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Monitoring the Blackberry Supply Chain & Manufacturing Data with the Company that Makes Them


The Challenge

Research In Motion (RIM) faced two key challenges. First, RIM needed a more focused and convenient way to deliver information to senior management. Secondly, they needed to reduce the number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While RIM had been tracking KPIs for awhile, there was a greater push to boil them down in order to rally the manufacturing and supply chain organizations around a more focused set of information, and therefore better align different projects and priorities.

“We have numerous business intelligence tools in the organization that have similar capabilities, but Visual KPI enables us to take the nuggets of data we need from different systems and integrates them all.”

Brad Thurston, Project Manager of Supply Chain Systems. Research in Motion

RIM’s Experience

With Visual KPI mobile operational intelligence software, RIM was able to focus manufacturing and supply chain KPIs from nearly 50 metrics down to six, with additional sub-KPIs (or underlying contributors.) RIM built a mobile portal for executives that extends the availability of information outside of the office to mobile devices. With Visual KPI, RIM decision makers get alerts based on early warning signs that something might be off related to inventory, production capacity, manufacturing cycle times, and customer delivery or returns.

“We have numerous business intelligence tools in the organization that have similar capabilities, but Visual KPI enables us to take the nuggets of data we need from different systems and integrate them all,” said Brad Thurston, Project Manager of Supply Chain Systems at RIM. By putting operations information front and center, Visual KPI supports decision making on a daily basis, helping executives ensure they are in line with supply chain management goals and targets.

Improved Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Rich, real-time detail on traditional supply chain and manufacturing information helps RIM to increase capacity, improve customer delivery percentages and reduce manufacturing cycle time. “Having metrics readily available and ultra-convenient helps us stay focused on a small sub-set of goals, which significantly impacts our decision making,” said Thurston. Though only in phase one of deployment, Thurston is “quite optimistic that it will more than pay for itself in no time at all.”

With Visual KPI, RIM is better able to stay focused on business goals, which in turn significantly improves decision making. As Thurston said: “You can’t underestimate the power of information at your fingertips.”

Visual KPI Implementation

Easy to use and ultra flexible, the deployment of Visual KPI was straightforward and didn’t require additional software or investment to enable the viewing of information on Blackberry devices. “Visual KPI is intentionally designed to be easily deployed to mobile devices and deliver a common view,” said Thurston. “It was all done with remote assistance and was remarkably easy to get up and running.”

About Research in Motion (RIM)

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services, and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements.

Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM (Nasdaq: RIMM, TSX: RIM) operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Visit for more information.

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