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From Sensor to the Boardroom: Using Data at Every Step of the Way

The idea of taking data collected from a sensor and delivering it to the boardroom in the form of insights and actionable steps has been around for a long time. But, until now, it hasn’t been easily achieved or accessible. Essentially, the idea of “sensor to boardroom” embodies the purpose of smart manufacturing – being able to know at every single level, what’s going on.

The difference today from what people have thought about before is that you can now roll all of the data up to use for a clear understanding of the company. Utilize a good or bad day analysis, at any level, including the boardroom and C-suite.

What does that mean exactly, though? Across all of the plants, know if everything is good, or not, at a high level, giving everybody enough information to make the decisions either to continue on the positive trajectory or help fix the issues.

Visibility Into Every Level of the Organization

But, why is this important? Why does data from a sensor need to be translated all the way up the ladder to the boardroom?

At a high level, as any person running a company can relate, you want to know how the business is operating at any given time. While you don’t need to know if a machine went down for 30 seconds, you do need to know how the plant is performing at a holistic level.

And from the floor level, an operator needs to know how they’re doing, how the machine is running, and if there are problems and what those are. If there are problems, they have the ability to communicate and ask for help.

Insight into each role and the job that needs to be completed is apparent at every level of the organization when you have data from something like Mingo.

Take this scenario for example. The supervisor of the line or the department, across multiple machines, can see her data and how each area is running. She’ll know if they’re on track to meet the goals, and if not, why not.

And, really, this is all visibility. It’s visibility with the detail you care about at every single level of an organization, plain and simple.

Think of it in this way, when you have data rolling up to all members of a company, you see how each individual role is functioning. It’s not dissimilar from a recent blog we wrote about the need for 1 single view of a company’s operations, usually through Power BI or Tableau. Once you get to a certain point, you’re going to want to mash up data from different systems, things like sales data, ERP information, or labor stats. Which tells you if things are running the way they should, and if not, why not.

When you consider the idea of “sensor to boardroom”, everyone, whether an operator, a line supervisor, a plant manager, all the way to the CEO, knows how their specific duties are performing.

You can roll all of this information up so everyone, even the board, knows what’s happening on a regular basis.

Why Hasn’t This Been Widely Adopted?

We may sound like a broken record here, but we can’t iterate enough how important data is to every level of the organization. It can truly provide valuable, actionable insights that will change the trajectory of a manufacturer. And, we say this now because it wasn’t easily done in the past. There weren’t the right tools to enable it, but now, there are.

You have the ability to easily collect this kind of information, put it in easy to understand graphics, integrate it with other systems, and present it to whoever needs it to provide visibility.

But, surprisingly, it hasn’t been widely adopted even though the resources are available. Many are still operating with massive black holes devoid of insight or simply operating spreadsheets that are months overdue.

Why is this so important? Well, when you have updated, real-time data, you can use that to justify new equipment purchases, create automation, expand the organization, and even create an engaging, supportive culture for employees. All of this can help because it can provide capacity calculations that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

Data from sensors that are delivered up the organization, all the way to the board, really lets everyone know where the bottlenecks are.

But, again, not enough people are doing it. There are 2 reasons for this – people believe solutions like this are too expensive or too complicated and won’t end up working. We’re here to tell you that’s very incorrect. Data from the sensor to the boardroom is very cost-effective with many seeing ROI in less than 3 months and with the use of sensors to collect data, has never been easier to implement or do.

There is one thing to consider, however. Once you realize the price point and ease of use are achievable, you need to build a culture that will accept it. Otherwise, it really won’t work.

(You should believe us because we could tell you that it will work and blah blah blah, but we’ve seen it time and time again. Without a good culture that supports data-driven initiatives, it will be hard to be successful. So, I guess we kind of are shooting ourselves in the foot, but take our advice on this one – you need a solid culture for manufacturing analytics to work.)

You can change your culture and implement software simultaneously, but this needs to come from the top to truly be successful. Think about this, if you don’t have a culture that is going to look at and use data to make improvements and use it as an asset, it’s just not going to work. Simple as that.

When you build a culture that enables data from the sensor to the boardroom, you are setting yourself up for success, not only to create an exemplary organization but to consistently meet goals and deliver on time to customers and outpace your competitors.

From sensor to the boardroom, you can be a world-class manufacturer.

Picture of Bryan Sapot
Bryan Sapot
Bryan Sapot is a lifelong entrepreneur, speaker, CEO, and founder of Mingo. With more than 24 years of experience in manufacturing technology, Bryan is known for his deep manufacturing industry insights. Throughout his career, he’s built products and started companies that leveraged technology to solve problems to make the lives of manufacturers easier. Follow Bryan on LinkedIn here.