Data and Analytics Powering the Shop Floor
Modern manufacturing increasingly relies on integrating, analyzing, and communicating data. On the shop floor, that means gathering intelligence from processes, people, machines, and systems to gain a complete view of your operations.
To begin making the most of your data, it is helpful to take inventory of where it all comes from. Be sure to consider both your information technology (IT) and your operational technology (OT), as both generate important, but often disconnected, data sets.
Processes generating data
- Shipping and logistics
- Returns and customer service
- Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO)
People and machines generating data
- Production workers
- Managers and foremen
- Inventory managers
- Robots and co-bots
- IoT-enabled equipment
Systems housing and generating data
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
- Manufacturing Execution Systems
- Product and Process Lifecycle Management (PPLM)
- Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
Armed with that insight, you can begin developing an integration strategy aligning the IT and OT systems underpinning your business.
From there, you'll be able to create reports and dashboards to monitor KPIs in real-time. When developing KPIs, make sure you're asking questions that will have a meaningful impact on your business. We recommend starting with descriptive analysis, so that you understand what's happening in your business. Descriptive analytics also allow you to set baselines for progress. From there, you can progress into the realms of predictive and prescriptive analytics — and truly take your business to the next level.
Descriptive AnalyticsDescriptive analytics help you understand what has happened. For example...
- What is my inventory turnover over the past year?
- What is my percentage reduction in machine downtime over the past two years?
- What is my order to shipment time over the past six months?
- What are my year to date sales compared to last year?
Predictive analytics help you understand what is likely to happen. For example...
- How many parts should I order to meet next month’s demand?
- When is my equipment likely to go down? How should I schedule future maintenance?
- How many employees will we need for service calls next quarter?
Prescriptive analytics help you decide what you should do to optimize your business. For example...
- What mix of products should we buy to meet demand while taking advantage of bulk discounts?
- What will happen to profits if we increase prices? Decrease prices?
- What will happen to our sales if we add an additional salesman to a specific territory?