Manufacturing organizations are frequently asked to predict the unpredictable. When attempting to forecast and make plans for predictable business growth, it is more important than ever that data and insight are not restricted to departmental silos. Data insights must be accessible across functions to increase communication, surface deeper insights, and make smarter decisions.
The manufacturing industry faces challenges in collecting and analyzing large data sets to achieve higher operational efficiencies, service, and support levels. Modern manufacturing is evolving quickly and deploying emerging technologies as old business systems no longer supply decision-makers with need-to-know information. Here are four ways supply chain can be revolutionized with data and analytics.
Benefits of Using Analytics for Supply Chain
1. Improve Production and Plant Performance with Self-Service Analytics
Manufacturers have typically accessed data insights using static reports from business applications and BI tools managed and run primarily by the IT department. This method is complex, inflexible, and time-consuming. Self-service analytics capabilities are critical because the best analytics implementations are user-developed dashboards.
Self-service analytics empower all stakeholders in the organization to access and understand data across the supply chain, within production operations, warehouse management, and during the whole service life cycle. With added visibility into operational performance, employees can monitor data across the organization and use it to optimize their business processes.
Self-service also supports a data-driven improvement cycle allowing individuals to explore and identify the root cause of product defects or bottlenecks.
2. Enhance Sales and Operations Planning with Accurate Forecasting
Significant improvements in manufacturing must start from the main source, i.e., the supply chain. Every supply chain professional must be empowered to deliver goods and services using disparate information systems and meet deadlines.
Manufacturers today work with many data sources: workforce and order planning from ERP systems, order information from MES systems, time and attendance logs from HR systems, alarm and production data from IoT sensors, and various PLC and SCADA systems. Linking these disconnected sources of information is vital for high-level decision-making.
Forecasting models can identify critical issues and opportunities that you might have missed. Custom calculations can be tailored for your organization and business processes, allowing greater flexibility and agility.
3. Drive Real-Time Analytics with Supply Chain Mobility
You can transform supply chain operations with the ability to visualize and understand what is happening with real-time data from a mobile device. Manufacturing data is constantly changing, and having the right data at the right time is vital to a more profitable operation. Mobile business intelligence can provide useful information needed to make fast business-critical decisions.
4. Act Faster on Customer Feedback
Manufacturers collect customer data from various channels, such as their website, social media, call centers, and customer surveys. It is important to act fast on insights from customer information. You can also drill down into the underlying data to explore specific information in territories and branches.
Data visualization allows customers to track key metrics to find solutions to their business problems. Sales employees, manufacturing employees, and executives can quickly see the best and worst performing regions and drill down to the data to find out why.