Blog about Business Intelligence (BI) in manufacturing companies Blog about Business Intelligence (BI) in manufacturing companies

Data driven manufacturing – tales from the frontline

The secret of your production process is key to building and maintaining competitive advantage. How you manage and optimise that production process is therefore essential to your success. Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) is a very useful tool to help maximise that advantage.

Applying the motto ‘the numbers tell the tale’, information from the Oracle JD Edwards Manufacturing Modules can be displayed on the dashboards in Oracle BI, and alerts can notify you of exceptions in order to improve the production process. The main goal of this is to achieve more efficient, and therefore less expensive and/or better quality production. It probably need not be said that this will have an effect throughout the entire chain of supply and demand.

To add to the blog post a few weeks ago: Business Intelligence for Manufacturing in 5 easy steps, I’d like to talk about five real-life examples using Oracle BI that serve as inspiration for possible applications.

1: Raw material position

To keep production lines moving efficiently, you need insight into the position of the raw materials. Purchase contracts with your suppliers are a good source for that information. Oracle Business Intelligence can help by providing insight into the extent to which these contracts are actually realised with purchase orders, and to what extent the degree of coverage actually meets the requirements of the manufacturing process. This can be compared with the actual consumption, and can be managed in a timely manner in combination with the right forecasting analyses.

2: Trucks on the premises

Thanks to the dashboards and analyses in Oracle Business Intelligence, you can obtain insight into the times that trucks arrive at the factory, when they depart and how long they are stationary waiting to be (un)loaded. That way, you can distribute the work of loading and unloading evenly over the course of the day. Plus, it allows you to make accurate appointments with suppliers and carriers. With the analyses generated by Oracle Business Intelligence, you can monitor compliance with these agreements and even implement bonus-fine agreements if so desired. Naturally, that requires the information to be recorded in Oracle JD Edwards. A web-services link with the truck weigh bridge on the lot can help facilitate this.

3: Scheduling

Scheduling production processes is a complex operational issue. How can you seamlessly coordinate supply and demand? By combining insight into demand (sales orders), supply (purchase and work orders) and expectations (various forecasting models), Oracle Business Intelligence can provide the right information for scheduling and help you correct the schedule quickly and accurately as necessary.

4: Service levels

Oracle Business Intelligence can immediately display the effects of the relationship between the raw material (the Bill or Material) and the finished product, for example when problems arise with the supply of raw materials. That way, the sales department can immediately contact the customers to inform them of any consequences. When problems such as these arise, good service and the provision of information to the customer are vital.

5: Quality

When the Laboratory System (LIMS) is added to Oracle Business Intelligence in addition to Oracle JD Edwards, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. The timely and sufficient receipt of raw materials for the manufacturing process is one thing. The only way to guarantee the quality of the raw materials that go into the production process, as well as the finished products, is to measure it. Oracle Business Intelligence can inform you when significant reductions or improvements in quality occur, for example in comparison to previous periods. This allows you to look for the right supplier for the best materials, and to implement improvements in the plant to continue to produce high-quality finished products.

These five examples all came from implementations of Oracle Business Intelligence with Oracle JD Edwards at production companies that apply both applications throughout the company – and that have achieved a major competitive advantage by doing so!

I am looking forward to reading your experiences and replies.