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Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Your Factory Floor As A Football Game

The Big Game holds various levels of interest for its fans. If you’re a lifetime Buffalo Bills fan like me (for better or worse) then the sting of the defeat against the Kansas City Chiefs may have spurned more of a desire to see if the 49ers could win (and get revenge on behalf of the Bills Mafia) than to enjoy the game itself. Some of you may have tuned in for the thrill of seeing Taylor Swift race back her Eras Tour concert in Tokyo to see her boyfriend’s team win. Others are purely interested in the celebrity packed (and sometime interesting) commercials.

The bustling factory floor and the dynamic energy of a football game share surprising parallels. I started to think about the hundreds of news outlets reporting scores, play-by-play commentary and predictions during the game. Everyone has a different opinion of what happened on the field, but where is the true story? The data-driven information that tells you if the teams are playing well, and if not, why?

The Scenario

Imagine you are in charge of monitoring this football game. Your machines are the individual players on the field. The numbers listed on the large white board in the conference room represents the scores from last week’s game. Why weren’t you there? Because in addition to this game, you were monitoring the performance of four other games. These other games represent your other factory locations plus the Puppy Bowl.

Who won and lost the game?

For many manufacturers, winning the day is based on how many units were produced. Being busy is not the same as being productive. Alex Rogo discovered in “The Goal” that although his factory was so busy that the lead times on most orders were at least 8 weeks late, most of the work was not increasing the factory’s throughput. It filled the inventory shelves without efficiently fulfilling customer orders. This meant that the factory was not generating enough revenue and was in danger of closing in 3 months. The book is a great read if you haven’t checked it out.

Why did a team win or lose?

Your first inclination may be to ask the employees. Similar to the fans in the stands, they are not necessarily watching the whole game. Some are focused on their side of the field (department), some have a vested interested in their fantasy football team (personal analytics) and others are there to enjoy the food (clock in and clock out). All bets are off if Taylor Swift is shown on the jumbo screen (interesting but not necessarily relevant events). Each person would respond with a different opinion on why a team won or lost that day.

Automatic data collection is the only impartial way “see” what actually happened on game day and analyze the stats in real time. Be proactive, not reactive.

Translating what is happening on the field to the factory floor

The Metrics:

  • Factory: Production output, quality control metrics, safety incidents, efficiency ratios.
  • Football: Scoreboard, yards gained, turnovers, penalties, player statistics.

The Challenges:

  • Factory: Equipment breakdowns, material shortages, quality defects, fluctuating demand.
  • Football: Injuries, bad calls, dropped passes, missed tackles, unexpected plays.

The Strategies:

  • Factory: Continuous improvement, lean manufacturing principles, data-driven decision making.
  • Football: Play calling, formation adjustments, personnel changes, halftime adjustments.

The Victories:

  • Factory: Delivering high-quality products on time and within budget, exceeding customer expectations.
  • Football: Winning the game, achieving personal bests, overcoming adversity.

Getting the full picture of the factory floor with a production monitoring system

A production monitoring system like Mingo Smart Factory is the best way to put the whole picture together. Think of it like the professional sportscast for the Big Game.

  • Statistics for each player are constantly updated and then reported in context to the current down. This functions just like a manufacturing dashboard which can pull up historical data and reveal trends.
  • A progress report with the current score is displayed on the bottom of the screen. In a similar fashion, many of Mingo’s customers display a scoreboard on the factory floor so operators can see their progress in real time.
  • The countdown timer for each quarter is paused between plays to accurately account for the time remaining. This is just like accurately tagging the most common downtime reasons to get a view of how productive each line was that day.

Ready to learn more? Contact Mingo Smart Factory for a free demo today.

Picture of Alyxandra Sherwood
Alyxandra Sherwood
Digital Marketing Manager @ Mingo Smart Factory I Adjunct Professor @ SUNY Geneseo I Boston Marathoner I Second Street Award Winner I Media Professional with 15 Years Experience