With all businesses experiencing the unprecedented impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, we’re very aware of the challenges and uncertainty currently being felt by many. Digital technologies can however help reduce the uncertainty of those things that you can directly influence. Here's some ideas of how you can leverage a Seiki manufacturing system to minimise the unexpected so that you can focus on responding with greater confidence to these turbulent market conditions.
Be prepared, disciplined and informed
Unexpected doesn’t have to mean that you aren’t prepared. Greater visibility, shared knowledge and insight are the key to picking up on the early indicators of impending delays, problems or shortfalls, meaning you can take proactive, preventative measures rather than reactive actions.
- Follow a controlled, standardised process. This means everyone will know what to do, when to do it and how. This supports better decision making and minimises the need for unnecessary checks. Any anomalies or errors will also be easier to spot.
- Factor in predictable delays and risks to your production plans and schedules e.g. long material lead times or late deliveries from suppliers.
- Maximise the interoperability capability of your digital technologies to connect departments and improve communication and create a 360-degree view of your manufacturing operations. Communication is essential for teamworking, co-ordination of resources and for managing customer expectations.
- Identify useful metrics that can help you monitor processes and progress, then use the automation and AI capabilities to generate real-time event-based notifications, rules and analysis reports. With supporting data you’ll be in a better position to make tough decisions.
Run efficiently and effectively
Being effective is doing the right things and being efficient is doing things right. If you can strike a good balance between them, you’ll be working more cost effectively and can achieve greater ROI. Whilst overall effectiveness is the holy grail, achieving it is often easier said than done. This is especially true in difficult or, as in the current climate, unprecedented market conditions where you’re more likely to find your resources have dramatically changed and carefully constructed plans thrown into question. Digital technologies can help support faster decision making with timely and accurate information so you can be responsive and flexible.
- Capturing data and distributing information digitally supports greater immediacy, accuracy and control. It also helps to ensure your teams are aligned to the same, latest priorities so your departments can run more effectively.
- Fast, effective and easy to maintain methods of process control and communications are essential for eliminating waste and reducing non-value adding activities – key efficiency ingredients.
- Leverage a cross-functional view of your operations to bring together the right people and resources in the right place at the right time.
- Collect production data to uncover even the smallest causes of productivity loss that could be costing you time and money.
- Base your production schedules on actual workload, capacity and efficiency - factoring in all relevant constraints. You can also maintain a more realistic and accurate view, both in the short and longer term, by updating capacity dynamically in response to changes in capacity, due to staff shortages, new orders, delays or machine breakdowns. Fundamentally, you can more effectively maximise the utilisation of existing resources.
Leave room for creativity and innovation
Digital technologies are a great enabler for creativity and innovation and are at their most powerful when combined with the skills and experience of your team.
- Creating repeatable, controlled processes you reduce time spent on non-value adding activities and open up opportunities for creative problem solving.
- Providing people with useful, actionable insights can help generate ideas and innovative approaches to overcome challenges.
- Taking collaborative, proactive action can increase your preparedness for the unexpected.
Uncertainty can result from lack of information or from disagreement about what is identified. Digital technologies help to remove the uncertainty of the things that you can directly influence with accurate, timely and shared information. All underpinned with the tools you need to take control and unlock opportunities.
If you’re looking for some guidance around digital solutions for your manufacturing operations at this challenging time, our experienced team can support you or your team with a video or phone call.
Suggested Further Reading
- Tackling Productivity Losses
- Industry 4.0
- Advice for Implementing a Manufacturing Exection System
- Smart Manufacturing Data