Every organization has its own set of logistical and tactical hurdles. However, improving efficiency, time management and profitability are universal and ongoing challenges for every business.
Over the past several years, big data has revolutionized how companies manage their manufacturing and supply chains operations. Data solutions have given businesses the ability to streamline schedules, better coordinate supply chains and maintain a handle on inventories and labor — all at a big-picture planning level. As these solutions become commonplace and the playing field levels, supply chain managers must search for new ways to capitalize on their data and technology investments to give their organizations a competitive advantage.
Despite the wealth of data being used in businesses today, one essential area where data technology can still be leveraged to set an organization apart from its competition is at the ground floor of the supply chain. An information gap often exists between the planning and executional levels of the supply chain. Bridging this information gap has great ROI potential for businesses when competition for efficiency has never been fiercer.
Real-time performance management (or “RTPM”) can make an immediate impact on an organization’s efficiency and profitability when deployed in the supply chain environment. According to a 2013 Gallup study, data visualization used in the supply chain has been shown to increase productivity by 21 percent, quality control by 41 and reduce the number of loss-time incidents by 48 percent.
Real-time data enables organizations to better manage the most granular levels of the operation, down to the people on the front lines who directly impact the key metrics with their performance. Keeping people better informed about key measures fosters a performance-focused environment that is more nimble and ready to adapt to changing performance goals. If something isn’t working — or if something is working exceptionally well — associates can see the results as they unfold in real-time rather than after the fact.
Any time a business event occurs, the information must be recorded, analyzed and communicated before an action can be taken in response. The longer it takes to run through these steps to respond to an event, the less valuable the information and final action becomes (outlined in the graph below). Unfortunately, this valuable data often resides inside a closed system that isn’t easily accessible for employees and managers who could use the data to deliver value.
Real-time performance data systems are designed to deliver detailed performance data on material, transportation and labor management to compress the time between an event and an action.
Let’s say there are five workers scheduled to load a delivery truck, but the truck is running one hour late. The faster this information can be internalized and communicated to the workforce, the more value those five workers can add elsewhere until the truck arrives. One solution for this situation is a network of digital displays linked to data sources with the most up-to-date information.
Digital displays with this real-time data placed throughout a supply chain facility empower employees to make decisions that bridge the gap between systems and people. Visibility of key events, metrics and productivity data has been shown to motivate employees and improve efficiency.
When your business is ready to integrate your supply chain systems with real-time visual communications, RMG can tailor a solution to meet your needs.
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