Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 14

trendspotting | DATA & DECISION MAKING

Business Intelligence as
a Strategic Weapon
ROD FISHER, FISHER INTERNATIONAL

"Companies that
successfully use business
intelligence to drive
decision making realize
greater profitability, often
at the expense of their
competing peers."
- Rod Fisher

14

Paper360º

MARCH/APRIL 2018

Business intelligence (BI) has come
a long way in recent years. In the wake of Big
Data and information overload, enhanced
search methodologies and advanced systems
have surfaced that fine-tune business intelligence to swiftly deliver targeted pieces of
knowledge that can inform decisions and drive
actions. Yet many organizations underutilize BI, which can have a significant impact
on profitability.
This article describes the role new business
intelligence can play, what capabilities it must
have to effectively impact profitability, and a
few examples of how producers, suppliers, and
investors in the paper industry can and should
deploy it as a strategic weapon in today's competitive landscape.

people; and relevant, timely, accurate information that informs their decisions.
The same is true for the industry's suppliers. If there is one challenge most suppliers face, it is commoditization, where price
becomes the key determinant of competitive
success and customers require increasing
amounts of technical and sales service without being willing to pay a premium for it.
The antidote to commoditization is differentiation, where one supplier demonstrates
an advantage over competitors that is valuable enough to warrant a premium. Finding
and demonstrating valuable differentiation
requires suppliers to understand customers'
unique needs deeply and precisely, which is
a role business intelligence should support.

WHY IS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
SO IMPORTANT?
No one makes a profit simply by owning
papermaking assets. A business's assets-
people, plants, and products-while different, are not unique. Anyone with access
to enough cash or credit can buy or build a
pulp or paper mill, hire people to run it, and
make products using standard recipes. Take
Eldorado, for example, a 1.7 million metric
ton bleached eucalyptus pulp (BEK) producer in Três Lagoas, Brazil. The company,
which started producing five years ago, was
owned by a family with capital but no prior
experience in pulp and paper. (Norwegian
firm Paper Excellence recently purchased
Eldorado in a deal worth R15 billion, about
US$4.7 billion.)
Sustainable profit comes from the value
gained through constant refinement of utilized
assets. In commodity businesses like pulp and
paper, that effectiveness is driven by a wide
range of decisions which, when made marginally better, result in higher prices, higher
operating rates, lower costs, and lower volatility than in less well-run firms. So, while capital
investment is the cost of entry, profitability
comes from superior decision making. That
requires two things: skill of the organization's

THE PRINCIPLES THAT MAKE BI WORK
Traditionally, professionals in the pulp and
paper industry turned to personal experience
and directories for information. In recent
years, however, pulp and paper has globalized to the point that no one person can get
first-hand exposure to all relevant parts of
the industry. Companies themselves are bigger and managements' staffs are smaller.
Experience and intuition, while vital, are only
a piece of the knowledge base that is required
to guide today's firms. Directories, the other
traditional information source, have severe
analytical limitations and data quality shortcomings (more on that to come).
Owners and managers today need a new
breed of BI with a new set of capabilities-one
that can both aggregate massive amounts of
data and refine it to address the specific goals
at hand. To deliver that, business intelligence
resources need to have fundamentally different data quality and functionality characteristics. But what does it take for business
intelligence to perform at this new level?
Just having information doesn't create
profitability. The key is how the information
is used. We at Fisher International call this
"data-driven decision making." Thirty years of
experience investing in the resources required
www.tappi.org


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - March/April 2018

Setpoint
Over the Wire
The Importance of Safety Training
Data & Decision Making
RISI European CEO of the Year: DS Smith’s Miles Roberts
Buckman’s Junai Maharaj on ‘The Art of the Possible’
Fapajal Tissue: Old, New & Customer-Centric
Progroup Turns 25
PIMA, Paper360° Co-Host Executive Panel
Creating a Lignin Culture
Benefits of Drive-Through Design
Sustainability as Business Leverage
CIPTE Show Highlights Innovation and Sustainability
TAPPI Journal Summaries
Leadership in Maintenance: Where Do We Start?
As a New Reliability Engineer, Are you Confused About Your Role?
R&M Tips
Paper and Board Have Key Roles in the Future of Packaging
Global Paper and Paperboard Demand Growing Despite Declines in Graphic Paper
PPI Awards Showcase Industry Excellence
TAPPI News
ASPI News
Index of Advertisers
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - intro
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - ebelly1
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - ebelly2
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - cover1
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - cover2
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 3
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 4
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 5
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Setpoint
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 7
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 8
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Over the Wire
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 10
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 11
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - The Importance of Safety Training
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 13
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Data & Decision Making
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 15
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 16
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 17
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 18
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 19
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 20
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 21
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 22
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 23
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 24
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 25
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 26
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 27
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 28
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 29
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 30
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 31
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - RISI European CEO of the Year: DS Smith’s Miles Roberts
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 33
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 34
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 35
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Buckman’s Junai Maharaj on ‘The Art of the Possible’
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 37
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 38
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 39
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Fapajal Tissue: Old, New & Customer-Centric
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 41
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 42
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 43
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Progroup Turns 25
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 45
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 46
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 47
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - PIMA, Paper360° Co-Host Executive Panel
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 49
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Creating a Lignin Culture
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 51
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 52
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 53
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Benefits of Drive-Through Design
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 55
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Sustainability as Business Leverage
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 57
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - CIPTE Show Highlights Innovation and Sustainability
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 59
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - TAPPI Journal Summaries
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 61
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 62
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 63
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 64
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Leadership in Maintenance: Where Do We Start?
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - As a New Reliability Engineer, Are you Confused About Your Role?
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - R&M Tips
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Paper and Board Have Key Roles in the Future of Packaging
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 69
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Global Paper and Paperboard Demand Growing Despite Declines in Graphic Paper
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 71
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - PPI Awards Showcase Industry Excellence
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 73
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 74
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 75
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 76
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 77
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 78
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - TAPPI News
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - 80
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - ASPI News
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - Index of Advertisers
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - cover3
Paper360 - March/April 2018 - cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPID/PPID0018
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIS0712
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIS0711
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIS0311
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIS0710
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http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com