Engineering & Industrial Services

Closing the Business-IT gap to explore new opportunities in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is on the cusp of new opportunities and challenges. Synchronized global product launches and faster introduction of new products are becoming a way of life. This is compelling manufacturers to adopt innovative technologies such as Big Data analytics, mobility, social networking and collaboration, but processes continue to remain steeped in disparate, local, legacy applications. How does manufacturing embrace the new

“Leading global manufacturing organizations, today, are shifting their focus from optimizing and controlling each single manufacturing plant to an ability to harmonize, supervise and coordinate execution activities across the whole company’s manufacturing operations and suppliers’ as well. With an objective to gain greater level of real-time visibility across the network of global manufacturing operations as a way to guarantee the consistent quality and service, manufacturing companies of the future are creating a uniform and standardized environment for all plants globally. They are creating an ‘operational architecture’ that is a real-time, collaborative decision-making environment that leverages the emerging four IT pillars - cloud, mobility, social business and Big Data analytics. Leveraging this architecture, they would be able to orchestrate operational processes across the network of factories by having full visibility of plant performance, quality and traceability, and the ability to analyze differences and identify best practices that should be applied across different plants.”
                                            -Pierfrancesco Manenti, Head, IDC Manufacturing Insights -                                             Europe, Middle East & Africa at IDC

Plant IT has emerged as one of the biggest hindrances to growth in the manufacturing industry today, creating monolithic infrastructures that are neither flexible nor scalable. New opportunities such as re-shoring and the adoption of next-generation technologies are scaling the CXOs’ priority list. Combined with a host of internal challenges including an ageing workforce and the rising costs of maintaining legacy applications, these factors necessitate a transformation in manufacturing business processes. 

This transformation does not simply mean ripping out old technology and replacing it with new. While that in itself is no mean task, it first calls for an internal transformation of the way manufacturing organizations have been run - from a previously plant centric model to a more integrated enterprise model - and building true Plant to Enterprise (P2E) connectivity.

The transition begins with deploying a comprehensive framework that streamlines and synchronizes processes across all plants as well as facilitates efficient vertical integration from the top floor to the shop floor. The Manufacturing Operations Transformation (MOT) framework leverages existing shop floor applications and works with the people, platforms and processes in the manufacturing chain to make operations faster, better and smarter.

With a mature MOT, manufacturers can derive several key benefits:

  • Make more informed decisions by realigning strategies to ensure outcomes address changing, on-ground events –improving the effectiveness of the entire production process.
  • Standardize plant processes and identify areas for leveraging global synergies by harnessing the IT expertise available at one location across several other sites. Manufacturers can look at establishing a shared services model across plants that not only aggregates global best practices but also reduces the Total Cost of Ownership in terms of maintenance and support overheads.
  • Drive sharper focus on inventory turn and return on assets as well as capital employed, influencing key factors that affect any manufacturer’s balance sheet.
  • Realize higher plant efficiency and net positive impact on the bottom line as a result of reduced manual intervention, improved work flow, reduced inventory and lead-times.  

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