Utilising data in manufacturing is becoming an everyday norm, but what are big benefits and how can these propel the workforce forward?
Data and connectivity now play a vital role in increasing the efficiency of production lines. In the Annual Manufacturing Report 2018, 91% of manufacturers believe that data-driven insights from connected machines and people will inform their decision-making, drive efficiencies and reduce costs.
But, before it is able to be used by businesses, data first needs to be tidied up. This means gathered, extracted, cleaned, visualised and analysed, essentially made readable. To learn more about these processes read our article about the vital steps to analysing big data.
Communication across companies is essential to an effective operation, being able to understand workforce’s needs and inform them is vital.
Alison Beard-Gunter, continuous improvement manager for Accolade Wines told The Manufacturer about how they share knowledge across the company, she said: “We have something in place called ‘review and direction setting’, which is exactly that. It is a cascade of everything through all levels of the business.”
She added: “We look at data on platforms and information on production flows over 24 hours, then everyone gets together and looks at the data on a 24 hour basis. What you need to do first is work out what your challenges are and what people need.
“You can see there is a problem and you have a platform [to collect data], but you if haven’t understood what people need, then it’s not really going to deliver anything.”
Accolade wine’s system enables issues or obstacles to be identified and resolved much faster. Discrepancies in production processes that could be potentially not assisting the workforce can be recognised and then acted on.
Understanding big data can enable senior people in businesses to share this information with the entire workforce, in order to offer employees the tools or implement strategies they might need to carry out tasks.
Using data and connected systems can improve the transparency of operations and this could firstly allow employees to work more efficiently, but also offer them monetary incentives.
An example of this, is a connected system used by company, Fashion Enter. The Galaxius system allows the fashion business to collect data about operations, and carry out Just in Time and lean strategies, where time is money, CEO Jenny Holloway told The Manufacturer.
The smart system currently handles hundreds of live orders, juggling thousands of data inputs with many garment line productions being recorded. The company can actually pin point when and where a garment is being made.
Further from this however, the system also provides a performance related pay structure enabling the broader workforce of machinists to hit bonuses, a big benefit to the workforce enabled by the data collected and analysed.
There are multiple benefits that big data can bring to the workforce, including transparency of operations which could enable pay bonuses, root-cause analysis and problem-solving, and using digital systems to gather data, tidy it and then share the information analysed across the business.