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The Challenge

 

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Run your business intelligently in real time.

The technology now exists to make sound decisions in real time. Intelligent dashboards assemble and colour code information so that managers know which customers are running behind schedule before they call you. Map based systems simplify complex data analysis so that you can respond to bottlenecks in seconds. Wireless and internet based communications bridge the distance between remote operations and the office environment. Tools like Greycoat Pipe move data between the smart devices used in Operations and the analytical tools available in your office.

The opportunity now exists to run your business with data in real time.  Delivery information, production statistics, costs and margins, can all be made available up to the minute.  And the technology is not all that costly to implement.  Greycoat Software offers disruptive technology to build a Key Performance Indicator dashboard, and the difficult data collection software behind the scenes in order to allow your managers to anticipate problems rather than just react to problems.

Many corporations have built good, robust reporting systems with powerful financial consolidation and analytical capabilities, but still have failed to put information in mid-level managers hands that can help them to run the business more effectively.  Greycoat Software can offer middleware that will collect and report results using the latest technology from Microsoft and Google, and then pass on the data to the back end Accounting system, thus, complementing the existing financial software.

Accurate, reliable and immediate. Two out of three isn't good enough.

'Accurate' information can be trusted as correct, free from errors, and reasonably precise.

'Reliable' refers to the processes that provide the information you need, reliable information is produced routinely and dependably, and is available when you need it. Factors that make information unreliable include equipment issues, security, and human error or issues with priorities.

'Immediate' information means information reflecting current activity, nothing less than up to the minute. For example, shipping results as of the end of the previous billing period are not immediate.  Line managers need immediate shipping information in order to shift resources to meet company mandates and priorities.

In the past, you could have accurate information but only after the raw data had been edited, checked, verified and balanced.  That's not good enough to run a business in real time.

Most information used by managers today falls into zones 1, 2 or 3, in the diagram to the left.

Most companies' systems provide reports that are accurate and reliable, but not immediate or timely, corresponding to zone 1 in the diagram.  This is sometimes described as the formal reporting system. Decision-making is slow, but can be made with a high degree of confidence in the predictability of the outcome.  In general, Back office and Accounting systems produce information that is accurate and reliable, but not immediate. The extra steps taken to ensure accuracy and reliability cause the information to be produced hours or even days after the event.

Most companies complement the formal reporting system, zone 1, with some data reporting that is immediate and reliable, but not completely accurate. This corresponds to zone 3 in the diagram. Key factors may be left out of the information.  For example, daily sales reports may not be adjusted for product returns, voided sales and so on. Or quantities may be available, but not all orders have been priced.  In many cases, these inaccuracies limit the purposes for which the numbers can be used.

Placing pressure on older databases and data collection software to produce accurate, immediate analyses can expose the weaknesses in dependability, reliability and operation of the delivery network, corresponding to zone 3 in the diagram. Generally such systems require manual intervention to submit results ahead of the formal reporting system, meaning that personnel absences or omissions make the reports incomplete. Pressuring an existing system to speed up the information flow can expose limitations and issues in equipment and reporting deadlines are missed as a result.

The ideal is an information system that produces measures which are accurate, reliable and immediate, and the next pages will discuss how Compass achieves that goal.

Next read about Our Vision.