A smart asset management strategy uses the power of a connected workplace to inform future resource allocation decisions. Customers now demand fast shipping times and high levels of customization in their products. This means manufacturers have to operate faster with a more complex manufacturing line.
Now more than ever, an unexpected machine outage can become expensive very quickly. This is why businesses are connecting their production lines with low-cost data readers that are connected to the cloud. In fact, a McKinsey study has found that 43 percent of global supply chains have incorporated big data analytics into their processes. This number is set to increase as the benefit to productivity and profitability is realized.
By utilizing big data and the Internet of Things, manufacturers can make themselves more competitive in an ever-changing manufacturing landscape. So, how do you go about implementing a smart asset management strategy?
Before manufacturing businesses can reap the rewards of digital manufacturing, they must first establish where their business can be improved. To do this, you have to understand these fundamentals about your manufacturing plant:
By understanding the current state of your business and how it operates, you can understand what your business needs are. This initial data will give you the necessary overview to make a strategic smart asset management plan. For example, if you were a car manufacturer, you may find that you are using too much space storing your inventory. You may end up determining that one of your business aims for digital transformation may be building your cars to order to reduce necessary inventory space.
Once you have established your key business aims, you will need to establish how you will determine success. This means you have to identify how and where you will collect data in order to start installing accelerometers, GPS systems, temperature sensors, lubrication sensors, and pressure sensors. For example, you would attach GPS sensors to your stock and accelerometers to your trucks to collect data on the distance your goods are transported. It is important to ensure that you are not collecting too much unnecessary data. This will make your job harder when you have extraneous data to sift through. Too much data could also skew any machine learning programs you may have running.
Now that you have identified and collected your key sources, you need to process your data through an IoT gateway. This is a smart software tool that will translate motion, temperature, pressure, and acceleration data into actionable insights.
Larger businesses and supply chains may have a variety of different, complex business goals, meaning they may harvest more data. However, smaller manufacturers with simple goals may have all of their data translated into only one or two actionable insights.
Manufacturing executives need their key data to be arranged into a dashboard that offers a holistic view of the whole supply chain in order to view actionable insights. Applications like mobile and desktop dashboards that update in real-time are necessary for making essential strategic business decisions.
Once you have your smart asset management process up and running, it will start to become clear which processes need to be automated. Automation massively decreases the manpower required and the possibility of human error. By attaching your entire supply chain to a centralized dashboard, you will quickly be able to hone in on inefficiencies. In fact, PWC predicts that digitized supply chains can expect an average of a 4% boost to efficiency.
IoT solutions for asset-heavy industries may lead to much more automated, human-free supply chain systems which could lead to huge global productivity gains.