Are You Manufacturing With A Blindfold On?

real-timeI was just reading an article in Manufacturing Business Technology about business intelligence at manufacturers. A report by Ventana Research found that manufacturing is overly reliant on outdated methods for finding and viewing data. The research report showed that while 90 percent of manufacturing companies use Microsoft Excel® (not a surprise), 48 percent used these spreadsheets for business intelligence and analytics.

Getting data and populating this data into the spreadsheets accounted for a two-day delay in providing metrics and KPIs to those needing them. This is like driving with a blindfold on. How can you make good decisions if you are constantly waiting for results in order to make decisions? And when those results come in, you don’t know if they are still relevant in order to make decisions.

If my GPS told me 10 minutes late that I should have turned, I am going to be lost a lot. The same goes for manufacturing. So much data is being captured. Manufacturers need to have ways to aggregate that data and also disseminate that data into knowledge for workers so they can affect real change to constantly improve the process.

Think about realizing the full value of immediate information in your hands. A food industry supplier can improve quality. A water treatment plant operator can get an alarm immediately on a mobile device. An OEM may even be able to generate new revenue streams. We’ve developed an e-book that discusses how real-time information can drive immediate action.

As Manufacturing Business Technology points out, many manufacturers are lagging behind and have not taken advantage of today’s technology to accelerate their operations. What about you? Which KPIs matter to you? How are you handling these challenges today?

Paul Adams

Paul has spent more than 20 years in manufacturing with GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, focusing on product development. His deep industry experience comes from countless calls, meetings and visits to manufacturers around the globe to help solve their business challenges. Today, he works in Global Professional Services, which allows him to continue working with GE’s manufacturing customers at a more downstream function. Wonder what challenges he’s helping manufacturers solve today? Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

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