BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS — HOW TO GAUGE SUCCESS
The sampling of perspectives offered here by no means includes the entire universe of management system vendors, but it should be a fair representation of the range of thought on the subject. Setting aside the issues with its name and how this capability is implemented, there is agreement on the benefits of a dashboard.
"You can look at reports all day long, but sometimes you just need to see something visually and it will pop out at you," says CRC's Grasso. "It's all about providing information in real-time to management so they can make quick decisions. The problem with reports is that they are traditionally produced after the fact. A lot of the time the information comes too late to act on."
"Printing is such a low-margin business that you've got to be efficient in your production process and be able to monitor and reduce your costs in order to stay alive," adds Radius' Taylor. "This capability is changing the way businesses are run because it is making data available to management earlier in the production process when there is an opportunity to change the way work is produced."
Beyond dashboards, several of the industry execs see alerting/notification functions as another type of business intelligence capability potentially offered in management solutions. This enables "managing by exception," they note.
Users can define parameters for activities recorded in the database, such as exceeding the 30 minutes estimated for press makeready, and then the system will alert designated personnel via the client software or e-mail whenever an exception is detected.