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Understanding The Supply Chain Distribution Continuum
Ray Major
NOV 17, 2014 01:24 AM
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Distribution or dissemination of information is probably one of the most critical aspects of supply chain business intelligence and information management. The reason is that the cost associate with data collection, data cleansing and analytics is incurred up front in the information management process, while the benefits that are derived from the former can only be realized if the information is in the hands of the right people.

Figuring out who needs the data, what form it will be in, and how it will be delivered is usually left to evolve on its own, and ends up being a mess. Understanding ahead of time where and how data is used can help businesses avoid a short circuit, what has proven to be a very lengthy and costly exercise. The following offers a model to classify the different areas where data is disseminated.

Siloed Users

At the core of data consumption are people in job functions that require supply chain data access directly or indirectly (through IT). They need this information to answer specific questions they have regarding their very specific scope of responsibilities. Much of these requests are considered “one-off”. And sometimes even take on the name of the data consumer … e.g. “Jim’s report”


Organizations that are slightly more mature usually need data disseminated by department. Data and key performance metrics are able to be measured at the departmental level allowing departments to track their activities, operate more effectively and optimize their supply chain. Departments using BI data usually have some type of formal or informal collaborations that take place based on the reports and analytics they receive.


More mature companies empower their entire enterprise with data so that everyone makes decisions based on one version of the truth. Activities are coordinated between departments and individuals on key metrics where interdependencies occur. This helps optimize and streamline supply chain operations and aligning critical efforts across the business.


Giving access to business intelligence information to supplier networks is the next big thing in data dissemination. Providing supplier’s access allows visibility of problems that occur in the supply chain beyond the organization’s boundaries, giving suppliers, vendors and distributors the ability to proactively address those issues. This helps optimize the entire business ecosystem to function more effectively and profitably.


Another effective use of dissemination is to empower customers with data so that they can ask and answer their own questions as they relate to your business. Although on the forefront of the continuum, dissemination of data to customers is an interesting twist to the mobile BI movement. Giving customers access to self-service BI metrics and data empowers them to make better business decisions, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction and increased customer loyalty.

How mature is your Supply Chain Data Distribution?

Use the Halo Business Intelligence Maturity Model™ to develop a roadmap that increases the overall effectiveness of your company’s BI implementation and beat the competition through superior insight into your business.

» Take the Assessment Now!

About Ray Major

Ray MajorRay Major is Chief Strategist of Halo Business Intelligence. The company, with offices in San Diego, Atlanta and Auckland New Zealand offers a suite of business intelligence and predictive analytic solutions. Halo BI specializes in supply chain analytics and S&OP in the food and beverage, manufacturing, and retail verticals worldwide. Ray is a frequent lecture and blogger on successful BI implementations through the alignment of People, Process, Technology and Data. His passion is helping companies get the most out of their BI and analytic systems by becoming data driven.

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