Manufacturing Analytics- Blending Automation with Human Expertise

Posted by Sam Bloedow on 11/25/19 11:10 AM

Abstract high tech background with graphs and diagrams

Data and analytics help manufacturers create more productivity and profits by informing leadership where improvements could be made in throughput, inventory control and ontime delivery.  Most manufacturers have made changes to streamline their operations in an effort to do more with less, by seeing the tangible work done.  For work that is not as tangible to see done, analytics can be used to “see the work” so that operational improvements can be made there as well.  Manufacturing leaders should take a step back and think about the status quo that everyone is operating on and where that intersects with the experience their customers have.  The Moneyball in manufacturing is leveraging data and analytics to reshape the customer experience, throughput, inventory control and ontime delivery as examples all play an important part in doing so. 

So how can manufacturers quickly and easily generate data reports that will make their businesses more competitive?

The manufacturing industry has had a need for granular real-time data and comprehensive workflow before ERP/MRP software was mature enough to provide it.  So early on manufacturers added resources dedicated to data gathering/ reporting and customization, but the data diving and adhoc add-ons done in most manufacturing environments today is not the solution to better analytics, in fact it is an inhibitor to it.  If there were quick and easy ways to get the analytics you need everyone already would have it.  All manufacturers are also in a different place in terms of their ERP/MRP reliance/usage.  A few first steps to take would be. 

  1. What are we doing outside the ERP/MRP that we could be doing inside it

  2. Of the things that cant be done inside the ERP/MRP, are we able to integrate them with the ERP/MRP

  3. Are all roles working the same within the ERP/MRP, if not standardize it

  4. Evaluate your current IT solutions capability of leading and executing transformation at the C-Level. IT is strategic and will actually cost more when cost controlled under finance like your utility bill.

Owners of small to medium-sized manufacturing companies, can realize the value of applying manufacturing analytics to their business in increased profitability.  In companies with net operating incomes around 3%, technology is used like electronic pen and paper,  same steps just on the computer.  In companies with net operating incomes around 10% technology is used to automate manual tasks, control inventory, increase throughput, improve ontime deliveries, transforming their businesses.

See the entire article in the Nov/Dec 2019 MPMA Journal.

Contact us to learn more about how Thriveon's Proactive IT Strategy can help your business get the analytics it needs.