New Survey Findings Reveal Multi-Plant Benchmarking Challenges & Triumphs

Written by: Cam Dufty

Read Time: 2 min

Manufacturers are under intense pressure to innovate and stay competitive across increasingly crowded global markets. But with limited visibility into operations and inconsistent data from disparate IT and OT systems, discovering better innovation and efficiency is difficult. Plant benchmarking is the proven best route to best practices—but how do you make it work with some many different influencing factors hidden beneath unparsed or unavailable data?

The Benefits of Benchmarking vs. The Reality of Modern Manufacturing

IndustryWeek, a trusted manufacturing sector publication, asked manufacturers of all types and sizes how they are approaching plant benchmarking—hoping to discover what works, what doesn’t, where manufacturers are hoping to invest in the future, and more. The results show that manufacturers know the benefits of implementing plant benchmarking initiatives—including enhanced operational performance, greater data visibility, more data-based best practices enablement, and more. But when it comes to actually making benchmarking possible, that’s a whole different story.

One key focus of the survey was a look at how difficult it was to gather data. IndustryWeek asked about assessing performance across multiple plants, and what that data gathering process entailed. For some, collecting critical data was a heavy lift. For a smaller percentage, data gathering was much more streamlined. But the more time and effort spent gathering data generally meant less time (or more rushed time) in crucial analysis and decision making.

Survey results showed a relatively high prevalence of gathering data through manual methods—or a mix of manual and automated. Given the speed at which manufacturing executives must move to make decisions, this finding is surprising—and concerning. Respondents utilizing exclusively manual means of gathering information reported investing the highest amount (58%) of effort into data collection. But a mix of efforts can also lead to discrepancies—55% of those who are using a mix of automated and manually assembled data methods chose the middle of the road, unable to report an effortless process. 

In The Future of Multi-Plant Benchmarking for Improved Performance survey report, IndustryWeek breaks down all the key findings, trends, and major takeaways from their 2018–2019 survey of manufacturing benchmarking. The report explores:

  • Challenges, best practices, and other insights driven by multi-plant benchmarking in modern manufacturing
  • The role of IoT in confident, successful benchmarking data collection
  • Technology trends, and how different manufacturers are determining their tech investment strategies
  • And much more survey-based analysis from IndustryWeek manufacturing experts

Download the research paper today for more about how your peers are tackling multi-plant benchmarking and the lessons they’re learning.

Read the plant benchmarking survey report



Tags: CAD Industrial Internet of Things Digital Transformation

About the Author

Cam Dufty

Cam Dufty has been writing about software and emerging technology for more than ten years. At PTC, she works closely with IoT, AR and CAD experts to help tell the story of how smart, connected operations are revolutionizing manufacturing around the world.