How BI is reshaping supply chains?

Sudeep Srivastava July 15, 2024
How BI is reshaping supply chains

Business Intelligence (BI) is said to make quicker and easier decisions with better data reporting. 

Over 50% of the organizations today are already convinced that BI is essential to survive in today’s technical environment. As per Market Watch’s latest report, the BI market will register a magnificent spike in CAGR in terms of revenue. 

Another study states that various factors such as rising investments in analytics, increased demand for dashboards, growing focus on digital transformation, and increase in cloud adoption, IoT in supply chain and other industries has driven the growth of Business Intelligence. It is expected to reach 33.3 billion USD by 2025, offering new opportunities to every sector.

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If we talk about the adoption of Business Intelligence in a specific sector, the supply chain and on-demand logistics development domain has played a massive role in embracing BI solutions. logistics domain has played a massive role in embracing BI solutions. Industrial experts state that to stay competitive in the supply chain management business, you need to recognize the potential weakness of your organization and form ideas to overcome them. Modern solutions such as Artificial Intelligence and Analytics and business intelligence help you identify potential risks associated with your business and take timely actions.

In simple words, you can gain insights based on real-time actionable data, get automated recommendations, and evaluate the production process with the transactions. So whether it’s about transferring inventory, arranging shipments, or releasing orders, BI is going to keep every data just a click away from you. 

Now, coming to our point of discussion, why is supply chain and operations massively adopting Business Intelligence solutions? 

The increased adoption is probably due to the supply chain digital transformation where BI plays a remarkable role in its varied sectors. 

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Impact of Business Intelligence in the supply chain process

The amount of data that flows within the supply chain sector is infinite. BI essentially means converting this sea of data into knowledge for practical business use. If you ask what kind of data in the supply chain is driven by Business Intelligence? 

Data such as repair cost, transportation cost, KPIs (key performance indicators) on carriers and suppliers, strategic planning, and trend analysis is heavily managed by Business Intelligence. 

Further, this data needs to be drilled down into required information to perform research and analytics. The final figures tell you how the company needs to act according to the performance and business objectives.

BI supply chain tools such as dashboards and scoreboards also provide you with a detailed breakdown of a company’s performance (daily, weekly and monthly) to help you keep the progress in check. This is how critical Business Intelligence is in the supply chain cycle.

Four sectors of the supply chain that run on the BI model

Talking about BI’s influence on the supply chain process, there are four significant sectors of the supply chain highly influenced by the Business Intelligence model. Let’s take a quick glance at them.

Business Intelligence for product distribution

 The most prominent role of BI is ensuring that the product reaches its customer in a considerable amount of time. Business Intelligence software helps track the fleeting services that follow area deliveries. If the deliveries take longer than expected, the concerned manager can take timely actions to fix the challenge. 

BI is not just a master in product tracking; it also tracks external factors such as fuel cost, delivery estimation cost, and other business expenses. In simple words, you get every tiny detail to capture to maximize profits. 

Business Intelligence for demand planning 

Another aspect in supply chain management that depends highly on Business Intelligence is demand planning. Demand management is critical since it tells you how much production is required for your business to reach profits. Business Intelligence solutions help forecast demand needs. The tools combine both sales pipeline and historical figures with market segments and estimate the time and resources needed to meet customer demands.

Think of it; if a company under or overproduces, it directly affects its profit margins; therefore, demand planning is a critical aspect in the supply chain. 

Business Intelligence for IoT machinery 

Supply chains have massively adapted to the smart industry trend. IoT in manufacturing is a concept where various machines and devices are interconnected with the Internet of Things, running in a data-driven cycle. The data gained by IoT provides information on machine uptime, so the product remains consistent. BI in return utilizes this data to produce monthly reports stating the area of improvements. 

On top of that, these interconnected devices can alert businesses when they require routine maintenance. This helps cut outages and regulate expenses.

Business Intelligence for inventory management

With BI tools accessing inventory data, you can easily optimize volume numbers for higher profits. Most BI inventory solutions track sales, purchase numbers, and supplier data. You can leverage all this data on one platform, ensuring your business’s optimal inventory volume at all times. 

Similarly, many such aspects feed into the supply chain BI model, where every data can be molded into insights. However, the usability and applicability of the Business Intelligence model don’t end here. Wait till you hear about embedded BI. 

What is Embedded Business Intelligence (BI)?

Embedded BI refers to integrating Business Intelligence solutions within business portals or applications. Suppose you have a mobile application that requires Business Intelligence solutions and features to track your supply chain business. All you need is embedded BI that gives your application BI features such as reports, interactive dashboards, data analysis, predictive analytics, etc. 

This differs from traditional BI since it puts all the capabilities of BI into your business application. 

Some of the primary reasons why supply chain business needs embedded BI are:

  • It constitutes revenue growth 
  • It has over 40% adoption rate in the supply and manufacturing industry.
  • It enhances the user experience and customer satisfaction
  • It adds value to the business application
  • It also helps with customer engagement (increases the time spent within the application) 

Supply chain management with embedded BI 

When you are all set to integrate Business Intelligence solutions in your supply chain, you are able to spot potential challenges before they become an issue. 

