real time data for manufacturing

Ten Ways Real-time Data is Revolutionizing SMB Manufacturing

Manufacturing is becoming more and more data-driven. New tools have made it easier than ever to get real-time data out of your ERP and into the hands of decision makers. The goal is to turn data into timely, actionable information and gain competitive advantage for your business.

Ten ways that real-time data is revolutionizing small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the manufacturing industry include:

  1. Gain quick access to meaningful data for making better decisions. New reporting tools no longer require arcane IT skills to use. End users can set their highly personalized reports during setup and go. Users should retain the flexibility to make modifications to filters, etc. on the fly as circumstances change and their individual needs evolve.
  2. Focus actions on exceptions as they happen. An exception report is defined by those instances in which actual performance deviates significantly from expectations, usually in a negative direction. Access to real-time data empowers you to react quickly to changing conditions before it becomes problematic to your business.
  3. Reduce overhead costs by empowering employees with live, actionable information. For example, your shop can set up a monitor to display the dispatch list on the shop floor. Workers can see what they need to do without any supervisory intervention.
  4. Improve communication by defining workflows based on rules that are kicked off by real-time data triggers. You can define a logical path that includes instant message notifications and task assignments to take action quickly and decisively. Using a single data source ensures consistency across the organization.
  5. Lessen reliance on IT staff to provide end users with reports. Individual end users of all skill levels can define the data set to best suit their individual needs. Real-time data means these reports are perpetually kept up to date.
  6. Improve efficiency by assigning activities or tasks on the fly. This helps eliminate non-value added tasks such as sending separate emails and texts outside the ERP system.
  7. Improve the strategic decision making process with relevant, up-to-date information. Managers can explore strategic issues such as, ‘Which suppliers do we spend the most with?’ ‘Who is struggling with delivery performance?’ and so on. Managers on the supply chain team can spend less time crunching data and more time making the best possible decisions.
  8. Make better sense of complex information using visualizations. Dashboards can provide a high-level summary of information from multiple sources in a single graphical display. Decision makers often prefer to view live data that is configured in such a highly useful, efficient and intuitive manner.
  9. Slower data analytics have less accuracy than real-time analytics. An autopsy of what went wrong in the past has limited use because business conditions may have changed. Your company risks working on the wrong fixes when it views data through a rear-view mirror. Real-time data analytics ensures that your thinking stays in step with evolving business conditions.
  10. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and take corrective actions in a timely manner. Access to real-time data virtually eliminates time-wasting meetings. Both individually and collaboratively, managers can drill into data to discover root causes and define timely solutions to your shop’s critical business challenges. All levels of the organization can be engaged to improve business performance and achieve organizational goals.

To learn more about the real-time data analysis and reporting solution that may be right for your manufacturing business, contact us.

About the Authors:
Katie Farrand is a Continuous Improvement Team Leader and Merri Hoffman is a Business Solutions Consultant at Synergy Resources. To get in touch with Katie and Merri, call 866.896.6347.