In his recent Data Heads guest post “Transforming Disparate Data into Actionable Quality Analytics”, LNS Research Analyst Matt Littlefield wrote,
“The key to maximizing data is not about availability or capture but rather having capable solutions for delivering the right intelligence to the right people at the right time.”
Matt’s definition of “Actionable Quality Analytics” is a great one. It echoes what GainSeeker customers tell me all the time:
“The problem isn’t getting data. We have data all over the place. The problem is making good use of it.”
Actionable Quality Analytics
What comes to mind is a story a GainSeeker customer told me about an experience he had. It went something like this:
His company had been manually collecting and charting key quality data on a manufacturing line for years. His team already had the right intelligence because they knew that if they controlled certain parameters, they could manage their process and save substantial sums of money.
Since they had been doing this process manually for years, they thought they knew everything there was to know about the process. For this reason, they felt that they could get little benefit from automating data collection.
However when the company upgraded their shop floor equipment for other purposes, they decided to investigate options for automating shop floor data collection. They predicted that automating a manual process would save enough time to make an automated system a worthwhile investment.
After we implemented GainSeeker for them it turned out their predictions were right: automation did save them significant amounts of time, and it freed people up for more value-added work. There was no real surprise about that.
The big (and pleasant) surprise came when they began pushing the intelligence out to more people, and those people began to act on the data much faster. By getting the right intelligence to the right people at the right time, they saw a huge financial benefit because it empowered them to reduce material waste drastically.
I can’t share the numbers with you, but they are jaw dropping.
I think one of the reasons they saw these benefits is because it turned out that there were multiple “right people”. With the manual pencil and paper system, there could only be one “right person” – the one who was filling out the chart.
When we set up the automated system, we set up automated email alarms. Anytime a process shifted or went out of control, GainSeeker instantly sent the news to specific individuals. The definition of “right people” opened up to more people, and it paid off in a big way. In other words, the same email alert could set off a number of right responses from a number of right people, and at the right time.
For example, a manufacturing engineer who got the alert could immediately look at machine setup and maintenance. At the same time, a scheduling person could use the intelligence to make informed decisions about their ability to complete the order with the current plan. It enabled them to order additional raw materials if necessary to minimize the impact on on-time delivery. Meanwhile, the customer service rep could proactively reach out to the customer with accurate information about the customer’s order, minimizing the damage from unexpected surprises. This last situation probably did not have a direct financial benefit for our customer, but the nontangible benefit of creating a climate of transparency and partnership was significant.
This is just one example of how a GainSeeker customer has leveraged actionable quality data into financial success.
Do you want to learn more about actionable quality analytics? Download our free research spotlight by LNS Research: “Big Data: Driving Quality Intelligence at the Speed of Manufacturing”, an exclusive report for Hertzler Systems’ clients.