Stop collecting data, start using it, urges manufacturing expert

open business solutions visual mwdManufacturing businesses in the UK need to unlock the Big Data held in their systems if they are to transform their supply chains and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.

That’s the message from K3 Syspro, a company that was recently invited to speak to The Telegraph on the role of systems in the modern supply chain. According to K3 Syspro’s Managing Director, Cathie Hall, manufacturing businesses need to think about their own business processes and make the best use of the data running through their supply chains to make faster, better decisions. Only then, are they in a position to successfully introduce new strategies to servitize, and embrace new trends as the sector approaches Industry 4.0.

Cathie Hall commented: “The biggest problems for many manufacturing businesses are making decisions, understanding costs and integrating their supply chains. During a time when the manufacturing industry is accelerating at a rapid pace, manufacturing companies need to get these three things right if they are to embrace future technologies and changes.

“The future of the industry, and trends like robotisation, servitization and the Internet Of Things all offer exciting prospects to manufacturers, and while they should be looking at these technologies now, manufacturing businesses need to make sure they are managing their supply chains effectively with the data available to them, first.”

According to K3 Syspro, the success of Big Data depends on how it is used and interpreted. An ERP system collects numerous amounts of data through thousands of transactions. In order to take advantage of this data, management teams need the required skills to structure, combine and rationalise that data into information that can support business decision making. Then, Cathie Hall states, they have to be empowered to use that information for decision making, and more importantly, take action.

“The key point of Big Data in manufacturing businesses is having people who can work with data and are empowered to make decisions based on it,” Cathie Hall commented.  “It’s interesting that there are now a wide range of data science Masters Degrees to choose from at UK universities, a course unheard of five years ago. This shows the importance of data interpretation for the modern day manufacturing business.

”There are so many ways that manufacturers can use Big Data to their advantage, such as understanding customer buying patterns, increasing revenue by providing recommended products, or using Big Data to understand production efficiencies and find new ways of employing manufacturing technology to lower the cost of production.  It can also be used in combination with other megatrends such as the Internet of Things, to transform the experience for the customer.

“If the sector is to truly embrace the possibilities of Industry 4.0, it needs to start by using data more efficiently and manufacturers must empower their people to correctly analyse and utilise Big Data. That will make for a very exciting, vibrant, and competitive industry.”

Our Sponsors