Insight to Action: Helping Manufacturers Gain a Competitive Edge

From mass customization to demand-driven material requirements planning (MRP), many processes in manufacturing demand rapid responses. To keep up with the pace, managers require clear, real-time information to support their decision making. Today’s advanced ERP systems give manufacturers instant insight-to-action capabilities, keeping them one step ahead of the competition.

During production processes, many things can, and often do, change. For instance, a customer might make an alteration to their original order, be it the quantity or the product specifications. This can impact the entire end-to-end planning process: from MRP to inventory and delivery. And if suppliers are late to deliver the required materials, bottlenecks can occur further down the line. To maintain exceptional levels of customer satisfaction, manufacturers need to ensure that customers receive their product on time, exactly as ordered. That’s why flexibility is the name of the game – and manufacturers must minimize the time it takes to turn insight to action.

Bridging the Gap: Why Insight to Action Is Vital

At present, there are a number of factors that slow down the flow of information in manufacturing companies. For example, manufacturers with multiple systems for planning, reporting, and MES cannot quickly gain an overview of production processes and potential changes. Likewise, overreliance on spreadsheets or data warehouses can cause delays in information reaching the top floor. This means that by the time an event or issue has occurred, it is likely too late to respond.

Sophisticated ERP systems, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, alleviate this issue. With a single source of truth and real-time information, decision lag is minimized. This gives manufacturers faster insight-to-action capabilities. All levels within the organization, from machine operator to senior management, receive clear visualizations of information relevant to their role. For example, when taking a new order, the manufacturer knows exactly which materials are required and whether these materials are available. With insight-to-action functionality, the company can then act on this knowledge immediately – enabling seamless scheduling.

Enhancing Shop Floor Operations

Instant insight to action enables manufacturers to streamline their operations. Instead of responding to machinery failures, it is possible to automatically detect issues and analyze their root cause. This allows manufacturers to plan maintenance effectively, prevent costly downtime, and reduce the risk of late delivery or unsatisfied customers. SAP S/4HANA Cloud can provide recommendations to support decision making, which can help manufacturers improve overall equipment effectiveness and boost the efficiency of their production line.

With embedded analytics and digital assistance powered by AI, it is even possible to get to the root of quality issues. KPI-based insights are sorted by business priority in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, offering the user an instant view of the most pressing issues in order to resolve them in less time. In this way, insight-to-action capabilities enable manufacturers to improve their products, optimize production processes, and manage their supply chain more effectively. The result? Accelerated decision making, more efficiency, and, most importantly, happy customers.

 

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