May 6, 2020
Quality Transformation with Enact - 2: From Dysfunctional Data to Actionable Intelligence
In the first article in this series, we talked about the many problems in manufacturing that arise from “dysfunctional data”—data that are either incomplete
, or inefficient.
We also touched upon the impact of dysfunctional data on your manufacturing operations, including impaired operational visibility, uninformed decision making, and quality compliance risks.
In this follow-on article, we’d like to discuss how manufacturers can move away from dysfunctional data towards what we call actionable intelligence
by using the transformative powers of Enact®,
InfinityQS’ award-winning, cloud-native Quality Intelligence platform.
Actionable intelligence is comprised of data that are complete, consistent, unified, and efficient. You’ll notice how that is the exact opposite of dysfunctional data. When we say “complete” we mean that all your manufacturing and quality data that have intrinsic value are being reliably
collected and stored
in a way that enables that data to be leveraged by you and your quality people. Leveraging data means that you can create insights from that data—insights into every facet of your manufacturing operations.
Those complete data are also consistent
. Collected using consistent measurement methods or procedures and using the same units of measure. Consistent naming conventions are used—for parts, processes and features, etc. And those consistent data aggregation and statistical metrics are used across data sets. It’s also important to note that this consistency needs to be applied across the entirety of your manufacturing operations, across all products, all processes, all shifts, all plants, and all production lines, etc. Only then do we have truly complete and consistent data
Ensuring that all those complete
data are stored in a single, unified, centralized repository is paramount to your quality success. This cannot be overstated. Here, in a unified data repository, your data can be analyzed, sliced, and diced—in short, interrogated—at any level, across any manufacturing strata. Your quality people can thereby extract meaningful information
from your data more efficiently
, make changes more confidently, and impact your performance in a number of positive ways—cutting costs, reducing or eliminating waste, saving time and resources, to name just a few.
We can even take our discussion of efficiency a step further. You might be capturing the data efficiently, but actually getting something useful—some value—from that data is sometimes not so easy. You may be producing reports manually, wherein the operations teams are collecting and working the data, needing to transpose everything onto spreadsheets (formatted in a very particular way, I’m sure)—just to report their findings to management. The inefficiencies are glaring. It takes an inordinate amount of time (and often manpower) to produce reports manually. When we talk about efficiency in the context of manufacturing, we mostly mean the efficiency of our production operations and not the efficiency of data collection, analysis, and decision making.
By utilizing a tool like Enact, you can make those data collection, analysis, and decision-making processes that fill your work every day as efficient as possible
Bird's Eye View with Enact
By utilizing a tool like Enact, you can achieve much greater levels of real-time operational visibility. Rather than being engaged in a continuous battle against incomplete, inconsistent, isolated, or inefficient (i.e., dysfunctional) data, you open up your operations to the possibility of seeing deeply and as far as imaginable into your processes and products, into the magical realm wherein continuous improvement
Fantasy imagery aside, that is where you definitely want to be. For a number of reasons, you need visibility into all your operations
. When you can see across all your operations, you can see past the gaps or blind spots
within your existing data. Your decision making goes beyond the ordinary to become informed decision making
. Every decision you make is made based on accurate
When you base your decisions on information obtained by looking across your enterprise, you start to uncover trends in the data. You see what my colleague Doug Fair, InfinityQS COO, calls the “bird’s eye view
.” The big picture you see with the bird’s eye view, says Doug, is that of “extracting manufacturing intelligence from the quality data you already collect. It’s not hard. You just need systems that will support plant floor, enterprise-wide data collection and a means of aggregating that data and making it easily consumable and understandable by managers, engineers, and quality professionals.” The system you need, the system that does all that, is Enact.
What Makes Enact Different
What makes Enact different, according to colleague Eric Weisbrod, InfinityQS VP of Product Management, is the way in which it was conceived. Enact is “cloud-native,” which means built in the cloud, for the cloud. And it was designed “for the enterprise
.” That’s important. According to Eric, what makes Enact so effective and what comprises its “for the enterprise” design, are the following:
- Process models
- Unified data repository
Process models are visual representations of your processes. They allow you to “build things out in step-by-step fashion, they’re expandable, help you error-proof your processes, and centralize and simplify the ways in which you manage your operations.” (Read more about process models in Eric’s blog
Unified Data Repository
Having the ability to look at data across your entire enterprise in its summary form (in aggregate) is critical. It enables your quality pros to dig into the data and uncover the greatest opportunities for improvements in your operations. The unified data repository
is at the center of almost all the transformative benefits you can glean from Enact.
Enact takes control charts “to a new level” with dashboards (here’s another blog
from Eric devoted entirely to dashboards). “Dashboards deliver up actionable information for the right person at the right time—in a visually engaging way.”
Reuse is a common theme in Enact. The system was designed this way for ease of deployment and maintenance. Large organizations struggle to keep up with certain aspects of their quality software system: configuration and keeping the software up-to-date, for example. Enact’s response to those challenges is reusability: dashboards, process models, data collections, and sampling requirements.
Enact rewards standardization. This is another topic that my colleague, Eric, has written about at length (see the two-part blog series on the benefits of standardization
). Read these blogs and you’ll see that standardization offers your organization many benefits, including the following:
- Easier deployment and maintenance
- Visibility across sites
- Reinforces the use of a single, unified data repository (which we discussed early on)
- Powerful, consistent reporting
- Strengthens compliance
- Access for all types of devices (laptops, tablets, phones)
Enact is flexible enough to understand and handle that there will be differences at the plant floor level. Great example: language labels (another blog worth taking a look at). With language labels, “you can have a factory where some of the people speak Spanish, some German, some French, and some English. And guess what? They're all just seeing the system in their language. If you put in the effort to use language labels, the system simply works for them in their native tongue.”
Beyond language, there are work practices. The ability to account for differences between product families and adapt to work practices means you’ve got options—so your operators can work efficiently (which helps you get buy-in).
Flexibility also means that you need to be able to implement a change, such as changing a data collection requirement, changing a specification limit, or changing when checks are performed—all quickly and efficiently. With Enact, you can do that with a few clicks of a mouse and know that this change will be immediately implemented across all of the relevant areas at once. That in and of itself is the power of flexibility in action.
Perhaps one of the most flexible things that a cloud-native system can do for you is updates. Not upgrades, but instead updates. There are no servers to purchase and setup, no software to install, and no need for time-consuming software upgrades. And everyone on your staff always has the latest and greatest version of the software—on any device that has a browser (more flexibility!).
Moving from dysfunctional data to actionable intelligence
is essential for your organization’s overall health and growth. Enact can help you make this leap forward.
In the following articles in this blog series, we’ll look at many aspects of transforming your operations with Enact: increasing efficiency, reducing costs, improving agility, delivering strategic improvements, driving enterprise consistency, and more. Return here
often to follow the series.
Read the other articles in this blog series:
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website
) for more information.