Enhancing Resiliency in Manufacturing through Connected Platforms, Increased Visibility, and Process Optimization


Deb Geiger, VP Global Marketing, Aegis Software


Enhancing Resiliency in Manufacturing through Connected Platforms, Increased Visibility, and Process Optimization

Manufacturing is one of the top industries to experience a massive disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New requirements like increased safety regulations necessitated manufacturing PPE (personal protective equipment), and the need to reduce overall costs and redistribute supplies weighed heavily on manufacturing organizations. According to the Aberdeen Group, 51% of manufacturers experienced a decrease in sales during the fluctuating downturns that plagued the worldwide economy in 2020.

To guide their approach during these uncertain times, manufacturers can look confidently to the Best-in-Class organizations that are finding success through the implementation of a connected platform that allows them to amplify the impact of their technology enablers to support greater agility and manufacturing resilience. In this blog post, we focus on three ways that Best-in-Class manufacturers have become more resilient in their operations—and three critical steps your organization can take to become more resilient too.

Step 1: Embrace Connected Platforms

Best-in-Class organizations leverage connected platforms that unify and simplify the management and utilization of technology solutions by bringing together all necessary applications in a single, centralized location. A connected platform approach reduces the need to transition between programs manually and improves data sharing, ultimately increasing collaboration, productivity, and innovation.

In addition to providing a centralized location for tech solutions, connected platforms are essential for enabling Best-in-Class strategies for resilience in manufacturing and maintaining communication throughout manufacturing and design processes. These strategies include analyzing factory and field product data for engineering design improvements and improving visibility into operations.

Best-in-Class manufacturers are 104% more likely than all others to view investing in tools that support flexibility and agility as a critical tactic for the future—even amid today's challenging manufacturing climate. These top performers are prioritizing product quality, process efficiency, and operational visibility when distributing their technology budget, and utilizing some technologies like Quality Management Systems (QMS), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution Management (MES), and more.

Step 2: Focus on Process Visibility

According to Aberdeen's research, one of the most impactful strategies for companies to regain stability and enhance resiliency today is employing greater process visibility. Visibility into operations is critical for project profitability, time-to-decision, and productivity. Technology that tracks and records the status of every design, part, product, and shipment increases project efficiency by alerting when items are missing or behind schedule, identifying potential bottlenecks, and providing insight into cost-effectiveness. This visibility also helps manage the supply chain, as most companies have prioritized real-time visibility into supplier performance to respond to supply chain disruptions.

When decision-makers have access to this kind of data, they are better informed and can draw conclusions with greater agility. Visibility at the executive level allows decision-makers to see what is happening in the moment, and if a problem arises, they can quickly make changes to processes.

According to Aberdeen, better visibility has resulted in a 1.4x greater year-over-year decrease in time-to-decision for the Best-in-Class. And on average, Best-in-Class manufacturers that improve visibility into operations experienced a 97% boost in revenue, a 296% improvement in time-to-decision, and a 169% increase in productivity.

Step 3: Harness Data for Autonomous Adaptability

Process optimization and autonomous adaptability address many of the pressures and challenges that affect manufacturers today. 'Optimization' involves investigating processes to determine areas for improvement and reveals opportunities to minimize waste, decrease downtime, and increase quality. While both the Best-in-Class and all others are likely to use standardized KPIs to track performance, Best-in-Class companies take process optimization one step further. Some of their specific process optimization efforts include having a formal process in place to capture ideas, enabling automated alerts based on defined conditions, establishing the ability to respond to real-time manufacturing events, harmonizing production processes globally, and scheduling predictive maintenance of assets.

One key capability that's proving powerful today is the ability to support product personalization. But supporting it often requires time-intensive and cost-prohibitive software customization. By contrast, the right out-of-the-box software solution can also enable personalization with far more cost-effectiveness and scalability. Aegis' FactoryLogix Automate-to-Order functionality is compelling and innovative enabling manufacturers of any size to produce any personalized discrete product without customization. Until FactoryLogix, there wasn't a software solution on the market that could support this type of on-demand personalization without extensive coding, or engineering defining a process for every possible permutation. Automate-to-Order can proliferate the concept of consumer personalization, even in small to mid-size organizations, that couldn't be done before without excessive cost, time or human resources.

Become a More Resilient Operation with Aegis

Powerfully enabled by connected technology, enterprise visibility, and process optimization, Best-in-Class companies have been able to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain dominance in their industry. Many organizations have seen profound decreases in KPIs because of the economic shutdowns. However, Best-in-Class companies are not only seeing smaller decreases than their peers, but they are seeing increases as well.

Ultimately, process optimization is enabled by strong visibility and data, and strong visibility and data are enabled by technology. A connected platform remains the cornerstone of building a more resilient operation. Aegis' FactoryLogix is that one platform, delivering factory digitization and enhanced visibility that enables resiliency in times of change. Learn more about FactoryLogix here.

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