6 steps to creating manufacturing dashboards

In the manufacturing industry, there is more to measure now than ever before. This we all know.

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iDashboards' Samantha Marsh

And while every production process is different, taking a data-driven approach to uncovering insights is a great strategy no matter what is being produced. We all know this, too.

Monitoring your operations with real-time dashboards can help ensure that you’re seeing data clearly, correcting inefficiencies, identifying areas for optimization, and communicating with team members effectively.

Whether you are building a dashboard for the first time or looking to improve your organization’s reporting, keep in mind these steps, which are pulled from our recently produced guide:

  • Identify data needs. Consider what type of data coincides with each step of your manufacturing process. Important data points can include the cost of raw materials, the time it takes to develop product components, the percentage of products that don’t pass quality-control guidelines, delivery-success rates, and more.

  • Set goals. Look for any piece of the manufacturing process that isn’t “lean” to guide you to specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound goals. In lean manufacturing, there are seven types of deadly waste: overproduction, inventory, waiting, motion, transportation, reworking and over-processing.

  • Identify key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics exist to help stakeholders understand their goals, as well as define and measure success. Some examples of manufacturing-process KPIs include throughput, reject ratio, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), takt time, and production uptime.

  • Promote data literacy. Dashboards are a powerful tool for those who understand them. To improve data literacy, many organizations create an actionable plan to train employees who aren’t as data-savvy as they should be.

  • Design the dashboard. A successful design must be not only visually-appealing, but also functional. Your dashboard should provide an accurate view of the data, allow users to see general trends, and use relevant visual aids.

  • Lean on the principles of lean manufacturing. Both dashboards and lean manufacturing revolves around refining and improving processes.

Samantha Marsh is the marketing content coordinator with iDashboards.