“Only when businesses create a culture that empowers everyone to have access to data and insight that drive actions will they be positioned to truly transform.”
– Colin Masson, Global Industry Director for Manufacturing and Distribution at Microsoft
As technological advancements are made in manufacturing, companies are embracing data as a key component of their business strategies. In fact, according to a 2016 Honeywell study, 68 percent of manufacturers are currently investing in data analytics, while 46 percent say implementing these processes is no longer optional in our fast-changing world.
But does big data bring real benefits to the table, and is it really worth your time and money?
Analytics often come in the form of dashboards, which can provide information about nearly every aspect of your business, including supply chain, quality management, sales and marketing, and administration. Having this information at your disposal equips you with tools necessary to make better, more well-informed decisions – not just in six months or one year from now, but often in real time.
For example, with the appropriate systems in place, a single dashboard is capable of detecting and analyzing product defects by type, time, region, and other factors. Think of how this method of monitoring would allow you to address quality concerns and issues more quickly, as you could find the root of the problem within a few clicks (instead of wasting money and manpower on traditional solutions that might not always get it right).
Having these capabilities also means keeping better track of equipment and employee performance. Are your machines producing less and less quality product? Are you utilizing your resources appropriately and effectively? Do you need to hire more help? Having data to support the answers to these questions can prevent key issues from arising later.
Finally, you can tailor this information to different types of employees. While owners, managers, and C-level executives may want reports and dashboards that act as summaries, it’s likely that developers, IT staff, and analysts will want different sets of data for different purposes. However, while various sets of data relate to different things within the company, all data should (at some point) be analyzed as a whole, as this is the best way to determine correlations that cause issues in several parts of the business.
Know more about how big data can play an important role in your business by calling Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or sending us an email. Our Growth Advisory team would be happy to help you take the next step on your journey to making your plant a safer, more efficient place to work.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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