Analytics has the power to disrupt all areas of a business; from product development through the supply chain to accurate distribution, with connectivity allowing for agile and better-informed decision-making combined with a deeper understanding into how performance can be improved.
Improving visibility in the manufacturing supply chain brings together two elements; data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
By harnessing the power of IoT through the use of sensors on your machinery, around your warehouse and even in your delivery vehicles, you can collect data on how your supply chain is performing. Collecting this data opens your eyes to the real triumphs and tribulations in your processes and opens the door to more efficient business operations and greater productivity across the board.
Making mistakes occasionally is inevitable – we’re all human – but through the use of Data Analytics in the workplace, these occasions can be minimised.
Collected data on your business operations means that you can provide your employees with more information about their tasks, giving them a view of the areas, which can improve. For instance, some of the information collected could help them to address day-to-day challenges; other data could potentially reduce the amount of time spent on certain areas of their role.
It is not about ‘spying’ on your employees; it is about giving them the tools to enable smarter working.
In the recent Annual Manufacturing Report by The Manufacturer it states that ‘the argument for use of new digital technologies [in manufacturing] has been won [as] 92% of manufacturers believe that embracing Smart Factory technologies will enable them to increase productivity levels per headcount’.
Traditionally, historical data and monitoring of industry trends predicts sales figures and additionally stock quantities; however, with Industry 4.0 we are seeing a move to a more digitally responsive supply chain and a ‘new wave’ of lean manufacturing methods.
By monitoring different, key points in the supply chain – including the product when it is in use with the end consumer – you are able to identify needs in real-time. This means that not only can you more accurately control your stock levels, but also that you always have what’s in demand, as you’ll have a greater insight into what you’re customers need.
Being able to be responsive to your customer’s changes in demand – or act fast when they are experiencing downtime – keeps you ahead of your competitors.
There is a huge market for predictive maintenance, customers want and expect more than just a product - not exploiting this avenue means that you are overlooking opportunities for additional revenue streams and improved customer satisfaction.
Having visibility into how your customers use your product provides you with the opportunity to improve your offerings to better suit your customer’s needs.
In our Manufacturing 2020 report which gives advice on how manufacturers can future proof their business processes, it was stated by Andrew Churchill, JJ Churchill that ‘how you think your machines are used in the field is completely different to how they are actually used, data gathered from your products in use shows what your customers really need’.
Colin Masson, Global Industry Director of Manufacturing Solutions at Microsoft commented in the Manufacturing 2020 report that ‘there has to be a cultural transformation focusing on customer experience and putting this at the centre of everything. Big data is at the heart of this change as it provides manufacturers with a vast amount of opportunities to delve into customer insights. These insights help to differentiate your products and services and ultimately help your company digitally transform’.
Your customer will always be the key to future business success.
Industry 4.0, IoT, Data Analytics, digital transformation… all buzzwords in the manufacturing industry, but what do they mean? Are they trends that really need to be noticed and adopted?
With the help of manufacturing industry experts we have put together the Manufacturing 2020 report which explored which trends really are reshaping manufacturing as we know it including ‘closing the skills gap’, ‘turning data into action’ and other insights from the field.