Enabling continuous improvement is a crucial goal for any manufacturer looking to streamline processes, raise productivity and ultimately, sell more products to customers. To truly achieve this aim, organisations need to do more to properly consolidate the wide range of product data sources created by their machines and systems. This is according to OneTimePIM.
Manufacturing firms rely on machinery and the systems underpinning it to get the job done. These include production floor technologies such as MES or QM, but also other legacy systems covering the wider business, such as ERP and CRM. The next big step for companies is to find a way to integrate all product data from across these systems, so that everything can be managed from one place.
Dr Pat Violaris, Managing Director at OneTimePIM, says: “The various systems at play in a manufacturing organisation are vital to ensuring efficient production, but their existence also creates complexity.
“Manually gathering all this data takes a huge amount of manpower, which for many firms isn’t feasible. The result is that manufacturers have little overall visibility of their product data. This has a knock-on effect on all aspects of the organisation, including the speed of inventory planning and the ability of leaders to make effective operational decisions.”
To tackle these issues, Dr Violaris believes that manufacturers should embrace new technologies to unify siloed data, that go beyond the limitations of legacy systems.
He adds: “Continuous improvement cannot be achieved if siloed product data remains an issue, so any new technology that a manufacturer takes on must be able to consistently and reliably integrate all product data, from every disparate system, and view it in one place. This makes leaders’ jobs much easier, by giving them access to higher-quality data, which in turn leads to improved productivity and efficiency.
“Product information management (PIM) systems are a crucial piece of the jigsaw in this respect. They do the job of helping businesses unify product data spread out across different systems, making the process of importing, managing and sharing all this data much easier for leaders.”
Dr Violaris concludes: “It takes a bit of time and effort to get a system like this up and running, but firms that do will reap the rewards in the long run. Think of it this way: organisations can access data that in the past would have taken hours or even days to acquire. Having this data so readily available makes people’s jobs much easier, with this uplift in productivity then having a positive impact on sales and customer service. The result is a more efficient, sustainable and successful manufacturing operation, which has continuous improvement at its heart.”