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How Aptean Business Intelligence Software for Food and Beverage Drives Data-Driven Improvement

How Aptean Business Intelligence Software for Food and Beverage Drives Data-Driven Improvement


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How Aptean Business Intelligence Software for Food and Beverage Drives Data-Driven Improvement

6 Jul 2021

Robert Maes
Aptean BI can empower your food and beverage business to hit its targets.

Today’s food and beverage businesses are increasingly adopting enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions as a foundation for their digital transformation strategy. Thought leaders and veterans of the industry such as yourself have identified that the single, unified interface for managing data and day-to-day processes that these systems provide is what’s necessary to overcome challenges in traceability, efficiency, product quality and more.

That being said, if the ERP is the foundation for modernization, a companion business intelligence (BI) solution can be a launching pad for progress. While an ERP system handles the capture of detailed, granular information, BI tools turn those facts and figures into actionable insights that fuel the continuous improvement cycle and boost efficiency, production and profitability.

Here we’ll dive into the profound effect that BI platforms can have at the organizational level, the advanced technology behind their powerful functionalities and what sets Aptean Business Intelligence for food and beverage businesses apart from other seemingly similar offerings.

Becoming a Data-Driven Organization

One of the biggest benefits of embracing business intelligence software at your organization is the dramatic shift in thinking that these solutions can bring about. From a starting point of raw historical data and only vague ideas of how to leverage it, a company can radically change its approach to become more data-driven by properly taking advantage of the tools offered by BI.

Traditional analysis relies on static reports that reflect past results. While this can be a useful practice to some extent, the fact of the matter is that what was true months ago will not necessarily remain true in the future. Thus, the ability to create predictions based on existing information can be far more advantageous when making decisions about your path forward.

There are several stages to the evolution of a business from one that simply perceives information and responds, to one that predicts and takes proactive measures to bring about desired outcomes. However, the goal at the heart of the process is to close the “information gap”—that is, to properly align the amount and kind of data being evaluated with the process and timeframe of making informed decisions in real time.

Machine Learning and the KPI Tree

Creating projections isn’t easy—there’s a reason that the chances of rain given in weather forecasts are shown as percentages, after all. However, machine learning is making reliably accurate predictions a reality today, and the best BI systems harness the full power of this emergent technology.

Without getting too far into the weeds of the complex processes at work, machine learning can generally be defined as the repeated use of many different simulations based on existing data in order to form a model that can be trusted to create realistic estimations of future scenarios. In the beginning, the system guesses wrong far more often than not, but it’s through those failures that it “teaches” itself how to best perform its function.

Aptean Business Intelligence puts this to use with key performance indicator (KPI) trees. These schematics arrange various KPIs—from costs and revenue to production speed and capacity—in a hierarchy, with lagging indicators like profit at the top of the diagram and leading indicators at the bottom.

To begin with, the actual values for the various KPIs are input to identify where the business is performing suboptimally. Then, the machine learning model can create predictions of different scenarios by changing those values to more desirable levels and demonstrating the anticipated effect of that shift throughout the tree.

This sort of functionality is not only highly informative for food and beverage organizations looking to achieve better results, but it also serves to shift a company’s approach from one of simply reacting based on historical data to making informed decisions based on intelligent analysis. Excellent demand forecasting is a game-changer in an industry that moves as quickly and involves as many divergent demands as food and beverage.

Aptean Business Intelligence Advantages

A critically important differentiator for Aptean Business Intelligence is the fact that it is built on Microsoft’s Power BI Premium. Touted as the leading platform for several years running, it serves as the gold standard and comes with a host of its own advantages out of the gate.

First, because Power BI is so popular and is updated so frequently, the user community and level of developer support are second-to-none. Aptean has already built many food and beverage industry-specific tools within the system, and all come packed in with our solution, which accelerates clients’ timelines considerably.

Second, as a Microsoft product, the interface will be familiar to users of other applications in the same suite, including Business Central and Office. This should go a long way in tempering any feelings of intimidation from the introduction of a new system, and any time the change management process can be made easier, that represents a distinct benefit.

Aptean Business Intelligence software was built as the first cloud-native solution for BI, but it thankfully doesn’t suffer from the variable costs sometimes associated with such deployments, as the fee per user remains flat. Meanwhile, our IT teams ensure the stability of the platform, monitoring the environment and providing support whenever necessary.

What might be even more impressive is that a complete implementation of the system—including training—takes just eight business days. Our business intelligence software comes ready to accommodate more than 300 KPIs, and more food and beverage-specific features and KPIs are added regularly.

If you’re ready for takeoff with Aptean Business Intelligence, contact us today to learn more about what it can do for your food and beverage business.

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