Since entering the age of self-driving cars, digital assistants, and tightly interconnected devices and machines, we’ve all come to expect a lot of benefits from the cutting-edge solutions and technologies flooding the marketplace.
Remember the initial promise of smart phones?
They are supposed to increase our productivity and enable us to work more flexibly and get more done on the go in our professional and personal lives. The reality, however, is more complicated. Sure, smart phones make a lot of things easier. But they also distract us with endless entertainment options that can destroy productivity. Today, the news is full of stories about how smart phones are addictive for many users and how that’s impacting everything from social interactions to sleep and creativity. In fact, Apple recently announced a feature for the iPhone that is designed to help people understand how much time they spend using different apps and set limits.
None of the previous points are meant to be an indictment of smart phones or any technology, but rather a reminder of the value of having a good plan for using technology and sticking to it. Especially as you consider how to best employ new solutions in business operations.
The importance of being able to easily ask “why?”
From IoT technologies and prescriptive analytics to robotics, machine learning and other advanced technologies, companies today have all kinds of choices for pursuing ever-higher levels of efficiency. Yet, like a smart phone, many advanced technologies could end up being expensive distractions rather than helpful tools for advancing organizational goals. Here is an article from Advanced Manufacturing that outlines key considerations when investigating technologies that is right for your business.
The reality is that successful digital transformation is as much about the ongoing effective use of data and fundamental business processes as it is about the technologies themselves. That’s why before pursuing a big technology initiative, it’s worth pausing to ask the following questions:
- Do you already have capabilities that enable you to drill down into process-, supplier-, sales- and productivity-related data to determine where your company is having problems or falling short of objectives, and track recurrences and their impact on the business?
- Do your processes enable you to quickly and effectively respond to problems or shortcomings that you identify?
If the answer to these questions is no or “sort of”, then your organization will likely struggle to realize the full promise of more advanced technologies and the flood of additional data that they produce. Gaining the ability to more easily explore what business problems need to be solved and why—and establishing the process rigor to follow through on discoveries—will likely pay much bigger dividends while also positioning you for success with future technology investments.
Seeing the business value of effective KPI management
If your company still relies heavily on spreadsheets to manage key performance indicators (KPIs), investing in KPI management software and revisiting your associated processes for keeping critical KPIs on track can deliver important benefits on multiple levels by helping you:
- More easily hit daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals by giving your team real-time insights into ongoing performance against critical KPIs
- Explore company-wide performance to understand what problems are most important to solve, which in turn can help you determine which advanced technologies might have the greatest positive impact on your business
- Measure the impact of new technologies on your business and continually fine-tune operations accordingly
It’s all about a strong foundation
Despite the flood of data that advanced technologies can deliver today, progress toward objectives and overall business success usually hinges on effectively managing what your business considers critical metrics. Dploy KPI Management software enables you to measure what matters and easily drill down into critical metrics for context to quickly address a miss or issue before it becomes a big problem. It can also provide transparency into what’s happening across your business and why, so you can make smarter strategic decisions and investments.
Before you consider investing in advanced technologies, make sure you have a strong foundation in place for effectively managing KPIs.
Our new white paper, Your Digital Transformation: How KPI Management Software Can Ensure the Greatest Return on Investment, goes deeper into why this is so important.
VICE PRESIDENT, SUPPLY CHAIN & TECHNOLOGY
Ken is a 25+ year veteran of manufacturing, operational excellence and supply chain optimization. He believes that it is critical for organizations to address the challenges of strategic planning and use of big data in manufacturing. At TBM, Ken is actively leading the effort to our suite of services to include emerging technologies that improve productivity and convert complex data into information for improved decision making.