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How to Improve Manufacturing Processes with Business Intelligence

The manufacturing industry is experiencing a digital transformation. Many manufacturers still rely on spreadsheets and observational methods to make business and operational decisions. This method can lead to an "after the fact" analysis with outdated information.

COVID-19 created significant difficulties for global supply chains. The impact of the Coronavirus on the worldwide supply chain continues; most companies, from equipment manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers, have been affected.

A new survey from Reuters Events explains how there is an urgent need to move beyond legacy systems and gain end-to-end supply chain visibility.

With these recent events and the changing business landscape, manufacturers need to embrace emerging technology in order to remain competitive.

By its very nature, manufacturing is now seen as a very data-driven process. Therefore, manufacturing intelligence requires tools to gain improved insights into managing costs, operations, and profitability. This is where business intelligence in manufacturing comes in. 

With business intelligence software these same companies can accumulate and assess data and make it immediately accessible to those who have the means and opportunity to take immediate action.

Business intelligence in manufacturing is needed to effectively and cost-efficiently coordinate raw materials and internal resources to meet customer quality and delivery demands.

Benefits of Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

Business intelligence in manufacturing gives manufacturers the ability to take information and data that might once have been siloed across the factory floor, and assimilate it into one convenient access source. There, individual departments can access the information they need to make decisions pertinent to their area. At the same time, supervisors and management can check to ensure the overall systems are performing at peak productivity.

While manufacturers might pay a great deal of attention to maintaining equipment and training personnel, they frequently fail to apply the same dedication to their business intelligence processes. This lack of commitment to amassing and assessing data can lead to production delays and cost overruns.

However, the right information (at the right time) can lead to many tangible benefits:

1. End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

When COVID-19 hit, grocery, and essential commodity retail stores faced out-of-stock situations, everyone understood the significance of the supply chain.

With supply chain analytics and data modernization, CIOs and CDOs can establish end-to-end supply chain visibility and properly prioritize customers, suppliers, and partners, while eliminating data silos.

2. Business Intelligence in Manufacturing Provides Operational Efficiency

Tracking individual machine and department performance allows managers to reduce and correct errors during the production cycle. Shipping and receiving can also project the need to order raw materials for optimal efficiency and increase the ability to meet just-in-time order demands.

3. Productivity Management with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

Management can use BI to track downtime per employee, machine, and department to determine where changes need to be made. Predictive analysis can be used to foresee and avoid potential production bottlenecks and assure ongoing productivity.

4. Better Inventory Control with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

Goods and materials that sit in inventory can be a huge budget drain. The trick is to use BI to ensure adequate raw materials meet production requirements and sufficient inventory on hand to meet customer needs.

5. Manufacturing Cycle Tracking with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

The manufacturing cycle must be as short as possible to maintain profitability while still enabling the production of a quality product.

6. Superb Quality Assurance with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

Managers need to know how many components are being produced to standards and how many end up in the scrap heap. Reducing the cost of lost or defective products can indirectly help with overall profitability.

7. Business Intelligence in Manufacturing Provides Equipment Monitoring And Effectiveness

Equipment must operate at maximum efficiency with minimal downtime for maintenance or production backlogs. Equipment performance management allows you to track metrics to monitor and improve overall equipment efficiency.

Compliance Management

Many manufacturers need to comply with safety and performance requirements. BI provides the knowledge to enable the manufacturer to maintain compliance standards.

The most critical role of BI in improving manufacturing processes is that monitoring and increasing all the individual components leads to long-term improvements in profitability.

Manufacturing Dashboard - Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Dashboard - Wyn Enterprise

8. End-User BI Reports with Business Intelligence in Manufacturing

Interactive BI dashboards can provide a quick overview of real-time data and metrics, BI reports take the long-view and assemble information into digestible summaries or transitional details.

These might include:

  • Inventory Reports: These reports show how much inventory is at hand to meet production and profitability needs. Components must arrive precisely when needed, and the finished product should go out the door just in time to meet demand. The high inventory indicates wasted resources, while low inventory could hamper responsiveness.

  • Invoices: Invoices need to be accurate and timely. As soon as a job is completed, accounts receivables should be able to access all pertinent parts and personnel information easily and produce a reliable invoice.

  • Predictive Reports: Some predictive reports can be used to predict failures within an assembly line process. This action is accomplished by analyzing the end results of the line and its returns. Other reports assist in risk management by uncovering the risks and rewards of introducing a new procedure or product line.

Bhupesh Malhotra

Bhupesh is a Product Manager for MESCIUS' BI-focused products. He loves to tell the story behind data through data visualization techniques. He likes to hear from customers and talk about their experiences with reporting and analytics. When he isn't thinking about data, he spends time with his family and enjoys traveling to new places with them. You can connect with Bhupesh on Twitter

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