Industrial companies are beginning to realize that digitization can help drive operations performance to new levels. Though many of the initial targets for IIoT and digitization focused on improving asset performance - which can yield many benefits - it is becoming clear that the same technologies can be used for operations performance management to potentially take enterprise performance to new heights as well.
Operations Performance Management
With better data, better visibility and advanced analytics tools, operations managers could obtain advance notice when their organizations were likely to miss critical performance targets. While systems such as MES or Manufacturing Intelligence have helped companies reach certain performance levels by improving execution, tracking, and visibility in the plant and connecting plant systems in basic ways to business systems, in many cases they have done all they can and have little capacity to drive performance further. This becomes important in today's increasingly dynamic business environment, where changes to entire ecosystems and business models are underway.
Driving and Managing Innovation
To deal with the dynamic environment, companies need to be able to react quickly to changing market conditions and customer expectations, innovate with new business processes that reach throughout the organization and into the design chain and supply chain, monitor and adjust these processes quickly and automatically, and rapidly evaluate alternate scenarios when the inevitable glitches occur. As always, successfully innovating at this level involves managing people, processes, systems, and information. And when disruptive technologies are in the mix, the first challenge is often tied up in the interplay of people and technology. Only when the people involved begin to understand what the new technologies are capable of can they visualize the potential 'to be' business models and begin to take the steps towards achieving the innovation.
21st Century Solutions are Available
Modern software platforms can play a role achieving the next levels of operations performance, because they marshal many or all of the needed services in one place, and can provide a development and runtime environment for small or large applications. Services for connectivity and management of edge devices, app deployment, security, integration, cognitive services, and more can be readily accessed. And in some cases, many of the needed operations performance management constructs are already in place.
What does the data say?
ARC is currently conducting research into the ways companies are attempting to leverage IIoT solutions to increase revenue and margin and optimize the operating performance and throughput of their plants and other sites with operations performance management solutions. If you are involved in strategizing or planning for operations performance solutions, we'd like a quick take on your perspective: