How To Optimize The Manufacturing Process With Business Intelligence
by Christian Ofori-Boateng on Mar 19, 2017 8:30:00 AM
The manufacturing plants of today create incredible volumes of data as they work. The data you accumulate during manufacturing operations allows you to increase your process efficiency, assess risks, and respond to the needs of customers in real time. The problem with normal businesses is that it is hard to keep up with the amount of data that builds up. With Business Intelligence integration, this can change for the better.
Inaccurate data that takes the time to process often causes harm to a manufacturing operation, and to the whole supply chain. The main goal is to streamline this data and make it more efficient. Fortunately, BI helps improve this process, especially when it is properly utilized.
Manufacturing Plants Use Data from Multiple Sources
The data available for reading for a manufacturing plant can be found in many different formats and from multiple locations across the company. Enterprise systems, supply information, cost data, customer communique, finances, and variations in the market are all sources and types of data within the manufacturing industry.
Analytics used in the processing of this data are outdated in most firms. Manufacturing plants are still using spreadsheets to report on data, which causes a huge delay in the reporting process. Effective BI cannot be conducted with a large lag in data reporting and analysis. KPIs can’t be analyzed properly if there is a risk that they will be outdated by the time the analytics reach the eyes of management.
Cloud Based BI Can Solve the Issue
The most common set of tools used by a manufacturing firm for BI is the ERP set or Enterprise Resource Planning software. This software can be used in place of spreadsheets to optimize the processes and BI analytics at every level of the organization. When these applications are delivered over cloud storage, they become even more flexible and scalable.
Modern Business Intelligence tools allow the relevant parties to visualize analytical data in real-time. Analysts can customize their own charts, graphs, reports, and dashboards, selecting the information they would like displayed. Because of the cloud-based nature of a BI system like this, the cost to the manufacturing company is significantly reduced, as new hardware need not be purchased to support the application.
Modern BI Tools are Simple
In fact, most modern manufacturing BI applications are so simple that entry-level employees with little or no training in their use can utilize them like professionals. Because they are user-friendly, most employees can easily filter the data and visualize it for a better perspective on what is happening within the plant. The IT department is no longer necessary to assist in the analysis of the delivered metrics and KPIs.
Today, you can use your BI platform to define your very own set of KPIs which have their own rules and notification settings. A modern application can be used to find a faulty batch, trace it back to the point where the fault occurred, and deal with the problem at the source. This eliminates the risk of future issues of the same nature.
The Optimization Occurs Everywhere
There is no single sector where optimization occurs. Inventory management is affected as BI reports allow employees in this sector to keep track of the difference between projected output and actual output throughout the manufacturing process. Sales and distribution are impacted. Assembly-level processes can have their issues solved as soon as problems are identified.
Manufacturing is an industry that is constantly evolving. New technologies are emerging, and more data is being collected every day. As consumers demand better quality, and faster, the only way to effectively keep up and cut costs is to implement a sound Business Intelligence software suite into the processes from transport to assembly.