[Column] Kree Govender: Modernising the manufacturing value chain with data
Across the entire value chain, manufacturing organisations are under constant pressure to innovate products and services. To remain competitive, greater customer intimacy must be established, and more must be achieved with less resources. This is no easy feat. These complex trends, when harnessed correctly, are making the modern plant more efficient, productive and aware of the data required to perform better.
The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 have brought about helpful developments in manufacturing. Modern manufacturers often experience information overload. They are drowning in complex data, which continues to stream in unabated, daily. Analytics is highly effective in helping manufacturers to see the whole story. Without a full, birds-eye view it is incredibly difficult to convert challenges into opportunities – or to know when to seize these opportunities for maximum effect.
As traditional boundaries continue to evolve, and markets become increasingly globalised, the digital supply chain is creating organisations that can compete anywhere in the world, from any location. This allows for source, make and delivery processes that are adapted to compete globally.
According to Kree Govender, Managing Director at South Africa Qlik Master Reseller (SAQMR), data holds immense power to drive efficiency. “Data analytics plays a crucial role in the modernisation of the value chain. In manufacturing, connectivity and sensors enable product and production while data rich services ensure faster innovation for shorter product lifecycles.”
The key to creating real value is to ensure that the value chain’s performance is amplified, within the manufacturing process and beyond. “Once products leave the factory, the innovation cannot end. Products must continue to evolve even after leaving the factory to stay ahead of the competition, with service updates, feature editions and product accessorising,” adds Govender.
How can this be achieved? With innovations, thanks to 4IR, driven by machine data, customer usage and social media feedback. “It’ all about the data. With reliable information at hand, in an understandable and accessible format, companies can make better business decisions based on real business data. Every business holds the information they need to operate more efficiently, if only they accessed it effectively,” he says.
With a shorter time to value, manufacturers can create insight into their businesses instead of wasting time on static reports. With an understandable dashboard, complex data is presented in a simplified, visual way without losing the power of the insights. This empowers management to make better decisions, faster and leads to the efficient management of global operations, driving millions in value.
“In our experience, people are smart and naturally assess what they are presented. This increases when the person is involved in filtering, navigating and extending visualisations. Academia have shown how to present complex data, and Qlik has enabled the business user to move beyond modern visualisation into a collaborative analysis playground where they can be truly involved in uncovering value in data,” concludes Adam Barrie-Smith, Chief Technology Officer, SAQMR.