Data is the lifeblood of your manufacturing organisation. Without access to reliable data, supply lines can be interrupted, defective parts can work their way into the system without being rectified and product development cycles can increase and informed business decisions cannot be made.
Insightful business data can prevent these problems from occurring, but only if you manage and store the data effectively. The days of overflowing filing cabinets and silo data files are not going to benefit you in the 21st century.
What is data management
It involves the development of both online and offline procedures, policies and practices in order to manage the information lifecycle and present data to the organisation in a way which can be capitalised on.
There are various approaches to data management with one of the most popular being master data management (MDM), which enables organisations to link all of their critical data to a single file. This ‘master’ file then provides a single point of reference across the entire organisation.
The challenge for manufacturers
With organisational data expanding at an ever-increasing rate, data management is becoming more and more complex. As data volumes increase, new systems will have to be developed if you are to maximise the benefits in your organisation.
Most companies continue to use traditional manufacturing software to store computer data and traditional files for offline data. These types of legacy systems do not provide the organisation with the insight needed to remain competitive.
6 ways to manage big data within a manufacturing business
- Invest in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software - Choose ERP software that has been tailored specifically for manufacturers. ERP software consolidates existing legacy software into one system which integrates production planning, MRP, BoM, product configurators and CRM.
- Install a central repository for all data types - To get the most out of your data management software it needs to be stored in a single repository. However, the database you use for this repository is crucial if you are to reap the benefits of big data. Traditional extract, transform, load (ETL) databases, which aim to break data down into manageable chunks, are not suitable for this task as they take too long to reassemble the data during analysis.
- Develop a data lifecycle process - If your data is to be used effectively, your organisation needs to develop a data lifecycle process. The quality of data held in your system is paramount if you are to benefit from big data. The insights you get out are only as good as the quality of data you put in. So decide what is most important to your company and ensure that only critical data is stored.
- Get help - Managing your data is complicated, with most manufacturing organisations not necessarily having the skills in house. So don’t be afraid of seeking the guidance and advice you need from integrators and ERP software providers.
- Create a data handling process - The quality of your data is important, so it’s vital the data you collect is organised and does not contain duplicates. A good way to maintain the quality of your data it to develop a thorough data handling process.
- Keep it secure - Your data is the lifeblood of your company, so don’t allow it to fall into the hands of your competitors. It’s a good idea to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive data by maintaining both logical and physical access controls to your system.
If you need help developing a sound big data strategy for your manufacturing organisation, WinMan ERP software can help. We enable manufacturers to fulfil their objective of becoming a lean and profitable organisation by unlocking the door to data which could transform the performance of your business.