In the industrial automation industry, more and more companies are looking for progressively better tools to enable their employees to gain insights and improve their business decisions.
In this blog post, we discuss how KPIs and how they’re generated can empower your employees to make smart business decisions to improve your company’s performance results.
On the surface, it sounds very logical and beneficial to just add a new tool to provide KPIs that your employees can analyze to make decisions. However, if your business is anything like most, I suspect your employees already have their hands full with high priority day-to-day responsibilities. The last thing they need or want is to add a new tool that they must spend precious time both learning and scheduling into their daily routine.
Your personnel needs the ability to work smarter, not harder. They need the flexibility to analyze and react to pre-existing results, not to have to spend time generating them first.
So that would imply that just delivering ad-hoc analytic tools alone may not be the right focus – especially if you are looking for continuous improvement and to empower your employees. There are several approaches a business could take towards that goal.
One such approach would be adding additional employees that deliver Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to your existing staff. But, as we all know, that’s a tough sell to make to the powers-that-be when they’re following a tight budget.
The alternative approach is adding systems that operate in the capacity of additional employees. These systems need to operate automatically, autonomously, and deliver their results to all the stakeholders in your business. Then, and only then, will the value of ad-hoc analytics truly be realized and start empowering your staff.
You’ll want to see your KPIs delivered broadly and repeatedly, so your employees will gain insights into the usual but also be able to recognize the unusual. You’ll want to be able to easily see a KPI change or begin to stray over time. Then you’ll have something to analyze for root cause analysis.
So where do you start? With a list of KPIs of course.
Those can be items like run times, scrap rate, system utilization, OEE, resource levels, inventory, flow rates, etc. You’ll want to look at comparisons – Year-over-Year, Batch-to-Batch, Shift-to-Shift, Operator-to-Operator, and Machine-to-Machine.
Pick your most telling KPIs, be prepared to add to them over time, automate their delivery, and share them broadly.
There are seven key attributes of effective KPIs, according to Wikipedia:
- Non-Financial - They should be non-financial measures (not expressed in dollars, yen, pounds, Euro, etc.).
- Timeliness - They should be measured frequently (e.g., 24/7, daily or weekly).
- CEO-focused - They are to be acted upon by the CEO and senior management team.
- Simple - All staff should be able to understand the measure and what corrective action is required.
- Team-based - Responsibility can be assigned to a team or a cluster of teams who work closely together.
- Significant impact - They should affect more than one of the organization’s top Critical Success Factors and more than one balanced scorecard perspective.
- Limited dark side - They should encourage appropriate action – i.e., they have been tested to ensure they have a positive impact on performance (whereas poorly thought through measures can lead to dysfunctional behavior).
Dream Report is an ideal tool for meeting these needs. And, most importantly, Dream Report is effectively an additional resource, like a new employee. It runs autonomously. It delivers your selected KPI information automatically and broadly, and it delivers the ad-hoc visibility and analytics to get to root cause of any issues in real-time and affect positive change in your process and improve overall reliability and performance.
Want to get started increasing your productivity with Dream Report? Download the free trial.