Manufacturing is ever-evolving; nothing stays the same. For that reason, manufacturing leaders are tasked with growing with the times. Make changes, try new things, update processes consistently. Staying on top of new trends is difficult because those initiatives can go in one of two directions – success or failure.  

No one wants to fail, but failures often provide valuable learning experiences and guide us to the right path, manufacturers are no exception.

What happens when a manufacturer, who previously tried and failed to implement a manufacturing analytics solution, is hesitant to take another risk on the software even though it’s key to improving efficiency?

 

  • Failure is an opportunity to learn.
  • Embrace manufacturing analytics.
  • “Will manufacturing analytics work for me?”
  • Success is based on a ‘Start Small, Think Big’ road map,
  • Remember, context is key (even when others say otherwise).
  • “So I decide I need manufacturing analytics; how do I achieve success?”
  • Keep moving forward.

Failure is an Opportunity to Learn (and Yes, that Applies to Manufacturing Analytics)

Failure is never ideal, but it is always an opportunity to learn. With failure comes improvement. Like many others, you’ve probably failed once or twice, both professionally and personally. Did you learn from those mistakes?  

Now, what if your company had tried to implement manufacturing analytics on the floor, and it failed? Did you give up and say, “Contextualized data is no longer for us.”? It’s likely you did the opposite. While you may proceed on the side of caution moving forward, data is important to your floor, and you know that. 

Embrace Manufacturing Analytics

In the scheme of things, manufacturing analytics is a newcomer to the manufacturing industry, but it’s proven time and time again, the benefits provided to manufacturers. The concept of analyzing data to improve processes isn’t new, but the companies that have been created to help users efficiently analyze data is new. As those companies have entered the market, there has been, as with any company, trial and error. A few do very well while others don’t. It’s the natural course of business.   

That natural variation in success can leave manufacturers feeling burned, or worse, unwilling to try again with manufacturing analytics if they spent millions on software that provided nothing in return. It’s no surprise – failure, with lots of money spent in the process, is difficult to rebound from. But you should. Here’s why.

At a time when analytics is more important than ever, don’t shy away because of a previously failed implementation. Instead, jump on board. Embrace the previous failure and use that as a guide in finding a manufacturing analytics software that works for you and will prove to make your floor more efficient and productive. Don’t be hesitant to try again – embrace manufacturing analytics.  

“Will Manufacturing Analytics Work For Me?”

If it makes a difference, we do understand your hesitation. It’s likely that when you tried manufacturing analytics the first time, it seemed like the solution to all of your problems and it would be an instant success, but it wasn’t. We aren’t really surprised. It’s taken time to determine how to make manufacturing analytics work for manufacturers. Not all solutions worked. Not all strategies worked.  

But, today, manufacturing analytics is an effective solution. What didn’t work 5 years ago, works now. Check out this blog we recently wrote: It dives into the big reasons manufacturing analytics is a win for manufacturers now.  

Success is Based on a ‘Start Small, Think Big’ Road Map

That start small, think big, move fast idea that other people promised and failed to execute is now effective. (In reality, the other company probably had the right idea about where to go, but no methodology or road map to get there.) That road map is now a reality because of three things:

1. Manufacturing analytics doesn’t have to be overly complex – you can start out with a single data point on a small set of machines to prove it works and understand how to integrate analytics with the culture, which is where all of the success comes from.

(It’s also important to address one thing: manufacturing analytics implementations are not like other manufacturing software implementations. It’s not like an SAP implementation where it’s everything at once or nothing.)  

2. Then, when you’ve mastered that, repeat the process throughout the rest of the plant. As we said, it’s not like other implementations. Over time, you continue to revisit and add more data as you mature as an organization.

Manufacturing analytics isn’t the type of thing you implement and forget about – it grows as your company grows. That is why it’s a whole new territory for manufacturers – it’s not what was done before. 

 3. The key in all of this, to be successful, to mitigate risk, to really implement a solution that works for you, is to partner with someone with a proven track record. Not only that but partner with someone who genuinely wants to see you succeed and helps you get visibility with your best interests in mind. 

Remember, Context is Key (Even When Others Say Otherwise)

Listen up manufacturers, this is the first warning sign! If a manufacturing analytics company tells you that AI will solve all of your problems – that’s an indication that something isn’t right. AI can’t and won’t solve all of your problems – the system still has to work within your company and there needs to be an understanding of what the data will provide you and how it can improve processes.

Collecting data aimlessly won’t do you, or your employees, any good. Instead, it will only bog you down with endless amounts of data with virtually no context. What good does that do you? You don’t know why things are happening on the floor which is literally, the whole point of manufacturing analytics – provide visibility and context into the factory floor so you know why a machine has gone down, for example. 

“So, I Decide I Need Manufacturing Analytics. How Do I Achieve Success?”

Overall, there are important steps manufacturers can take to guarantee success:

Mitigate risk and ensure the use of manufacturing analytics is successful in the long term by appointing a person or small group of people to own and run the project. Don’t just expect it to work without any direction. Then, when manufacturing analytics is taking shape on your floor, do the following four things: 

Display data to everyone in the plant. This includes operators on the floor to supervisors to the C-suite at the top of the ladder. 

Inform everyone (see above) what the data means and how it will be used to improve the floor.  

Distribute that data through manufacturing insights emails. These emails keep people informed about what’s going on the floor– Is production on target or off? How much product was made yesterday? Did any unplanned downtime occur? Why? 

Integrate data gathered into the daily routine. An example would be reviewing the previous day’s data in a daily production meeting.  

While every manufacturer is different, taking the initiative to ensure each step is taken will undoubtedly establish success.  

Keep Moving Forward with Manufacturing Analytics

Risks are a natural part of business. While too risky decisions are never wise, a small amount of risk is necessary. If you’ve been burned in the past, use that experience as a learning experience. Don’t shy away from continuing to improve your factory floor. Remember: 

  • Find a company with a proven record that will help you improve.  
  • Take the leap into manufacturing analytics – you’ll see improvements.  
  • Manufacturing analytics isn’t going anywhere; it’s changing the manufacturing industry for the better, providing visibility and accountability on the factory floor.  
  • Without it, you’ll be left in the dark about how your floor is running.  
  • Analytics provides a clear competitive advantage, unmatched by other manufacturing software. 

Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. (Yes, we’re getting cheesy here with a quote – bonus points if you know who said that!) But, the point is, the manufacturing industry is changing quickly. Manufacturing analytics provides the opportunity to embrace the change and achieve success, but only if you’re willing to look past your previous experience and keep moving forward. 

Summary
Hesitant to Take Another Risk After (Unsuccessfully) Trying Manufacturing Analytics? Try Again.
Article Name
Hesitant to Take Another Risk After (Unsuccessfully) Trying Manufacturing Analytics? Try Again.
Description
Manufacturing analytics provides an opportunity to embrace change and achieve success, but only if you can look past a previous failure and move forward.
Publisher Name
SensrTrx Manufacturing Analytics