Author: Tronserve admin
Monday 2nd August 2021 01:37 AM
Three Innovative Uses of Data in the Manufacturing Industry
In line with the 4th annual State of Manufacturing Technology Report, the use of analytics and data is anticipated to increase over the next five years. As the level of connectivity and digitalization is maintaining growth during the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturers will be able to connect and integrate all pieces of their business: from materials planning and logistics to shop floor output and training. The most obvious byproduct is the generation of more and more data. However, simply hoarding data is not just uneffective, it is costly. Manufacturers need to make that data earn its keep!
Applying Data in an Inventive Way
Among the numerous ways data can be used, three stand out in particular.
1. Improving Inventory Management
One of the productive ways data can be leveraged is to enhance inventory management by predicting and managing demand. In line with the Institute of Supply Management, in February 2019, customer inventories were considered quite low for 29 successive months, reaching “their lowest level since December 2010” and signifying that the industry is battling to understand and keep up with incoming demand.
Katie Kean, a global consumer industry CTO, states that to be able to “meet the needs of the consumer even before they know they want it, technology is needed to combine multiple types of data — from both inside and outside of the organization to uncover new, actionable insights.” Effectively managing inventory will impact your bottom line, preventing wasted resources with too much inventory and poor customer experiences with too little inventory.
Manufacturers can even gain an affordable advantage with smarter inventory strategies guided by data. For instance, by tracking your current assets and collecting information about the types of products available, average number of days on the floor and where products are transported you can establish models to project customer demand. It is a lot easier - and more rewarding - to base shipping decisions on data rather than gut feeling.
2. Engaging your Employees
The latest report from Deloitte revealed that the number of unfilled jobs in the manufacturing industry could possibly multiply to as many as 2.4 million in the next decade, leading to a possible $2.5 trillion loss for the industry.
Given this shortfall, it’s incumbent on manufacturers to use data to improve employee engagement, productivity, and recognition. Organizations commonly believe that simply offering rewards for better performance will keep employees satisfied but blindly applying feedback mechanisms without an understanding of your workforce and how they work has proven ineffective, says Michael Wu, chief scientist at Lithium Technologies. However, with access to vast oceans of data, you can analyze which areas of the business need improvement and how you can drive a workforce’s intrinsic competitive nature to drive efficiency and productivity across the floor.
For example, with data as simple as shop floor output, you can analyze who the top performers are and who is coming up short. By leveraging the results, you can hold a training session where the top performer can give guidance as to where improvements can be made. This simultaneously boosts efficiency on the floor and, just as importantly, provides recognition to someone who has done well.
3. Ensuring Safety on the Manufacturing Floor
More than 100,000 manufacturing workers are wounded on the job each year; the most popular accidents include coming into contact with machinery or falling down. While not all injuries can be restricted, you can empower staff to take safety into their own hands with data. Data offers manufacturers the opportunity to assist their workforces understand best practices around safety by finding patterns in the history of past events and accounting for that in training material.
When organizations require to spend less, a lot of the changes made affect workers’ safety. Collisions result not only in direct costs, such as medical expenses and indemnity pay, but also indirect costs, such as plant floor interruptions, which can account for anywhere between three to ten times an accident’s direct costs. Taking the time to impose best habits regarding safety improves profits, grows productivity and brings a better workplace. Better data allows you to do just that.
Manufacturers have a vast opportunity to gain from data-based insights. Those that can analyze and leverage data will be able to make better decisions that propel their organizations to success in a highly competitive climate.
Investing in Data-Driven Initiatives
Only 18 percent of respondents in a recent PwC survey rated their data analytics capabilities as “advanced,” which means that there's still a long way to go before the majority of the manufacturing industry can use data analytics effectively. This is important to bring up that data-based innovations must be deployed in a collaborative process across departments if business processes are to be transformed. New tools and analytics can be useful but they will fail if it is not supported by initiatives that are endorsed by the entire organization.
The hard truth is that manufacturers who don't invest in data analytics will fall behind and in the course of time become out-of-date. The manufacturing industry will stay to undergo digital transformation well into the future, so your best bet is to fully embrace the coming changes as data-driven insights shape the future of the industry.
This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net