Headlines this summer highlighted the challenges of modern manufacturing. Boeing and Airbus were struggling with hitting aggressive delivery targets for their flagship products due to issues with suppliers down the chain.
According to the Wall Street Journal Boeing was working to help suppliers with technology to monitor performance. Manufacturing is a challenging industry, and aerospace the more so, due to the complexity of the finished product. No matter how small the component a company supplies, there are often many dependencies that can make or break the ability to fulfill an order on time.
As Boeing has found and is in the process of pushing downstream, technology exists to identify problems early enough to address them before it is too late. What drives this technology, however, is something all manufacturers have on hand already: Data.
Whether that data is on paper, in a spreadsheet, or stored in an ERP, all manufacturers have the data they need to identify supply chain issues and avoid costly and often embarrassing missed deadlines.
The challenges for manufacturers of all sizes are:
- Knowing what data is the most critical to identifying issues that may impact order fulfillment and delivery;
- Trusting the accuracy of that critical data;
- Putting the data in hands of the right employees in a useful format and fast enough to allow them to act on it.
While a company’s data provides value to many other parts of the organization, the visibility of data related to the manufacturing operations can be a make or break proposition and should be a top priority if any part of the process still relies on anything less than real-time data.
Boeing and its tier 1 suppliers had enough advanced warning of its supply chain issues and, despite the complicated network involved, appear to have acted in time to avoid long term issues, giving them confidence that they will be back on track by the end of 2018. Are you confident your company will have enough warning to address a process or supply chain issue as effectively?
Triple Helix works with manufacturers of all sizes to make data more visible and actionable in all areas of the operation. See how we helped Koster Keunen and Turbine Support Services or contact us to discuss your company’s challenge.