Many activities involved in various stages of production, such as transportation and distribution of products and services to customers, inventory, and information management, take place in the supply chain warehouse. Due the importance of these processes, it is the role of supply chain company managers and warehouse managers to ensure warehouse activities are conducted perfectly. This creates high demand within other segments of the company to monitor inventories to avoid instances of overstocking and understocking in warehouses that may expose the company to risk.
With embedded analytics, supply chain warehouse managers find it easy to manage their warehouse properly, minimize risk, and maximize profit. By embedding analytical tools in their daily applications, they gain important insights into their warehouse performance and are able to find solutions to properly stock and supply inventory for their customers. In this blog post, I am going to give you a walkthrough of embedded analytics and how Bold BI helps supply chain analysts improve warehouse management performance and achieve their business goals through the following subtopics:
- What is embedded analytics?
- Benefits of embedded analytics in supply chain warehouse management.
- Bold BI’s Supply Chain warehouse management dashboard example.
- How to embed analytical tools into supply chain warehouse management domain applications.
What is embedded analytics?
Benefits of embedded analytics in supply chain warehouse management
Applying embedded analytics to supply chain warehouse management in your business allows you to monitor key metrics and KPIs that help you identify areas that need improvement in order to meet your customers’ needs, manage your cash flow efficiently, and keep proper records of your inventory. In this section, I will discuss the following benefits in detail:
- Improved risk mitigation.
- Easy cash flow management.
- Better customer service.
- Proper inventory management.
Improved risk mitigation
Embedded analytics helps you track the number of units on hand and the number of units ordered by customers that have not yet been delivered. By monitoring these, you will understand the status of your warehouse and easily know which products are running out of stock and which ones are overstocked. Both overstocking and understocking increase the risk of lost revenue and can be particularly troublesome if the products are subject to expiration. Comprehending these different facets enables you to draw risk mitigation plans to reduce losses and damage in in the warehouse. Mitigating risks at this point in the supply chain saves you time and money that would be spent dealing with the consequences of risks, and has a positive ripple effect further down the supply chain.
Easy cash flow management
Cash flow figures into warehouse management because the warehouse plays a large role in cash outflows and inflows for your company. Company investments in inventory count as outflow and sales from inventory count as inflow. Tracking the balance of these helps you make the right decisions toward a positive cash flow. Embedded analytics comes into play here by helping you analyze inventory turnover, inventory carrying costs, inventory insurance costs, and more, giving you an overview of warehousing expenses. This allows you to make adjustments to minimize costs of storing, handling, administrating, and holding unsold inventories in the warehouse and maximize the income the warehouse contributes to your company.
Better customer service
Embedded analytics helps you examine past and current data on return rates. This helps you identify goods that are consistently being returned to your warehouse by customers or the next node in the supply chain. Using information received from customer feedback, you can predict the quality and type of products your customers require and make a strategic plan to put more effort into acquiring the highest quality and highest selling products.
Better inventory management
Proper inventory monitoring helps warehouse managers keep proper and accurate records of products and items in the warehouse. This helps them keep track of slow-moving and top-selling products, days of supply, and inventory sales ratios. Monitoring these metrics helps leaders know which departments within the company have a higher frequency of shipping wrong items to customers and which ones are experiencing excessive lead times, factors that contribute to customer churn. Knowing these can lead to rectifying actions farther down the supply chain, which in turn reduce unwanted circumstances in the warehouse.
Bold BI’s Supply Chain Warehouse Management Dashboard example
The Supply Chain Warehouse Management dashboard example assists in inventory management and metrics analysis such by tracking and visualizing data around the movement of goods and cost factors involved in different warehouse processes, such as inventory carrying costs, return rates, stock details, and more.
Key metrics and KPIs
The following key metrics and KPIs are displayed in the dashboard:
- Percentage out of stock.
- Back-order rate.
- Inventory carrying cost.
- Product stock details.
- Inventory days of supply.
- Return rate.
- Inventory carrying rate.
- Inventory turnover.
- Inventory-to-sales ratio.
Percentage out of stock
This number card measures the number of items that are out of stock at the time a customer places an order and compares that to a baseline or target value.
This number card measures the number of orders that cannot be filled at the time a customer places one. With this data, managers can know which products are in highest demand and restock them in higher quantities.
Inventory carrying cost
This stacked column chart shows the total costs of storage, handling, administration, damages, and losses in different warehouses. With this data, warehouse managers can more efficiently manage inventory expenses.
