Thursday, 27 October 2011

Part 1: “Data, Data everywhere...but not a drop when I need it!”

How many times have you asked IT to provide you with a report on inventory levels, or gap times in processing, or even a dashboard to provide a "at a glance" status view of current product and process flows?

As manufacturing businesses increase or decrease their production, change their processes, hire/train new employees, develop new methods and shift their vendor mix, huge amounts of data are generated. Add to this a constant stream of customer and product data — and your data quickly becomes a growing tangle of information distributed across disparate applications and systems — data that could be critical to decision-making, if it were available quickly!

In our experience a key tenet to making information more manageable is a Data Integration strategy. Data Integration is both process and product — using the best tools but not the best strategy to organise and flow data can result in inaccurate data and incorrect assumptions. Likewise, a great process for managing information can be hindered by tools that don’t work fast enough, require a large team of consultants for maintenance, or are so difficult to manage that they just aren’t used.

Key Warning Signs of Manufacturing Data Bottlenecks

• Multiple, disparate databases are used to support customer, production or financial data, but are not sharing information
• Difficulty in making critical information available for reporting — ie, real-time data demands
• Limited IT resources constantly tied up in accessing data, rather than managing data flow
• Critical processes are slow — hindered by data availability

If your organisation is currently using a data integration solution, the following questions can help determine if the solution is working satisfactorily, or not.

1. Is fresh data available in time for reporting?
2. Are your data requests promptly serviced by your IT team?
3. Is all data about customers, suppliers and employees available when needed, or does it require more customised handling by the IT team?
4. Can your company improve the speed of the current solution for data retrieval/reporting without adding any expense?
(This refers to either hiring additional staff, purchasing new hardware/systems, or reworking existing processes)

If the answer is “No” to these questions, then I really recommend that you come along to our free 1/2 day event on the 7th of December in Maidenhead, UK. 

To register, visit the link below.

Hope to see you there.
Lee Grogan

Source:  Lee Grogan, Sales Manager, DSCallards

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