During the close of the third industrial revolution, manufacturing organizations squeezed the last few drops of efficiency from machine automation by linking automated machines together and eliminating islands of automation. SCADA and data historian software solutions enabled operations staff to monitor and control an entire plant from one location reducing labor costs and providing a big picture perspective to plant operations. Today the manufacturing sector is on the doorstep of an even bigger opportunity as we begin to eliminate Islands of Information.
Islands of Information are everywhere in modern organizations. MES software solutions as well as departmental level software solutions for HR, inventory, maintenance, production, process data, and many others are all localized containers for valuable enterprise information. Each one of these data islands increases departmental efficiency, but for key decision makers the big picture often remains hidden, overly simplified, or significantly time-lagged. Manufacturing Intelligence initiatives connect enterprise information sources to open up new perspectives and increase the agility of the organization.
Imagine being able to monitor and potentially control everything about your business in real time. Imagine knowing how your business is running right now. How would your business benefit if you could make decisions and affect change before you would have even received reports in the past? Imagine the benefits of analytics software keeping a watchful eye 24/7 looking for patterns too complex for the human mind to observe. Did that HR Policy change have an adverse effect on product quality? Does the weather impact productivity? More importantly, what can be done about it?
These types of systems are readily available today, and the cost is rapidly falling into the reach of mid-level enterprises. Barriers to the movement of data are being eliminated, and analytics tools are turning that data into relevant, contextualized information that brings tangible gains in efficiency, quality, and productivity. It is critically important for any organization serious about surviving the next 20 years to invest in the infrastructure required to centralize, analyze, and distribute actionable information at all levels of the enterprise.
Learn more about how to begin the Digital Transformation by reading our white paper: A Practical Guide to a Successful Digital Transformation.