Here’s how to leverage embedded Business Intelligence in your everyday product cycle. Below are a few routine supply chain cycles that you can easily track with your embedded BI application.

  • Track cash to cycle time- It refers to the time between paying for materials and getting paid for sales. 
  • Track customer order cycle – It refers to the time between receiving an order and delivery. 
  • Track fill rates- It is the percentage of lines, orders, and units shipped on the first attempt. 
  • Track days of supply- This refers to the time you can work without restocking or reordering. 
  • Track outstanding payments- This is how timely you collect payments from your customers
  • Track turnover- This tells how efficiently you turn working capital invested in inventory into profits. 
  • Track inventory velocity- This tells you about underperformers and best sellers.
  • Track gross ROI (Return on investment)- This is the total profitability from inventory investments. 

One additional challenge that supply chain enterprises and manufacturers face is tracking inventory across multiple vendors. Seeking innovative BI supply chain solutions can help you build a collective dashboard software that allows you to merge data from numerous sources, creating interactive tracking reports for comparison. 

Three Business Intelligence aspects that every supply chain enterprise needs

Now that we know that Business Intelligence is all about using data to improve strategies and decisions, here are three essential categories in BI every supply chain enterprise must utilize to drive productivity and efficiency. 

Reporting tools 

Currently, supply chain enterprises rely more on scorecards that help managers and decision-makers to improve the workflow. Predictive analysis and deep insights into data help generate a detailed analysis of everyday events that can give you the pain points. You can further use these shortcomings to modify supply chain strategies. 


warehouse order performance

Real-time actionable dashboard visibility is one of the biggest highlights of Business Intelligence. It gives a quick view of what’s happening in the supply chain cycle and generates immediate reactions. The BI dashboards have customizable features that give you a hassle-free scroll and navigation advantage. For better data visualization, you can utilize dashboard features like data tables and filters and catch a better review of your internal operations. 


Benchmarking gives an upper hand to any enterprise into supply chain competition. This includes comparing your supply chain operation by the industry standards to help you come up with better performance. BI-directed data benchmark is specifically designed to improve operations and identify growth opportunities.

Key benefits of BI solutions in supply chain management

Here are some of the key functionalities and benefits of Business Intelligence tools that enable enterprise data sharing across multiple functional units for uniform decision-making.

Key benefits of BI solutions

1. Supply chain BI solutions help drill down data layers into any format for analysis purposes. Formats such as charts, spreadsheets, and hyperlinks help monitor the everyday workflow of the enterprise. 

2. Balanced scorecards under BI solutions can be used to aggregate databases for performance evaluation. This also helps create relevant data views to bring clarity to critical information. 

3. BI also provides built-in integrated reporting and dynamic query generation features that extract intermediate data and perform analysis for all possible adverse outcomes. 

4. Through the additional BI features, enterprises can identify a baseline against specific metrics to figure out what they need to measure on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. 

5. BI also allows customization where your dashboard can provide more contextual information that helps in gaining deeper insights. 

How can Appinventiv fuel your supply chain with Business Intelligence?

If you want to strengthen your supply chain process, integrating Business Intelligence is more than a necessary step for you. BI is a holistic approach to collecting, processing, and distributing data to improve business performance and customer satisfaction. Allow us to be a part of your supply chain growth by connecting with us for Business Intelligence solutions. 

As a trusted business intelligence consulting company, Appinventiv provides BI services and solutions that help enterprises not only adapt but also master new advancements in technology. We are there for you right from the BI consulting to making a full fledged BI solution till it’s maintenance.

FAQs on Business Intelligence in Supply Chain

Q. What is the future of business intelligence in the supply chain industry? 

A. BI is an established technology driven process that converts available business data into knowledge. This knowledge is further delivered to managers, vendors, operations team and suppliers to analyze and make appropriate decisions. With this massive involvement of big data in BI process, there are no signs of slowing down in the coming years. Infact, BI solutions and tools are becoming more proactive, collaborative  and insightful to manage. 

Q. How BI is used in supply chain management and logistics?

A.  BI solutions provide engaged data in the form of reports and dashboards that help vendors, production managers and distributors track machinery and shipments. 

Moreover, the operations highly rely on supply chain reporting  to control costs and optimize resources. 

BI also helps monitoring the logistics by analyzing timely returned orders and the reason for returns. This helps in identifying the order patterns and can serve a way in personalizing products. 

Q. What is the difference between Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA)?

A.  As BI becomes more prominent, there has been a rising confusion between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics. 

In simple words, BI utilizes present and past data to drive current business decisions whereas BA analyses only historical data to drive current business needs. For detailed insights, you can also refer to Business Intelligence vs Business Analytics.

Q. What is the process of implementing BI software? 

A.  Reliable BI solutions and services can support your enterprise through a structured process. A generic implementation process involves design, shaping, modeling and visualization. However,  BI solutions are integrated according to the business needs and requirements. In every way, the end goal must be making the data accessible. 

Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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