Manufacturers are in a position to gather countless amounts of data but it is more important than ever to understand what this data can do to help your business. As more processes become automated and sensors are becoming more common throughout the manufacturing facility, the data generated can give you insight into your business that at one time could not have been imagined. This data can include temperature, efficiency, and so much more from energy usage to predicting a breakdown. All of this data can do so much but it needs to be utilized properly or else it is just going to waste.
Many manufacturers have the gathering part down, but understanding what to do with all of the data is the next step. Every process throughout your facility, as well as any interaction with your website/social media platforms, can be tracked and analyzed.
Learn more: “Creating The Smart Manufacturing Facility” https://mfgtalkradio.com/
Big Data In The Manufacturing Facility
When looking at your facility, the data that is generated throughout each step in the manufacturing process has the potential to drastically increase the efficiency of the organization. There is new software out there that will make gathering and analyzing all of this data from your connected machines much easier. It is important to understand why this data is so important. Predictive analysis is one of the biggest reasons manufacturers are willing to take the time to learn about their data. By connecting machines and having them relay all of their data to a system where it can be analyzed, manufacturers can get a keen insight into exactly how their facility is running.
If a machine is consuming more energy than it needs to operate, an issue with that machine could just be around the corner. This can be seen long before the machine has time to break which can lead to costly downtime. Before there is a problem, a manufacturer can ask their engineer to take a look and locate the issue. All downtime is expensive, but when it can be controlled it is much less costly for the manufacturer than if it is unexpected. This process is known as predictive analysis and is a key selling point of the Internet of Things.
Manufacturers can also use data as a baseline to understand if a process is not running as efficient as it should be. A look at the baseline data can immediately inform the manufacturer if a drop in efficiency and productivity is happening in real time. Not only can they see that there is an issue, they are able to look through the data gathered by all of their machines to find the exact cause of the problem. This kind of accuracy and efficiency is something that was not possible just a few years ago. A problem like this could have gone unnoticed for days, even weeks, without this continuous stream of data.
Shipping: Inbound and Outbound
Manufacturers rely on receiving their materials and making sure their finished products reach their customers. This process has also become increasingly more complicated as more manufacturers ship their products over farther distances to compete in the global market. Data can play a huge role in both of these processes.
A system can be set up to notify your entire staff if a shipment of materials is late, on time, or early. This can ensure everyone is on the same page. Communication like this will help to keep employees from being left in the dark, as well as keeping them productive the entire time they are working. If they are not aware that a shipment will be running late, they may just sit and wait until the delivery arrives. A notice can be sent making use of their personal computers or even to their mobile devices stating that a shipment is not expected on time. This will free them up to do other tasks until they receive the notification.
When it comes to delivering products, having a system in place to receive shipping data can be the difference between a happy customer and one that will not want to do business in the future. A simple GPS device, or even a webcam, can be amazing tools to gather and relay data back to the customer. For a device like a GPS, a manufacturer can see exactly where their shipment is and estimate if it will make it to the customer on time. A manufacturer can even give their customer access to this data so they themselves can watch their package being delivered. Another benefit GPS has is that manufacturers can use other data gathering systems to check if the route the delivery is taking has been blocked or slowed. An accident or road closure could cause a delivery to be late, but if a manufacturer is made aware of this delay they can reach out to the truck driver and suggest an alternate route. A customer is much more likely to become a return customer is their package is watched over with a careful eye.
Webcams have also become more important for manufacturers in recent years. While being an older technology, it can still be used to relay crucial data back to the manufacturer. A webcam will allow the manufacturer to keep a close eye on their products throughout each step of the transportation process. If packages get jostled around throughout the journey, a manufacturer can call the trucking company and ask for their products to be further secured. Also, if a customer receives a broken product, a manufacturer can go back to the video and find out the reason behind the damage. Capturing all of this data not only creates a more efficient manufacturer but also ensure your customers are always happy.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. They are even more important than your facility or materials because without them the business would not exist. Using data to keep an eye on your customers’ spending habits and where they come from will help you become a more efficient manufacturer. Being able to see where your business is coming from will help you understand where to spend most of your time when talking about advertising. Tools that monitor our social media accounts or website traffic can help you get a better understanding of how your customers are finding you. Furthermore, you can see what products these potential customers are interested in and begin to push the products they want to see. Without focusing on this data you are essentially shooting in the dark with no guarantee you will land the customer you are looking for.
Data is everywhere, there is no escaping it and no reason why you would want to. The value that comes from collecting and analyzing all of this precious information is immense. You can not only ensure your facility is running as efficient as possible, but your customers can benefit as well. Having an answer to any problem as soon as, or even before it comes up, can lead to significant savings and help to boost your bottom line. There are so many systems and different software available to help gather and analyze all of this data and they will only continue to become more advanced and efficient. It is time to get started on your big data journey and without taking advantage of all this data that could be going to waste, your business will begin to suffer.