Ways manufacturers can unlock the value of data to drive business intelligence


Data forms the backbone of any manufacturing enterprise. With continuous supply chain disruptions, the allure of data and Business Intelligence (BI) is the ability to look deeper into production, performance, and efficiency. For today’s industries the issue isn’t whether they’re generating enough data, it’s whether they’re getting value from that data.

SYSPRO research reveals that only 20 percent of manufacturing and distribution businesses have looked at investing in big data analytics tools to process and analyze data in response to ongoing disruptions, and only 5 percent of businesses have investigated the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to draw any long-term benefits from data collection. As industries look to digitally transform to the factory of the future in a data-first world, investment in technologies is irrelevant without data analytics to understand the internal and external factors impacting on a business.

Without the right data insights businesses are unable to compete with global supply chains as they don’t have the visibility to anticipate shifts and respond to market changes. Here’s how manufacturers can obtain visibility across the entire operations and collect accurate real-time data to not only automate processes but make data-driven decisions that drive the factory of the future.

  1. Actionable insights with ERP

Ultimately, ERP fuels data-driven decision making and drives business intelligence. It allows information to be centralized and organized into readable reports and dashboards. With a variety of valuable KPIs, metrics and more information at your fingertips, you can act on new opportunities, respond to issues, and make informed decisions quickly.

Synresins Limited, established in 1982 and based in Nairobi, became the first company to upgrade to SYSPRO 8 in Africa in 2018.  Its operations have been simplified and streamlined by SYSRPRO 8 freeing up time for employees to focus on the core business of the company. SYSPRO 8 has made it very easy for Synresins to analyze complex data and get business insights that enable timely decision making. Increased visibility into operational performance has accelerated decision making and turnaround time. In addition, with SYSPRO 8, Synresins can easily configure the system to better suit its unique business needs and streamline its business processes.

Data to drive the factory of the future

Manufacturing is on the verge of a data-driven revolution which is driving the factory of the future. Data analytics can be used to transform the factory floor and manufacturers can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to gain insights into the production process, improve efficiency, increasing yields and reducing product defects. On the factory floor, IoT can help connect physical objects into networks to monitor the environment, collect data and communicate with other systems. IoT and AI can assist you to anticipate equipment failures, decrease downtime and reduce waste as technologies are able to keep track of the entire product lifecycle to improve the production and services. AI within the factory will also enable you to automate process and machines for a flexible and adaptable supply chain. Data-driven analytics can automate processes to assist with operations within the factory floor such as tacking, improving efficiencies, and solving risks.

  1. Supply chain optimization with supply chain control towers

More than ever before, companies need to pivot to more digitalized supply chain processes. Manufacturers are under enormous pressure to provide customers with what they need and when and where they need it, while optimizing supply chain operations and achieving cost savings goals.

To optimize supply chains, control towers create agility for supply chain operators to respond rapidly and make real-time changes. A supply chain control tower is a centralized platform that can be integrated within your ERP system to collect data from key business metrics across the supply chain. Supply chain control towers enable manufacturers to store and manage information on order status, freight tracking, tracing, and delivery scheduling. As data is collected in real-time, control towers update inventory levels and forecast supply and demand. The platform uses predictive data for a more accurate forecasting and a quicker resolution of  supply chain disruptions. This means you can make smarter decisions regarding operations, suppliers, and customers throughout a connected supply chain network.

An ERP system is vital to collect data and streamline operations, but to truly maximize the value manufacturers should transform data into actionable insights to drive business intelligence with innovative technologies.

By Kevin Dherman, CIO at SYSPRO