Improve Manufacturing Analytics with Dashboards
Regardless of your specific role in manufacturing. Using dashboards for data and analytics will improve your ability to make data driven decisions. Dashboards are graphical views of your data that focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics that are critical to the success of your organization. There are several types of standard dashboards such as Financial, Operations, Sales, and Supply Chain. When you want to get more value from your data, start with a simple dashboard that surfaces the 5-10 critical metrics for your company. You can always expand later, but start small and get value from your investment as quickly as possible. Often, I do this in weeks not months. This should not be a prolonged project, creating value quickly is our goal.
Here are 3 ways to Improve Manufacturing Analytics with Dashboards
1 – Accessibility of Data
Dashboards enable everyone access the data on their computer, tablet or phone. They eliminate the need to login to various systems to pull reports and merge data in Excel to get to a final number. I often find companies struggle with management not being able to easily get the data they need to know how their area is performing. All of the data is in the system but not readily available to be used as information. Implementing dashboards automates the data processing and converts the data into easy to use graphics and metrics delivered to you with reliable products like Microsoft’s Power BI. Using an app on your phone you have access to your data wherever you are.
2 – Focus on Critical Metrics and KPIs
Now that everyone can access the dashboards. You can ensure they are all using the same information to improve your company. I often find key metrics for a organization are found on multiple reports. This can lead to data confusion, when multiple departments submit reports on the same metric with different results.
For instance, a manufacturing company needs to know the quantity of products sold. What is the definition of a sale? Is it the status in the system that says the deal is closed or is it when the product leaves the facility? Both are correct based on context. If you use date the product leaves the facility on your dashboard, then all departments can be on the same page. This is one example, of how using dashboards will ensure your team is focused on the critical metrics required for improving your organization.
3 – Receive Alerts on KPIs and Metrics
Once you are focused on the critical metrics of your organization. Individuals can setup alerts that are triggered when a metric exceeds or falls below a threshold. This eliminates the need to continuously run reports to see how you are performing.
For example, the shipping manager needs to know the production levels and sales locations to ship product. An alert could be set on that metric that emails COO or Director of Operations letting them know they are now below their targeted threshold. No need to have someone run a report and review the numbers and then make a decision. The alerts have the logic and automate the delivery of this critical information.
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