Every enterprise is at a different point in developing their process for converting data to information and leveraging intelligence to develop insights. Based on recent market studies, in person interviews and my perspective of the industry, it is clear that significant opportunities await those who better align and integrate manufacturing and business intelligence systems. Those electing to make this investment will most likely be rewarded with improved operational and financial performance, allowing them to differentiate from competitors.
However, it does take effort, investment and the courage to move along your intelligence lifecycle, in order to reap the rewards of your efforts. What is most important is to have the vision of where you want to be in the end, which can then provide the direction on where to proceed. Regardless of where you are in your company’s evolution, here are ten ways to help achieve progress along your lifecycle and engage in better decision making:
- Evaluate and renew your business processes holistically, on an end-to-end basis, so as to support more intelligent decisions and improvement
- Automate data collection and cleansing through plants and enterprise
- Implement global manufacturing intelligence, and consider implementing it as an embedded component of an enterprise Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM) solution
- Expand your operations management capabilities to be more global in nature, to support process improvement and quick action across more functions and locations including partners and suppliers
- Ask production & other line of business teams what decision support they most need to succeed, and then begin to add this capability to your existing MI / BI systems
- Craft information flow so MI feeds “cleanly” and quickly into BI
- Consider what self-service reporting capabilities you could provide directly to end users to empower them with better intelligence
- Leverage mobility, social, and cloud technologies to make data capture and intelligence distribution more efficient
- Create collaboration opportunities based on integrated MI/BI data
- Renew business processes and support them with your software to fully leverage the power of business insights
The benefits can be big for those who can successfully align and integrate their manufacturing and business intelligence systems. Those with granular, actionable insights into their current situation will be the winners. They will learn and benefit from these insights. As leading manufacturers embrace this strategy, they are raising the bar with customers, shareholders and employees, creating a viable business strategy for sustained competitive advantage.
The critical question to ask is, what path will you follow and what will be your next step?