BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS — HOW TO GAUGE SUCCESS
While it is possible to leverage the dashboard development work done for other manufacturing sectors, vendors of management systems for the printing industry generally agree it has unique needs.
Printers typically are dealing with a high number of different jobs that can be short runs, which is not the typical manufacturing scenario, points out David Taylor, president of Radius Solutions in Chicago. However, the level of sophistication offered in some of the generic dashboards is becoming of interest to printers. Adapting such a solution entails the same challenges as implementing a standard ERP application within a printing operation, Taylor asserts.
Radius' Pecas Vision system includes a Shop Floor Data Capture module for monitoring the production floor and a Data Analyzer tool Taylor describes as an entry-level dashboard that shows the potential of this capability. The company has also integrated a more sophisticated third-party solution called Core View.
In a similar fashion, PRIMAC Systems elected to form a partnership with Management Information Tools Inc. (MITI) to add the MITS OLAP/Business Intelligence suite of tools to its management system. One of those tools, MITS Discover, includes an optional dashboard that enables tracking of a company's KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), points out Larry Austin, general manager of Dallas-based PRIMAC. This seamless integration enables users to create custom dashboards that can include graphical displays of data, stoplight buttons to reflect red/yellow/green conditions and other elements.
Third-party dashboards also may be the answer for printers with internally developed management systems and those that have done their own system integration.
Whether it comes from a third party or is developed internally, vendors can also have differing opinions on whether a dashboard is simply another name for the enhanced reporting function inherent in the core management system or a distinct product that sits on top of the MIS/ERP solution.