Over the past several months, manufacturers have embraced a critical truth: visibility into their operations, across all products, lines, and plants, is essential. Major market disruptions are inevitable in manufacturing. In order to respond, recover, and build resilience to withstand those disruptions, you must have the ability to understand your operations at a high level—and make agile decisions to adapt whenever you need to.
You may think you need a huge investment in technology, a team of data analysts, and the fairy godmother of the “Internet of Things” to whack you with her wand to transform your manufacturing enterprise into a lean, profitable, flexible machine. Well, those things probably wouldn’t hurt. But truth be told, you probably already have most of what you need to improve the quality of your products and processes: You have quality data.
In fact, you probably have quality data you didn’t even know you had, data that hold valuable information about mission-critical factors such as:
- Fill accuracy
- Quality of source material
- Line downtime
Now you need a way to reveal that data and uncover what it can do for you. That’s where enterprise visibility comes in.
Break Down the Silos
If your organization doesn’t have a quality management solution in place, like those that InfinityQS offers, you’re probably storing data in silos—product-line checklists, isolated databases, spreadsheets, and the like. Your first step into the world of enterprise visibility is to gather the data you already have in a single, centralized, unified data repository.
Why is this step essential? Because if you’re trying to get information to solve time-sensitive issues and answer business-critical questions, manually pulling data and assembling reports is predictably time-consuming—even impossible in some cases. Let’s face it, your job isn’t to manage quality data, it’s to manage quality—and ensure your organization’s success and profitability.
Why a Unified Data Repository?
Bringing data together in a central, relational database is your key first step. When your data is all in one place and standardized, you get immediate benefits:
- Everyone can access the data they need. Operators can get immediate alerts and notifications, even reminders to perform checks. Operations and quality executives can get a high-level view of the health of operations across the enterprise—and see where improvements will make a significant impact on the bottom line.
- Users can share information, make informed decisions, and stay on the same page.
- Users don’t have to wait for IT to build reports or charts—they can be created on the fly, as needed.
- Updates to data sets and reports are instant, and everyone from shop floor operators to operations and quality execs can work from the most up-to-date information.
Once your teams are all on the same page, you will quickly discover how your quality data can help you understand the health of your processes. You can see line-level information such as how to optimize production of a product and capacity on a particular line.
You can compare processes across plants and get everyone using the same best practices to standardize production across the whole company. And you can always have detailed real-time and historical information at your fingertips, whether it’s to answer a question from your Quality VP or from a regulatory auditor.
Where Do I Start?
How do you start taking advantage of your quality data? What solution should you choose when you want to bring together stakeholders at all levels?
Begin by considering a quality intelligence solution that’s:
- Able to unify data from disparate sources
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Robust, with substantial off-the shelf features
- Easily configured for specific needs
A good enterprise visibility solution has several important features, including:
- A way to aggregate data from multiple sources, geographies, and formats into a single location
- The ability for multiple users to collaborate, regardless of location and device
- Support for historical and real-time data analysis
- Easy integration with existing systems
- User-friendliness and low IT overhead
With the analytics and reporting functionality that such a system brings, you’ll rediscover data you didn’t know you were missing and gain insight into your enterprise like never before. Such visibility leads to true operational insight that can fuel not only improved product quality but also proactive, strategic decision making.
All this is possible. You just need to think about quality data differently.
Want to learn more about why enterprise visibility is critical for manufacturers in the 21st century? Please visit the InfinityQS website and read our white paper Enterprise Visibility: See the Opportunities You’ve Been Missing.