Analytics has permeated every business sector these days, and manufacturing is no exception. The rise of IoT devices has resulted in companies collecting more data than ever before, only adding to the available signals for those who know what to collect and what to do with the information that matters.
Analytics platforms allow manufacturing firms to make sense of these data in many ways, empowering business leaders to avoid mistakes and yielding major improvements that can be measured in revenues, project efficiency, employee retention, client satisfaction, friction-free supply chains and more.
Here are six business functions that stand to benefit most from rigorous data analytics implementations, allowing manufacturing firms to bring greater efficiency to their businesses.
Sales and marketing
Marketing campaigns used to be created based on a “feel” for what customers demanded. Data analytics platforms can help you gather customer behavioral signals that you can use to inform your campaigns. Predictive models in analytics platforms can help you forecast different scenarios and project customer behavior.
You can reduce the length of your sales cycles by examining customer engagement, tracking their interactions with your marketing material. The result is greater personalization and customized product offerings that your prospects will love.
A great analytics platform can also help you to become more aware of seasonal variations and trends in your sales data. You’ll be able to analyze anomalies and narrow down the causes of unexpected results.
Operations and project management
Your assembly line is the heart of your business. Data that you collect from IIoT devices can alert you to usage thresholds and save you from incurring costly maintenance and replacement bills. More importantly, you can track the performance trend of all of your machinery and evaluate the best performers.
Analytics makes procurement easier as well. You can seamlessly link your demand shaping campaigns to your raw material needs. For example, if you plan on offering a discount to your customers in the future, you can model expected demand and procure materials accordingly. You can take vendor lag times into account and plan more effective campaigns. Vendor tracking is also a breeze thanks to the presence of performance data. You can rank and categorize your vendors based on the conditions under which they perform the best and use their services accordingly.
Thanks to these benefits, it’s easy to plan your projects and use your resources optimally. With reduced resource lag, you’ll reduce costs per unit and boost your profits.
Payroll is an extremely important function in your organization, and it contains a wealth of employee data. Payroll analytics will help you retain as well as attract top-tier talent. In today’s competitive landscape, retaining the services of talented employees is critical for success, especially for roles that require specialized skills, like factory machine engineers.
With the right data, you can evaluate payroll costs by location or any other category you wish and design the best compensation packages based on local regulations and taxes. This function is especially relevant for international organizations that incur different costs per jurisdiction.
Regulators in one jurisdiction might levy heavy taxes on bonuses while going easy on insurance benefits. In another location, the situation might be the opposite. Analytics will help you take your employees’ demographics into account and offer them a package that appeals to them the most.
Supply chain management
As a manufacturer, getting your goods to your customers in optimal shape is critical. While supply chain companies offer sophisticated technology such as cold chain transportation and real-time data loggers, product waste often occurs. Sensor-informed analytics can help you mitigate these risks.
You’ll be able to track the lifecycle of a product from procurement to final delivery thanks to audit trails. The data within these audit trails will reveal trends and weaknesses within your supply chain. For example, a cause of goods damage might be improper storage at your warehouse.
Using a particular delivery route with a few vendors might result in more damage than using other vendors. Analytics will alert you to these trends and also help you optimize your delivery routes by package conditions, fleet or delivery time. The result is lower product wastage in the supply chain and a boost to your bottom line.
Analytics platforms can help you take advantage of unstructured data. These data can include customer emails, texts, social media interactions, and any other forms of communication that aren’t easily stored in a tabular format. Unstructured data contain a wealth of knowledge about customer preferences and issues.
Your prospects and customers form impressions of your organization based on their dealing with your customer service. Therefore, giving your customer service reps the power of analytics will help them deliver customized service experiences. Your reps can access the entire chain of communication a customer has had, as well as access visual dashboards indicating the most common form of concern.
With the expansion of communication channels, you need to communicate with your customers on their preferred channels. For example, emailing a customer who prefers to message you via Twitter isn’t going to garner optimal responses. Analytics can alert you how you ought to communicate with a customer and where they prefer to be contacted.
One of the most important functions an IT department plays these days is ensuring cybersecurity. Attackers are more sophisticated than ever before, and analytics allows you to stay one step ahead of them. Today, no industry sector is exempt from these threats.
Every cybersecurity platform uses analytics these days to help you monitor your weaknesses and alert you to possible threats ahead of time.
Analytics will also help you run a lean security team, thanks to the automation capabilities that these platforms have. Your team can prioritize their responses based on your assets and combat threats optimally.
A huge opportunity
Analytics are more important than ever for manufacturing firms. They can help you boost your revenues and increase your bottom line. You’ll gain a greater understanding of your manufacturing firms that will help you develop better products and deliver what your customers value the most to the marketplace.