What is a Distribution Center Comparison Dashboard?

Comparative distribution center dashboards are considered benchmarking tools and are used by executives, analysts and managers to analyze KPIs across the company’s locations. Some of the main functionality in this type of dashboard is that it provides graphical analysis from six different perspectives: 1) Inventory turnover versus backorder rate by location, 2) Order cycle time, 3) Quantity on hand, 4) Order picking accuracy versus Rate of return, 5) Inventory carrying cost, 6) Inventory value. The dashboard is parameter-based and the user can run it for any period. You find an example of this type of dashboard below.

Purpose of Distribution Center Comparison Dashboards

Distribution businesses use Comparison Dashboards to benchmark performance for various KPIs across their locations. When used as part of good business practices in a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) department, a company can improve its individual distribution center strategies and inventory processes, and it can reduce the chances that managers miss outliers amongst their locations.

Distribution Center Comparison Dashboard Example

Here is an example of a Distribution Center Comparison Dashboard with inventory-related KPIs.

Example of a Distribution Center Comparison Dashboard

Example of a Distribution Center Comparison Dashboard

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Dashboard?

The typical users of this type of dashboard are: COOs, inventory managers, distribution center managers, executives.

Other Dashboards Often Used in Conjunction with Distribution Center Comparison Dashboards

Progressive Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and operational departments sometimes use several different Distribution Center Comparison Dashboards, along with  inventory and sales reports, margin reports, sales dashboards, sales forecasts, supplier reports, costing and allocation reports, profit & loss reports, balance sheets and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from management systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

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