Manufacturers around the world continue to grapple with the pressure of reducing costs while achieving the highest standard of quality. In this era of the connected customer, we are now experiencing a whole new world with mass customization/personalization in a high-volume environment becoming the norm. To stay competitive, manufacturers need to become agile to respond flexibly to this new demand. But without the real-time visibility and intelligent insights to optimize production, manufacturers will not be able to keep pace with the increased demand for innovation and adapt to dynamic new business models.
As manufacturers architect and execute their Industry 4.0 initiatives, intelligence gathering and analytics is a mission-critical component to success. In Aberdeen Group’s 2017 MOM/MES and Manufacturing Operations Benchmark study, research revealed that 47% of organizations believe they need to become more data-driven to remain competitive. The amount of sensor and machine data being produced today alone is immense, and this is only expected to increase as the cost of sensors decrease, and control points increase. As the number of interconnected factory assets, devices, and sensors increases, the amount of data available to manufacturers provides an unprecedented opportunity to generate “smart” insights not possible before.
The proliferation and complexity of multiple disparate systems in modern manufacturing environments is not uncommon (MES ERP; PLM; QMS, Inventory, etc.). If that wasn’t overwhelming enough, now add the ever-increasing number of connected machines and devices, and the difficulty of retrieving relevant and insightful data increases exponentially. Different systems have different data structures and traditionally require highly skilled IT personnel to learn the database structures and then write structured queries to retrieve data if the data can even be retrieved at all. Typically, it is a time consuming and costly process that also puts an intermediary between the data and the people who need to analyze and leverage it. But just having “more” data isn’t the answer either.
The sheer volume of data available today is burying individuals and departments in a glut of information that they cannot leverage intelligently. Even if the IT folks eventually extract the data, it then requires the expertise and knowledge of a line-of-business manager or engineer that understands the data at a holistic level as it relates to the entire operation. With today’s manufacturing environment, companies will not survive if they don’t change their approach. What’s needed is contextual insights — and the ability to access, analyze and act on the data quickly. Applying the traditional way of extracting and analyzing the ever-increasing terabytes and exabytes of data is no longer an option.
Analytics should be for the masses, not just for IT or data specialists. Everyone should be able to easily manage and display data that is important and enables real-time and proactive decision making to their job functions. The more broadly that data is available for all members of the organization, the more value the enterprise can extract from it. Providing users across the enterprise with intuitive and configurable reports, real-time dashboards, and even mobile apps can empower the people in operations — not just the IT office — to build the outputs they need in a graphical, simple manner. More importantly, the end user needs to be able to do all of this without SQL, scripting, or IT knowledge.
Manufacturing leaders need to be able to easily apply data in real-time to current challenges, while simultaneously using the information to better plan for and drive future business. Competitive agility, improved profitability, reduced costs and higher customer satisfaction are just some of the benefits accrued by leveraging intelligent insights across the connected factory floor and throughout the enterprise.
Access the webinar recording to hear Greg Cline, Research Analyst – Manufacturing, Aberdeen Group and Bob Miklosey, VP Product Management, Aegis Software discussing the following:
- What leading manufacturers are doing today to ensure their survival in the future.
- How technology can bridge the gap between IT and Operations to ensure the right information is accessible to the right person at the right time in the right way.
- How intelligence can be leveraged across the factory floor to support continuous process optimization and productivity improvements for optimal business outcomes.
Author: Deb Geiger, VP Global Marketing, Aegis Software
Deb has extensive product marketing & management experience spanning multiple industries. Prior to joining Aegis Software, she worked with Astea for 12 years where she was responsible for global marketing in the aftermarket support/service management industry. Prior to Astea, she worked for Draeger Medical (a Draeger and Siemens Company) where she was responsible for global strategic and tactical marketing for acute point-of-care software solutions. She has also managed a marketing consulting company, working with clients in the high-tech sector to provide product & services marketing. Deb has also held sales & marketing positions with Lever Brothers and ACNielsen. She has a B.S. degree in Marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a M.S. degree in Information Systems, Drexel University.