What Makes Data Insights Actionable in Manufacturing Operations?
The market for production monitoring software is expected to reach $6.4 billion by 2023, indicating significant demand for the data these tools provide. However, data is only as useful as what it allows you to accomplish. If you cannot translate the production data you collect into actionable insights, you will not be able to capitalize on its value.
Comprehensive shop floor software can be used to provide these valuable actionable insights, empowering supervisors and workers to make measurable improvements to both short-term and long-term factory efficiency.
What Makes an Insight Actionable?
Actionable insights are distinguished by the following criteria:
- Specificity – An actionable insight must point out something that is measurable, observable, and uniquely identifiable.
- Purpose – An actionable insight must be related to the goals you are trying to accomplish.
- Value – An actionable insight must provide an opportunity to progress toward those goals; in other words, there must be something to be gained by acting on the information it provides.
- Resolvability – An actionable insight points out a problem that has a realistic, viable, and timely solution.
Once an insight that meets all four of these standards has been identified, decision-makers can use it to implement immediate solutions that minimize the harm that was being caused by the issue or inefficiency.
Actionable Insights in a Factory Setting
Production monitoring software is a valuable source of actionable insights inside manufacturing facilities. Not only does it allow for remote operations in manufacturing, but its real-time production data and automated analysis provide information that decision-makers can use to quickly resolve issues in quality control, production output, and many other key areas.
For instance, suppose that a plastics factory supervisor using a data-driven dashboard to monitor production efficiency notices that a significantly elevated number of defective products has been coming from one of the factory’s lines. He sees this trend immediately, but he observes it without interfering for a while to see if the problem resolves itself. After 10 minutes with no improvement, he concludes that something is wrong and that his intervention is required.
Upon further examination, he discovers that the nozzle on the injection molder on that line is leaking and too little plastic is being injected into each of the molds as a result. In response, he stops production on that line and calls a technician to have the nozzle replaced. While the necessary repairs are being conducted, he continues to monitor the rest of the factory for emerging problems. He receives an automated alert as soon as the repairs are finished and orders production to resume on that line immediately.
Because this supervisor received an actionable insight from the software he was using, he was able to quickly catch a burgeoning production issue before it could ruin an entire batch of product and cause heavy losses for the company. The real-time operational intelligence provided by quality data enables rapid problem solving and minimizes the harm caused by routine issues on the factory floor.
Optimizing Manufacturing Processes Through Data
Actionable insights are not only useful in the context of solving problems. Sometimes, they can shed light on long-standing inefficiencies within a manufacturing facility. Data on long-term production patterns can be used to identify waste in resource-intensive areas such as material use and machine availability and improve operational efficiency in manufacturing.
For example, many manufacturing facilities experience significant drops in productivity during each shift change. If this is a problem in your facility, it will show up as a consistent pattern in your production data. Once you know that this issue is present, you can take steps to combat it, turning it into an actionable insight. Something as simple as creating a 10-minute overlap between the beginning and end of each shift to allow prep work to take place while the machines are still running can recapture significant amounts of lost production capacity.
Many sub-optimal processes like this are not obvious and often go unquestioned for years, wasting thousands of dollars’ worth of resources. Once they are exposed by relevant data and actionable insights, they can be addressed and significant savings can be realized.
Be proactive. Be productive.
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Analysis To Take Your Factory To the Next Level
Detailed real-time data and the actionable insights it brings are the tools your facility needs to drive higher productivity, efficiency, and revenue. Digitalizing your production operations with shop floor control software can increase transparency within the factory and allow for precise optimization in response to both routine and unexpected events.
Matics’ superior production data collection processes and intuitive visual layout make our software one of the leading solutions in the industry. Contact us anytime for more information on how our product can help you extract value from actionable insights in your manufacturing facility.