You know how the right tool for the job makes the difference. BI software is that tool. When it comes to boosting productivity for your manufacturing enterprise, it makes a significant difference. Not only does it keep your productivity discussions focused on fact-based, data-driven research, but it also encourages team members to share their broader expertise and provides clear-cut, actionable recommendations for your business.

Here we’ll explore four main ways you can use business intelligence software to push your productivity to the next level:

  1. Measure it so you can manage it: If you’re not tracking your throughput, YoY sales, sales by customer, or other important metrics, how can you even begin to improve them? To enhance your performance you must first benchmark your starting figures. Business intelligence software can bring all of these metrics into focus. With sophisticated visualization and analytic tools, you’ll have a deeper understanding of your business; the software transforms hard numbers into beautiful charts and graphics in real time so you can see exactly how to increase productivity.
  2. Find important hidden insights: There are tremendous opportunities hiding in your data. In fact, many of your competitors are probably using BI software to exploit theirs right now. With crystal clear charts and dashboards, you’ll discover insights that were impossible to pull from your endless report of mind-numbing numbers. With these metrics, you’ll discover trends that you hadn’t considered before, answer questions that had gone unanswered, and reveal surprising places where you could be saving money. For instance, you can explore the following in great graphic detail:
  • Time spent on specific tasks
  • Tweaks to processes that drive productivity
  • Ways to increase product quality
  • Productive, safe ways to set up the shop floor
  • Ways to reduce manufacturing costs
  • Places to decrease waste
  • Ways to optimize inventory management
  • Places to avoid bottlenecks
  • Steps to improve machine downtime
  • How to improve supply-chain efficiencies
  • Suppliers that are costing you money
  • How to better serve your customer

With BI software, you can pinpoint the places to grow your productivity and get specific recommendations on how to do so. In fact, the software will even track it’s own ROI since it’s part of the process.

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3. Save big with predictive maintenance: When you predict, you save. Applying past performance data algorithms from your production processes and equipment in BI to real-time information fed from sensors helps you forecast when machinery may fail. This way you can proactively address issues and keep your downtime to a minimum.

Accurate prediction capabilities were unheard of until recently. Before, you would need to watch for signs of wear, and even that method wasn’t completely accurate. According to McKinsey, predictive maintenance can now reduce machine downtime by an average of 30 to 50% and increase machine life by 20 to 40%.

One such use case saved a chemical company substantial money. By proactively cleaning their machines for just 15 minutes when their algorithms instructed them to, they avoided complete machine failure, which would have caused ten hours of down time plus the costs of expensive spare parts. Instead, the company decreased production losses by 58% and maintenance costs by 79% through this regular 15 minute fix. Quite an increase in productivity through proactivity.


4. Turn YET (Yield, Energy, and Throughput) into ROI:The YET metric gives you a close look at productivity. With BI software, you can drill down to granular levels to ensure that each production unit is upping their yield by increasing throughput and decreasing energy consumption.

A specialty-chemical company created a business intelligence model to increase their productivity through YET analytics. The program generated specific recommendations for plant operators to set equipment parameters at varying levels. This change increased their output to 18 – 30%, a net profit increase of around €5 million per year. What’s more, the company predicts that this advanced-analytics approach would create a €30 million annual profit increase if applied across all of their manufacturing operations.

According to McKinsey, these last two BI methods can increase EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins by five to ten percent.

Companies leveraging BI gain competitive advantages through clearly understanding their business and working to continually improve their systems; with the speed of the software, they can make adjustments in real time.

Are you ready to see what BI software can do for your productivity? Call us today to see how we can help.

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