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Innovation

What’s on Your Dashboard? Real-Time EDI Data is Key to Proactive Supply Chain Management

by Peter Edlund

Do you remember when information was hard to come by? You had to consult a newspaper, encyclopedia, or visit a library to find out specific facts and figures. Now we just pull out our phones, Google the topic and have the information in an instant. It’s no longer about not having the answer.  Today we’re faced with another problem, having so much information available that the things we really need to know are buried.

Dashboards: The 'Consumerization' of Business Software

As a founding member of a company that is built on the transfer of information between businesses, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of turning raw data into actionable information. When a problem occurs, it’s often related to the questions that weren’t asked…the unknown unknowns. For example, a friend of mine was driving when an alert light came on seconds before his car engine seized. He was all of a sudden thrown into a crisis when his car failed in the middle of the road. Had he received signals and information before the car went into failure, he could have taken it to a mechanic or at the very least pulled over to the side of the road.

Whether you work with too much or too little information, many organizations are challenged to find the right balance. As consumers, we use dashboards that filter information based on our likes and preferences. For example, Google prioritizes my news feed based on past read articles, the Weather app allows me to only see the forecast for my location and the Bleacher Report app gives me news of the Cubs, Texans and Rockets.

Real-Time EDI Dashboard
Figure 1. Real-Time Dashboard

Real-time Supply ChainTracking Monitoring

But what about the information we need for business, the answers we need to do our jobs? Supply chain managers face several challenges. There is information overload in which so many statistics and data points are available that it’s too difficult to see what needs to be fixed.  And in other areas, critical information is not easily accessible in the systems used. To get the answer to a question, for example, may require engaging the IT team and developing a custom report, or tracking data points on a spreadsheet.

EDI Dashboard
Figure 2. Customizeable dashboards enable role-based tracking of all supply chain events

Filter Real-time Data based on Roles and Preferences

In today’s competitive environment in which decisions must be made in minutes, real-time access to purchase orders, tracking information, inventory levels, and forecasting numbers are all vital to run an efficient supply chain. This type of visibility enables managers to monitor the flow, detect and avert problems before they happen, and take corrective actions when things go wrong.

At DiCentral, we’ve taken a page from the consumer applications playbook. We’re launching an easy-to-use, customizable dashboard that will enable supply chain managers to filter the real-time information based on their roles and preferences. With our dashboard, managers view the most relevant data in real time, speeding up reaction time and course corrections.

We’re excited about transparency services and believe it will make a big difference in how our customers are able to proactively manage their businesses.

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