to design and launch new services that complement your products.
Analytics reduces reshoring risks
Business analytics are essential in helping you understand your target markets and implement the right strategy in manufacturing and distributing the products customers there are looking for. You can put analytics to work when you examine your access and appeal to various markets in any location. You could use analytic modeling to understand the impacts of supply chain disruptions and devise a comeback strategy. Business intelligence enables you to balance demand and supply today, forecast future trends and changes, and figure out the most efficient distribution mechanisms.
Like almost any great idea, reshoring without evidence-based decision-making can turn into a liability. Companies risk the success of their reshoring initiatives when they do not take advantage of business intelligence to assess the business requirements for their likely new location and such aspects of the operation as procurement, logistics, market drivers, competitive trends, workforce development, and possible business process optimizations.
You can start using cloud-based business intelligence tools immediately
Powerful business insight resources are part of any modern ERP system, on-premise or in the cloud. However, when you use cloud ERP as your business management foundation, you don’t need to worry as much about implementing and integrating those tools. Many of them already exist in the cloud and can be part of your subscription, using standard integrations with your ERP solution.
For instance, in Microsoft Dynamics 365 on the Azure cloud, you find business intelligence tools newly created for this environment, such as business recommendations, which make it possible to direct users to the most useful and relevant data. In addition, you can still use the reporting and insight capabilities that may be familiar from the Microsoft ERP and CRM systems.
If you want to imbue your cloud-based ERP environment with greater intelligence, there is Power BI. You can track data from any operational area in your business, and visualize and share it through interactive reports. Azure Analysis Services can connect with on-premise SQL Server Analysis Services to let you build reporting and analytical models for your entire organization.
As you create your own intelligence solutions in Power BI, you can use ready-to-go templates to make your work easier. A portfolio of standard reports gives you a rapid start when you want to bring greater insight to your lines of business or optimize intelligence for industry-specific conditions.
Enterprise-level cloud analytics when you’re ready for it
If the data management and analytical needs in your reshoring or globalizing enterprise need to accommodate increasingly large masses of data, you can easily provision storage resources in the cloud for a fraction of the cost of purchasing, deploying, and securely managing storage servers and arrays in your data center on-premise. Given the scalability of the Azure cloud, you will not run out of space.
When your wealth of information assumes big-data dimensions, analytics on Azure will be as extensible as your storage resources. By using Azure Data Lake Analytics, for example, you can perform and pay for analytical tasks with huge data masses as individual jobs. Automatic analysis performed by the data lake technology provides recommendations to improve performance and slash costs.
And, if you want to benefit from big-data, enterprise analytics that spans the Azure cloud and your on-premise resources, there is HDInsight, a fully managed cloud Hadoop offering. HDInsight continues Hadoop’s direction of making sophisticated analytical capabilities available to educated business users, not just their colleagues in IT. In the cloud, you can deploy a Hadoop cluster in minutes, shaving weeks or months off the traditional on-premise deployment time.
Sikich manufacturing and technology expertise can help you perform a successful reshoring initiative and increase the competitive standing and long-term viability of your business. Get started today.