How can manufacturing develop a data-driven culture?

Smart factories are an opportunity to create new forms of efficiency and flexibility by connecting devices, systems, processes, and stakeholders to optimize current and future supply and demand requirements. This is accomplished by transforming and improving ways in which people, processes and technologies operate to deliver the critical information needed to impact decision quality, efficiency, cost and agility. Organizational culture is pivotal to the success of this digital transformation.

The question is: How can manufacturing develop a healthy data-driven culture?

  • Leadership must communicate their vision and commitment to a data-driven culture.
    • Share the need and reasons for change, the scope, and the short and long-term value to the organization.
  • Democratize data with front-line employees, manufacturing leaders and business stakeholders to inform their decisions, improve processes and better respond to abnormal conditions.
    • Empower operators and assembly workers with operational information on device/process performance, part production, asset health, change-over efficiency, and quality for proactive correction and self-managed improvement.
    • Provide production and maintenance managers real-time dashboards and historical trends to bring transparency and predictive insight into asset utilization and capacity, maintenance processes, and employee efficiency, and deliver alerts to manage performance degradation, production risks, and potential failures.
    • Enable engineers to identify waste and process improvement opportunities, diagnose root causes, and conduct lean workshops.
    • Automate multidimensional performance insight for operational leaders to ensure the workforce, processes, and business results are optimized and consistently improving with changing demand.
    • Support finance leaders with information on production cycle times, workforce optimization, and asset utilization to improve accuracy of pricing and costing models as well as optimize COGS.
  • Ensure data analytics and insights have user-centered design, are personalized, and are mobile so that data is easily consumed and acted on at the point of need. Functional stakeholders require different views of the data – providing relevant data will increase ease of use and adoption. Mobile manufacturing employees must have data access at their fingertips, anytime, and everywhere.
  • Go beyond analytics to provide workforce productivity applications that create pull and simplify work. Deliver learning and skill development with digital, automated work instructions for step-by-step guidance to help employees understand operational standards of work, and make them routine for repeatable, predictable performance. Provide applications for communications and collaboration from factory workstations to internal and external resources, enabling operators to identify operational issues that require problem solving and collaboration with process owners (maintenance, material suppliers, management…) for rapid resolution. Replace paper-based notes with digital logbooks to capture history and comments from machine or process operations so that shift handovers can be done efficiently and effectively.

Accelerating digital transformation and the power of analytics is dependent on and driven by culture. Empowering people with data to make better decisions and providing workforce productivity applications to ensure their success will dramatically improve the implementation of your change efforts.

© MANUFACTURING SYSTEM INSIGHTS 2019