The secret to manufacturing leadership success is to create motivated cross-functional teams armed with the right information to make a positive impact. Understanding the growing role of the IT sphere is increasingly important as new technologies emerge that will revolutionize the way performance management is handled.

Mobile Technology
The use of mobile devices and apps has removed the restriction of required on-site access to key information. Team members from every enterprise level now have this material at their fingertips and can easily share it with each other as well as with suppliers, customers and business partners.

  • A recent survey showed that 32 percent of manufacturing decision makers currently use apps for keeping contacts. Another 20 percent use them to assign tasks to specific employees.
  • In the construction industry, the most commonly-used mobile devices are smartphones (77 percent of 249 managers surveyed) and notebooks (72 percent of respondents). Three-quarters of those surveyed have used at least one mobile device to access work-related information.
  • Among 217 manufacturing and distribution firms, 78 percent use smartphones and 63 percent use tablets.

Mobile business applications eliminate bottlenecks by enabling a seamless integration between production plants, offices and field sites.

The Cloud
The next generation of application performance management requires awareness across all virtual and physical domains including the cloud, presented in an intuitive dashboard. Cloud space is advancing rapidly to address concerns regarding connectivity and security.

  • Cloud platforms make it easier to integrate and compare performance information across multiple plants, facilities and systems.
  • Cloud technology is transforming supply chain performance. Large-scale changes in supply chain behavior began toward the end of the 20th century as manufacturers rushed to move substantial volumes of North American and European capacity offshore. A key disadvantage was the longer, more complex supply chain needed to move products to consumption centers. A cloud-based, multi-tenant platform may be the answer to this challenge – providing complete end-to-end visibility, preferably at the SKU level.

Big Data Analysis
Most manufacturers are used to having huge amounts of data flowing through their organizations. But they have historically lacked the context that gives that data actionable meaning. In other words, they have been data rich, but information poor. To break this paradigm, they are poised to take advantage of Big Data analytics to help meet their most vital business objectives.

Both plant and enterprise data will be mined, resulting in:

  • Better production forecasting: Improved correlations between customer data, scheduling and maintenance will facilitate greater operational efficiency. It will be easier to pinpoint order lead times and make accurate materials purchasing and WIP decisions.
  • Additional advantages include better understanding of plant performance across multiple metrics, faster customer service and support, and real-time alerts based on data analysis.

This is not your father’s factory. And once manufacturing leaders fully grasp the potential behind current IT and data trends, the future is unlimited – especially now that the global recession is a thing of the past.

The workforce management team at Premium Staffing has a finger on the pulse of current manufacturing trends and business intelligence. To tap into our bank of resources, read our related posts or contact us today.

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