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Six Ways to Get More Value from Big Data

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From quality management to on-time deliveries, manufacturers are continually working to enhance and improve performance on the plant floor. Hammering big data down into useful analytics is how manufacturers are saving record amounts of time and money year over year, simply by utilizing the intelligence provided by well-managed data. But how are they doing this? Here are six steps manufacturers take to get more value from big data on the plant floor:  

1.     Establish a baseline.

Whether you want to improve your organization’s shipping practices or streamline your inventory management process, measuring existing manufacturing systems and the current performance of your processes allows you to establish an analytics baseline. This baseline provides a benchmark for future measurement.

2.     Create metrics.

In order to measure organizational success, you need to create metrics. One way to do this is to select the top manufacturing processes that have the greatest impact on customer interactions and devise metrics that measure process performance from a customer’s viewpoint. Measuring more than internal functions such as overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) leads to higher customer satisfaction through improved measurement.

3.     Map and compare.

Value stream mapping and other lean practices enable manufacturers to rework customer-facing manufacturing processes to save time and money. An example of a reworked process includes moving master production scheduling to same-day closed-loop scheduling.

4.     Define performance.

For each of your critical customer-focused processes, define metrics of performance and include them in a dashboard. Metrics on product quality, on-time delivery and order performance connect plant floor productivity and performance to financial results; showcasing them in a dashboard will help you define your plant floor’s performance.

5.     Encourage collaboration.

Collaboration isn’t just about teamwork; it’s also about bringing together different data points to paint a clearer picture of the business. It’s about measuring forecasting accuracy against customer order metrics and on-time delivery data, enabling close integration between your company and its suppliers. Performance metrics also foster collaboration by rewarding both internal employees and customers. Internal employees are provided with recognition for their efforts, and customers benefit from the collaborative attitude that stems from satisfied employees on the plant floor.  

6.     Evaluate analytics and performance.

As a technology leader, you can use analytics to measure your company’s performance and make strategic business decisions that affect the success of your organization. Using analytics to create performance benchmarks improves operations from the plant floor to the top floor as well as the customer experience.

Big data doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By creating metrics, comparing data, evaluating analytics and defining performance, manufacturers can streamline their entire operations and gain more value from big data.

Want to learn more?

Access the “What Does Big Data Mean for Manufacturers?” white paper.

Download the CIO October 2016 Digital Magazine
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