Manufacturing, more than any other industry sector, is so close to achieving the CIO utopia of Big Data. ERP and Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions generate high volumes of operational data from across the business but research, however, from leading analysts, including IDC and Gartner, suggests that less than 50% of organizations have realized Big Data and a significant obstacle to this is cited as the completeness of the data available. The failure to extract much needed data and transform this into management information simply fails to provide the business with the analytical and predictive intelligence it needs to feed the commercial advantages being sought.
Typically a manufacturing organization is seeking to leverage its ‘production’ data in order to achieve a primary business outcome - data-driven predictive modelling and decision making. However ERP and SCM solutions often only provide decision support to the factory gate, which is great for cost management but less so for distribution, sales and profit and Big Data is most definitely not a ‘Not-for-Profit’ initiative!
Big Data in manufacturing needs to support lean and agile production processes, such as Just-in-Time, and needs to be closed loop to analyze and predict correlated supply and demand. Consequently Big Data in manufacturing needs to forecast and ‘now-cast’ sales modelling, predict customer behavior and improve customer service – all of which will drive profitability in terms of improved margins, reduced cost of sales and increased revenue.
However Big Data without integrated CRM as an integrated data tenant is incomplete and will leave a gap in any manufacturing organization’s hopes of achieving its big data advantage and enhanced competitiveness
So why does big data need CRM in Manufacturing?
- Predictability – by using big data (integrated with ERP, SCM and CRM), organizations can forecast production costs and likely revenues in parallel of each other - everything from raw material inventories to customer sale and maintenance renewal;
- Decision Support – companies using data collection and analysis can make better management decisions for forecasting so business decisions can be adjusted in real time;
- Customer Segmentation – for the development and production of accurately positioned products and services based upon demand and supply modelling;
- Innovation – the data derived can be used to drive the development of future services and products, shaped by known market dynamics, geography and even seasonality.
Big data is an IT strategy that leverages core systems and solutions to provide any manufacturing organization with optimized production process, targeted marketing and increased sales and further maximize the investments made in ERP, SCM as well as the CRM solution.
Working with a strategic Partner, such as Zero2Ten, a CIO can take the first steps to consolidating the solutions to deliver enhanced analysis of the massive volumes of data that become available. As the intelligence is delivered in management reports so the bottom line will improve for many manufacturers. The experience Zero2Ten has can advise any manufacturer on their CRM deployment through to the integration with other core solutions through to Big Data and actionable decision support. A common platform and the use of Cloud can make Big Data easy to consolidate and realize and extremely portable for mass analytical and reporting use.