Smart Manufacturing Blog

Welcome to your source for all things smart manufacturing. Whether you’re looking for expert insights, hard data, or actionable tips for your plant floor, we’ve got you covered every week of the year.

7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing

Now Available!

Get your copy of the 7th Annual State of Smart Manufacturing and hear from 300+ manufacturers in this new survey report!

How Manufacturers Can Use Data to Build Future Resiliency

Big Data, COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Manufacturing Intelligence, Traceability
September 22, 2020
Machine Metrics

In this difficult time, while some manufacturers have been forced to change strategies temporarily, others have a need to double down on what you do best. By enabling mobile workers, industrial companies are better able to ensure the safety of their workers while continuing to serve their customers. Many of our customers have been on the front lines delivering solutions during this crisis and continue to do so; MachineMetrics is committed to supporting the front-line worker on the manufacturing floor and in the medical field.

Thoughtful management of your people & resources, and using data to make good decisions is critical. There will be a lot to balance in the coming weeks - customer needs, supply chain challenges, staffing considerations, but having a strategy to leverage data to aid in decision-making is the key.

It’s undeniable that the impact of current economic conditions will permeate numerous areas of manufacturing. Thus, it’s never been more important to harness the power of data to inform ourselves of what’s happening and more importantly, drive decisions that will reshape and rebuild an industry both more sustainable and resilient for the future.

In our latest panel, we shared updated insights alongside Plex Systems driven by our company’s unique datasets, and, unlike previous months, this time the data painted a clear picture of manufacturing’s resurgence Here were some of our key takeaways that best illuminated this:

  1. Currently, production and capacity have returned to pre-COVID strength. The biggest continuing changes have been to staffing, budgets, and contingency plans: the need to have and manage cash flow has never been more important.
  2. To increase your chance of properly managing and surviving a disruption of this magnitude requires risk assessment—looking for points of failure coupled with a continuous improvement program. This crisis, for example, will accelerate the reorganization of the supply chain as people have been made aware of the risks.
  3. Investments in automation, Industry 4.0, virtual manufacturing, machine monitoring, and additive manufacturing are paying off during this time. Shops now realize their true underused machine capacity and the need to get people more productive with the equipment they have. This crisis is a great time for any manufacturer to analyze what they are doing when it comes to data collection and analysis. It is a good time to reflect without urgency when shops are in full production again. Take time to do a little industrial meditation.
  4. Manufacturers need to upskill the workforce and double down on skills. Revenue per employee is a predictor of profit margin. How much can a shop get through each employee? How do I organize my business to get the most out of my employees? For example, implementing a continuous improvement plan.
  5. We need to pivot with a bias towards action. For example, emergency POs take priority. With every PO, a message is sent to the sourcing managers that jobs with deliveries two weeks out need to be reprioritized, and they are encouraged to reach out to industry groups to outsource that work … get help.

Manufacturing still remains the largest industry in the world with the least digitization. However, It is estimated that 60% of global manufacturing companies will use connected device data for analysis in the coming year, which is evidence that IoT is already driving unprecedented disruption in a notoriously slow-adoption industry for technology. This access to Data can transform traditional manufacturing operations and supply chains into dynamic, sustainable, more resilient interconnected systems.

The value of data-driven technology cannot be understated during this time. We have on our hands a whole new arsenal of data to drive decisions with. In an increasingly complex manufacturing environment, manufacturers are looking for any edge they can get to remain competitive in a heavily globalized economy.

As a leader in manufacturing’s digital transformation, we are proud to work alongside companies like Plex to provide a source of actionable information for our customers. Progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.

You can't know where you are going without knowing where you are. Download MachineMetrics' Manufacturing Analytics Journey ebook now.

Starting your digital transformation journey? Download this Ebook to start your planning and evaluation process today.

About the Author

Graham Immerman Marketing VP, MachineMetrics

Graham Immerman is VP of Marketing for MachineMetrics, Manufacturing’s First Industrial IoT Platform for Machines. Graham has quickly become an authority on digital transformation and the application of IIoT technology for the manufacturing industry. Graham spent his early career working on Madison Ave. at global and boutique marketing firms to help craft successful digital marketing strategies for brands like Adidas, Reebok, H&RBlock, and Starbucks.

Graham Immerman