Product stock details
This grid shows the current metrics about the number of units on hand and the number of units ordered that have not yet been delivered for each product. With this data, you can check the product availability and restock as necessary.
Inventory days of supply
This spline chart measures how many days of operations you can cover based on current inventory.
This number card shows the total number of goods returned to the warehouse by customers and expresses the ratio of returned units to total units as a percentage.
Inventory carrying rate
This radial gauge shows the portion of total inventory costs that is spent solely on storing unsold items.
This radial gauge shows the ratio between the cost of goods sold divided by the average value of available stock.
Inventory to sales ratio
This radial gauge shows the value of inventory compared to the company’s sales volume in a given period expressed as a percentage.
To learn more about the metrics and KPIs used in this dashboard example, refer to the Supply Chain Warehouse Management demo.
How to embed analytics tools into supply chain warehouse management apps
Let’s see how analytics can be embedded into your supply chain warehouse management web applications. Bold BI helps you embed your dashboards in 18 web platforms, including React with ASP.NET Core, React with Go, WinForms, Node.js, Vue with Go, and Vue with Core. In the remainder of this blog, I am going to explain how to embed dashboards in ASP.NET MVC applications. Consider a scenario in which your supply chain warehouse department has a website like the one shown in the following image.
You can embed dashboards easily using Bold BI and avoid building an analytics or BI solution yourself. Follow these steps to embed your dashboard successfully.
Download and install the Bold BI server on your local machine and create an enterprise-grade dashboard. You can find the installation and deployment instructions in the Installation and Deployment documentation.
Step 1: Creating an ASP.NET MVC application
To successfully embed a dashboard in your application, first you need to create an ASP.NET MVC application. Open Microsoft Visual Studio and click New Project. Then choose ASP.NET MVC Web Application, enter the project name, and click OK.
Step 2: Configure embed properties
After the ASP.NET MVC web application is created, you need to create a Model class called EmbedProperties under Models and provide the dashboard RootURL, SiteIdentifier, Environment, UserEmail, and EmbedSecret.
Property Value Descriptions
BI dashboard server URL. For example: http://localhost:5000/bi, http://dashboard.syncfusion.com/bi.
For Bold BI, it should follow the format “site/site1”. For Bold BI Cloud Analytics Server, it should be an empty string.
This is your Bold BI application environment. If using Bold BI Cloud Analytics Server, you should use “cloud”. If using Bold BI, you should use “enterprise”.
Bold BI server will use an email address to authorize the authorization server.
Step 3: Generate embed secret
You have to set the EmbedSecret for authentication. You can get the embed secret from the Bold BI server by navigating to the Settings icon in the left navigation bar and clicking the Embed tab.
Click Enable embed authentication and then click the Generate Secret button to generate the embed secret. On clicking the button, a secret key will be generated, and you can copy and paste it into the application. To learn how to do this in more detail, you can refer to this documentation.
Note: Save the secret key, as it cannot be retrieved again. If you do not save it, you will have to generate a new one using the Reset Secret option.
Step 4: Create authorization server
You need to implement an authorization server in the ASP.NET MVC application to provide authentication before embedding the dashboard from the Bold BI server. You can also configure the single sign-on (SSO) authorization server, which is an authentication endpoint that enables users to securely authenticate multiple applications using unique embed secrets. This prevents users from having to log into different applications separately.
Step 5: Create a Bold BI instance
Step 6: Run the application to embed the dashboard
After creating the ASP.NET MVC application, you need to run it. It will be launched with the dashboard created in the Bold BI server embedded in your web application.
To learn more about embedding dashboards into your applications, refer to the blog Integrating Dashboards into Applications with the Embed SDK. You can also download the sample code mentioned in all these steps from our documentation.
Bold BI helps you integrate dashboards in your applications written in ASP.NET Core, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails. It will save you time by preventing you from doing unnecessary work. Click this link to explore its features. To learn more about embedding dashboards into your application, refer to this blog and our documentation.
Now that you have a better understanding of Bold BI and how it can help efficiently manage a supply chain warehouse, we hope you’ll create a dashboard just the way you like with Bold BI’s 35+ widgets and 130+ data sources.
Get started with Bold BI by signing up for a free 15-day trial and being creating interactive business intelligence dashboards. You can contact us by submitting questions through the Bold BI website, or if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question.