You can also "apply customer insights from BI to understand who your best customers are, where to find more like them, and, in some cases, which customers to fire," says Weber.
6. Benchmark sales channel partners. BI software can also reveal information about your sales channel partners, "enabling your sales team to triage top and bottom performers," says Bill Stark, head of Corporate Intelligence & Analytics at Clean Power Finance, an online SaaS platform that creates a virtual marketplace for institutional investors and the solar industry.
7. Identify areas for cost cutting. "Your BI software investment can pay for itself over and over by helping decision-makers identify areas for cost savings," says Dwight deVera, senior vice president at Arcplan, a provider of BI and planning solutions.
"Cutting excessive inventory — and thereby the cost to maintain it — is one of the easiest changes a company can make to immediately affect its bottom line," deVera says. And a BI solution with a good dashboard, "that provides retailers better visibility into inventory, enables them to make better decisions about what to order and when so goods don't sit idly on warehouse shelves."
BI software can also help manufacturers control and/or cut costs by analyzing manufacturing processes, "allowing them to access and collect the data necessary to measure all major productivity and production influencing factors, as well as maximize production efficiency from the supply chain, the factory floor to the distribution network," says Wolfgang Seybold, CEO of Cubeware, a BI software solution provider.
8. Boost productivity (by monitoring employees' use of the network/Internet). "Use business intelligence to see all the traffic happening on a network and how much time [employees are spending] on non-work activities," says Tom Lambotte, president of business solutions provider GlobalMac IT.
"This can be very insightful," Lambotte says. "One of our clients learned a new intern downloaded 24GB of Netflix in one month. Netflix was then blocked completely, ensuring she was focused on her work. To monetize the impact, 10 users at $20/hr, at one hour/week doing non-work adds up to $10,000 in lost productivity. Most [organizations] have no idea this is even going on."
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