Designing a data platform to provide clear tracking of issues, essential to fast problem resolution and avoiding production delays - supporting expansion plans
What was the problem?
This manufacturing SME had a problem with effective issue tracking throughout the production process that was causing them to regularly run out of parts, experience repetitive production delays and was negatively impacting the end user experience.
To support their ambitious scale up and expansion plans, the organisation needed to develop a solution that could help them to achieve clarity and continuity throughout their manufacturing process.
The organisation decided to conduct a set of design thinking workshop sessions to provide clarity around the organisational problems that they were facing, identify immediate use cases to take into production, and to provide clear direction for the future of technology within the organisation.
What happened throughout the advisory process?
This engagement focused heavily on utilising design thinking workshops to identify best-fit technology solutions that would deliver the greatest amount of value for the organisation.
A a series of design thinking workshops were conducted with key business stakeholders to identify:
How might they quickly and effectively fix issues requiring collaboration across several different organisations and develop a common process that facilitates joint work on solutions
How might they create an accurate and complete view of past and present production disruptions, intelligently incorporate issue resolution time and potential delays into revisions of the production schedule, and learn from past mistakes
How might they provide a central source of truth to track completion of actions, direct focus and align task prioritisation and decision making and set rules to prioritise tasks based on set metrics - e.g., urgency and criticality
How might they provide the clarity needed to enable effective executive decision making?
How might they provide customers, partners, and relevant stakeholders with a transparent view of production / order status?
What were the outcomes of the workshops?
Throughout the workshop activities, the stakeholders identified a large number of high-value technology use cases that would help to move them towards their future vision. The stakeholders then prioritised the most appropriate use cases to take into production, based on the level of importance / criticality to the business and in terms of ease / potential ROI of implementation. - the unselected use cases were then added to a backlog of future activities.
The identified use cases included:
o Use case 1: Implementing real-time management dashboards and reporting capabilities to reduce excel usage and manual effort while providing increased predictability of potential project issues.
o Use case 2: Standardising and digitising the BoM to simplify the design and manufacturing process, with the aim of creating efficiency, control and repeatability and reducing inventory levels. This use case would also provide a searchable database solution that can be accessed via web and mobile.
o Use case 3: A solution that provides the ability to have web based, easy to use forms (accessible on mobile devices) for reporting snagging and defects that include ability to easily include images, with built- in alert functionality to improve the construction site to factory feedback loop.
It was determined that a data platform solution would be implemented to provide a central source of data and information in the organisation, which would then act as the basis to support both these and future use cases.
The workshops allowed the organisation to gain a shared understanding of their current state of play and provided a common understanding of the major operational and technological issues within the business, bringing the team together so that they were in a better position to achieve future expansion plans.
The 3 prioritised use cases were moved into MVP pilot delivery.
Charlotte Fuller is an award-winning digital transformation consultant. She helps her clients get to the heart of what their business needs, so they can create competitive, digital strategies that enable growth. Subscribe to her newsletter and never miss an update.