Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 76 | Page 37

Data can boost productivity in African shop floors
Bill of materials requirements and tracking expenses . With the acute labour shortage manufacturers face , careful scheduling of right-skilled workers is especially important .
Once the customer has approved the order , the specifications must flow from sales to operations to ensure the right dimensions , features and finishes are applied . Access to the customer order helps managers verify details , eliminating reworks or customer returns .
Resources needed
Synchronising production planning and availability of raw resources requires access to data and AIdriven predictive capabilities to prevent stock-outs . Data helps procurement managers make sure the warehouse is stocked with necessary components .
Scheduling production
Synchronising production runs to fulfil customer orders depends on accurate account data as well as sales , delivery promises , inventory of raw materials and machine capacity . Collaboration portals can help share information while protecting security .
Keeping operations running smoothly with no gaps , delays , or roadblocks requires coordination among teams and sharing data on job status , equipment performance and scheduling . Reporting can help identify trends and analyse variables , allowing managers to delve deeper into influencing factors that can be improved .
Quality control
Managers need to track , monitor , and evaluate quality standards , with a continuous feedback loop in place . Compliance is critical in many industries and demands accurate reporting . Democratised access to data helps keep details in view when and where they are needed most .
Waste reduction
Scheduling workforce
Managers can track and understand performance of shifts and crews , identifying essential staffing
As manufacturers strive to be more sustainable , they place a high priority on reducing waste , including energy , water and raw resources . Reducing scrap is essential .
QA chief , and production manager for the Industry 4.0 business , according to Vibhu Kapoor , Regional Vice President , Africa , Middle East and India , Epicor .
The shop floor offers many practical applications for AI-driven insights . Routine processes can be automated , streamlining the need for human interaction . Only anomalies or exceptions need to be routed to supervisors for individual attention . Streamlining the data flow will also help keep various teams apprised of real-time updates and needs . No one is out of the information loop , falling behind on evolving expectations . One data-driven digital thread will connect every stage in shop floor operations .
According to Infor ’ s Kushare , manufacturers considering their first ERP solution or upgrading a legacy solution , often compare vendors for the functionality of their solutions . A factor that can be overlooked is the usability of the system and how accessible is the data to workers throughout the organisation . Some vendors offer ERP solutions that are cumbersome and difficult to use , meaning many of the features will simply not be used .
In contrast , some solutions offer built-in industryspecific functionality and make usability a top priority . Easy access to data is essential and a characteristic to look for in a smart ERP selection . p




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