“It’s the dialogue when teams review analytics that’s most insightful. Data without context is useless.” – Senior Manufacturing Supply Chain Executive
This comment was made in a recent discussion by a group of senior manufacturing executives thinking about the need for improved information in their global supply chains. Too often, they complained, reviews of standard Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are typically backward looking and often seen as a “check-the-box” necessity but of limited strategic value. Where the real insights began to occur is when information that was presented in the context of baseline and trends emerged, leading to quick identification of deviations, variations, and trending patterns that could quickly lead to team reviews and action items. It is this context of “what does good (or bad) look like?” that leads to the most important insights. In manufacturing networks, analytics that provide data without a basis for improvement, deterioration, or comparison with other meaningful comparators is perceived as being of little value. To be relevant, manufacturing analytics also need to cross not only functional boundaries, but indeed, enterprise boundaries.
collection and analytical technologies. To do so, however, requires that a foundation be constructed to enabletracking of
Laying the foundation will be important, but it’s often difficult to see the big picture when you’re down in the weeds!