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While business intelligence is making headlines, many small companies still think it’s something that wouldn’t work for them. In fact, just the opposite is true. Here we’ve rounded up the top 5 advantages to BI and why you should make the investment today.

Get a Good Look — Even in a small company, it’s easy to lose sight of the Big Picture. Developing a business intelligence system gives you that view anytime and to encompass any department. This gives you the ability to spot problems and trends quickly.

Improve Work Flow — Problems between sales and inventory can arise due to problems that originate in purchasing or even with specific vendors. Use a BI system to spot where the problem is and resolve it quickly. This will improve both your service to customers and employee morale.

Easier Control Over Multiple Vendors — The truth is that ecommerce inventory management isn’t exactly like traditional inventory management. Today’s e-commerce companies often order products from multiple vendors and through multiple channels. In some cases companies will throw drop shipping and Just in Time ordering into the mix. Having a way to view the effects these variables have improves how companies interact with vendors or evaluate them in order to ensure they’re always working with worthwhile sources.

Improved Negotiation — Speaking of working with vendors, business intelligence can even come in handy when it comes to negotiations. Bargaining for a lower price on something you order often is a lot easier when you can use BI to your advantage. Say you have a vendor that had a backorder last quarter — a backorder that wound up with you issues rainchecks and backorders to customers for a month. You could show that relationship to a vendor and ask for a discount.

The Ability to Change — The biggest advantage to developing business intelligence for smaller companies actually comes not from BI itself, but from a smaller company’s actual size. Smaller companies are better positioned to make the most of what BI can offer thanks to their smaller, more agile size.