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Management Planning, Company Performance, and Profitability in the Plastics Industry

As in many business sectors, there is increasing interest among company leaders within the plastics industry to examine the benefits of data analysis-driven decision support for planning, forecasting, monitoring and management action, and to improve interdepartmental communication by providing a common information platform for analysis and decision making across the organization. In the past few years, a number of new software tools for analyzing internal company operating information and external market data have been introduced. They are designed to run on the desktop and include powerful data analysis and information visualization capabilities that can be easily learned and utilized by managers from any functional background. These programs simplify the management process and include the following features: The ability to load data from database tables, excel spreadsheets and text files, and to blend data from different files, file types and sources on screen, for simple and rapid review and analysis A drag-and-drop user interface providing the ability to perform what-if analysis to test the impact of management actions, operating conditions and/or market factors on department or company plans and performance The creation of department or company-specific interactive summary analysis sheets or dashboards that allow decision makers to quickly obtain an understanding of the current status of key performance measures at their desks The ability to share data, insights and suggestions on perceived issues, risk factors and opportunities across teams, departments and the organization

Applied Data Analytics

The screen shots on the following page illustrate the capabilities of one of the newgeneration desktop data analysis products. The data shown is for a fictitious plastics molding/manufacturing company competing in the U.S. consumer market. The images shown were created from this data source in about fifteen minutes by a moderately experienced user.

98 Route 101A Suite 22 Amherst, NH 03031 (603) 718-4564 Fax (603) 218-7020

Sales Data Analysis Example for a Plastics Molding/Manufacturing Company


The User can generate a wide range of data visualizations and scenarios by dragging and dropping rows and columns of data from the data tables onto the workspace. Examples below show (A) Sales by Region for 2009-2011, and (B) sales data by month for 2011 for one of the Companys three major product categories Plastic Houseware Items

(A)

(B)

The sheets are interactive, responding to mouse clicks. Here, sales for the month of October are highlighted The User Connects to Tables containing operating data stored on internal or external servers, in the Cloud, or locally

Data can be displayed geographically by clicking on an address field in the data table

Filters and conditions can be applied to tailor the display of data to specific performance indicators. This chart illustrates sales (bar length) and profit (bar color) by sales rep

Putting it all together


The individual data sheets on the previous page were combined, again using a drag-and-drop interface, to create the following dashboard. The dashboard is interactive, meaning that when a user clicks on a chart in one window (for example, plastic furnishing sales in the Midwest) the corresponding fields will be highlighted in the other windows.

While the above illustrations focus on sales performance, by selecting and dragging different fields manufacturing costs, supply chain performance, shipping costs per product or region in other words any information supported by the data fields in the data source(s) - can be analyzed. By fostering insightful and timely analysis using a common platform, desktop data analysis can lead to better awareness of operating performance, more consistent decision making, and improved business results.

Understanding the Benefits


While the benefits of the current generation of data analysis programs are potentially significant, the need to select the right approach and to insure organizational readiness are essential to a successful implementation and thus to reaping the rewards in enhanced business performance and higher profitability. A one-hour on-site live demonstration and Q&A session is typically adequate to provide the information necessary to allow you and your team to make an initial determination of the technologys potential. I encourage you to contact me directly to discuss and arrange a mutually convenient time for this session.

A Few Words about Applied Data Applied Data Analytics is a business information technology firm focused on working with the management teams and IT professionals of small-to-midsize companies to assist them in deciding how their organizations can best benefit from data analysis tools. The value that we can provide to these companies includes: Data analysis software evaluations and software selection support Analytics product acquisition and installation support Data collection and data storage process evaluation, design and standardization to insure data availability, quality and consistency Data analytics training and mentoring Data analysis program management

For More Information: George Perros CEO Applied Data Analytics Amherst, NH 03031 (603) 718-4564 (voice) (603) 218-7020 (fax) g.perros@applieddata.org