Having data and information is certainly fundamental, but how it is utilized in analyses and decision-making makes it transformational to a business’ success. And, while decisions made based more on intuition and judgement do not necessarily lead to disaster, they do leave money on the table in the form of less- than-ideal pricing, lost sales, and other missed opportunities.
On the other hand, companies that use data-driven analytics well to inform their decision-making, consistently outperform their competitors. These companies benefit from the ability to anticipate market changes, and manage to steer the business in challenging times. They know what’s working and where the risks are. They optimize for costs and efficiencies. And they improve their decisions, both the strategic and the every day, over time. As a result, they see improvement in revenue, asset utilization, and other financial indicators.
We’ve seen this come to fruition in the pulp and paper industry numerous times over the last several years, from new paper machines built or converted only to find the market had fallen out in that region to mills purchased that remain or became idled shortly thereafter. But we have seen many successful rebuilds, starts, and restarts of paper machines and mills in the last several years, too. The difference between failure and success can be traced to both the use of market intelligence and how it was analyzed.
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