Introduction

Manufacturing leaders are often faced with disparate data systems. These systems typically create silos of data to solve a specific problem. Each has their own reports and dashboards,  which provide useful information about that domain. This can make it difficult to see the connections between information in these systems. What’s missing are easy ways to look at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across all of these systems.

GainSeeker® Suite connects real-time dashboards to any KPI (business metric) from any data source. It brings all of these disparate data sources together in view. It also supports data transformations so that relationships between disparate systems can be made more visible.

This breaks down barriers to data so that information is timely, visible, and actionable.

System design considerations

In preparing to implement KPI dashboards across data silos, consider these ideas:

  • What are your critical business metrics? If you don’t already have model in place, consider using research from Gartner, LNS Research, or other sources to identify the key performance indicators that matter.
  • Plan to find a balance between your business metrics. Excelling on one metric may come at the expense of another. For example, inventory and cash management probably need to be balanced. Maximizing inventory reduces cash, and maximizing cash on hand may come at the expense of adequate inventory levels. Aim for the right balance for your business.
  • Determine the desired latency of data. Do you need information updated by the minute? Hour? Shift? Day? Week? Month? Different metrics will almost certainly have different latency.

Typical system configuration

A typical use case is a plant manager with performance goals for:

  • Adherence to Production Schedule
  • Raw Material Inventory Management
  • On-time Shipment
  • Yield
  • Quality

The data that can tell the manager how they’re doing on these goals comes from three different systems:

  • ERP
  • Scheduling
  • Quality

Some data needs to be transformed, calculated, or combined with other data to make it useful. To get the data manually takes several hours of extracting data from various reports and compiling it into spreadsheets. Once it’s in the spreadsheets, someone has to update all the graphs. All the bugs seem to be worked out of the spreadsheets, but they are complex. Overall, the process takes a lot of time and is highly error prone. Often it is delivered many days after the fact, far too late to take meaningful corrective action.

Beginning with GainSeeker v8.8, scripts can query the data from all three systems, and update a single live dashboard with the latest information. The scripts can transform or combine data, and can be queued to run automatically every hour, or every shift – whatever interval makes sense for the business.

With timely, accurate, and actionable information, the plant manager can make better decisions faster, identify problems before they get out of hand, and take intelligent corrective action to stay on top of supply chain and customer problems.