29 Jan Smarter Decision Making with New Technology: Rootstock ERP
New technology offers manufacturing companies more insights than they’ve ever had access to before. Companies that embrace smart manufacturing technology are gaining a competitive edge and given new tools to make even smarter decisions. Companies that have implemented Rootstock ERP are seeing cost-savings, quality improvement, and can use real-time operations data to make critical decisions.
Here’s a deeper look at how smart manufacturing can improve the decision making process.
Smart Manufacturing Quickens Decision Making
When most C-suite executives think about better, faster decision making, they usually think it’s up to them, the leaders. In traditional organizations, questions go up the chain of command and decisions come down, a painstakingly slow process. Smart manufacturing is challenging that approach, just as it has upended other conventional business strategies and tactics.
This isn’t the first challenge to the bureaucracy. Numerous books, such as In Search of Excellence, Good to Great and others about lean leadership have long asserted the benefits of flat organizations. Now smart manufacturing’s ability to easily and quickly deliver data to the decision point will accelerate this long, slow-moving trend.
The message to executives is that they must take on the new challenge of creating an organization supported by the technology that distributes decision making.
To do this, executives must view smart manufacturing from the perspective of two of its characteristics that promote faster, better decision making:
- It’s flat, which means smart manufacturing eliminates the hierarchy both in the organization and in the technology stack and connects and controls the production processes from the plant floor to business planning and logistics.
- It’s people-oriented — it helps people do their jobs better.
Smart Manufacturing Eliminates Hierarchies
The leaders in smart manufacturing adoption will be those that leverage the technologies to flatten out hierarchies — in the organization and in the plant floor technology stack — making data more widely available so decisions can be made at the level closest to the process they impact.
Executives planning a smart manufacturing strategy should look for ways to “democratize” data. They should use smart technologies to, for example, eliminate reports and meetings where decisions are traditionally made. Instead, they should use smart technologies that make the appropriate data available via real-time dashboards to those who need it, when they need it.
Smart Manufacturing Is People Oriented
Contrary to the media hype about automation replacing people, smart manufacturing is about helping people do their jobs better — which often means making better decisions faster. For executives, that means building processes where automation does the work it does best while assisting people in the work that they can do best. Without people, technology — no matter how smart it is — can do very little. As Henry Ford once said, “You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again.”
I compare people running a factory with those flying fighter jets. Both are operating hundred-million-dollar assets. Factory leaders and operators are the pilots, co-pilots and navigators flying hundred-million-dollar manufacturing plants. They’re the superstars, they’re the talent. The technology is a tool for them to use to achieve business objectives. As a leader, I want to provide the technology they need so they can execute unbelievable missions and achieve unbelievable results.
Put simply, the people running your business and factories and working to adopt smart manufacturing will be the difference between success and failure of your smart manufacturing initiative and ultimately of your entire business venture.
One company I know has a formal program they use to rank their plants, identifying the best-of-the-best (BOBs) and the worst-of-the-worsts (WOWs). They assign the mentors from the BOBs to help improve the WOWs. Asked what the difference is between the two groups, a senior leader said: “It’s the people you have running the plants.”
The takeaway is that you can give two groups of people identical sets of equipment and identical strategies and the difference will be in how the people adapt and use the technology. Any company can buy the technology, so by itself it’s not a difference maker. That means the critical element to a successful smart manufacturing transformation is people — helping them adapt to the influx of technology, building processes that deliver the data they need when they need it and empowering them to make better and more informed decisions faster.
Integrating Rootstock ERP Into Your Company
At Nubik, we understand that how people use new technology is what drives positive change. Adapting to new technology is a crucial element in the smart manufacturing sphere. That’s why our team will work with you to understand your current manufacturing and supply chain business processes and workflows and help you seamlessly integrate Rootstock into your company.