NPI: What's the Impact of Data and Cross-Functional Collaboration on Outcomes?

Posted by Dan Jacob on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 09:10 AM

It's no secret that companies that benchmark performance against actual practices in operations, quality, environmental, safety, risk management, energy, and many others are able to drive and sustain higher performance levels, and contribute meaningful value to enterprise objectives.  Even companies that are long-time pros at benchmarking performance in these areas often struggle to pinpoint best practices that have a beneficial impact on new product introductions (NPI).  When so much is at stake, what's holding them back?

The fact is, the pressure is on and growing for manufacturers:

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Tags: Metrics, New Product Introduction (NPI)

EHS 4.0: New Risks, Opportunities Demand a Strategic Approach to EHS Management

Posted by Peter Bussey on Wed, Dec 06, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

Change creates risk. The increased complexity and rate of change in the global business environment presents new risks to manage, despite resource constraints. Much of the change occurring today in industrial operations and global supply change is enabled by technology.

Digital Transformation (aka the fourth industrial revolution) is upon us. Industrial organizations strive to compete using emerging technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Big Data analytics. For environment, health and safety (EHS) leaders, this creates new business and operational risks to be managed, and new opportunities to optimize performance.

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Tags: Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

Plex Systems: Can Cloud Manufacturing ERP Break Through? [MondayMusings]

Posted by Dan Jacob on Mon, Dec 04, 2017 @ 02:00 PM

Plex Systems is a cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS), multitenant enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution system (MES) vendor with a historical focus on discrete manufacturers that are small and mid-size businesses (SMB) headquartered in North America, largely across the automotive supply chain. The company does have a growing number of customers in food and beverage and high tech. LNS Research recently participated in Plex’s Future of Manufacturing Roundtable, a joint customer advisory board / analyst event. The conference featured a combined review of Plex System’s 2017 progress, customer engagement, and forward-looking plans.

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Tags: Cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Manufacturing Execution System (MES), #MondayMusings

5 Mistakes Companies Make In Their Operational Excellence Program

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 11:01 AM

Data from LNS’s surveys related to asset performance management (APM) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) all point to improvement in operational performance as the key driver for investment in those two areas.  LNS believes that the pursuit of better performance is captured in our definition of Operational Excellence. Operational Excellence is the second step of LNS's Digital Transformation Framework, following setting Strategic Objectives for Digital Transformation and the precursor to defining an Operational Architecture. The biggest mistake that most companies make is that they don’t take the time to establish what Operational Excellence means to their business.  Even those that do have an idea of what Operational Excellence looks like for their business still risk making critical mistakes when trying to capture that definition and communicate it throughout the organization. Failing to pursue Operational Excellence is a recipe for mediocrity.  Don’t make these five mistakes in your pursuit of Operational Excellence.

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Tags: Operational Excellence, Business Process Management (BPM)

Design for Reliability: State of the Market and Transformation

Posted by Dan Jacob on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 @ 09:29 AM

What do vehicles, transmissions, HVAC, and appliances have in common?  Among other things, they are all historically primarily mechanical products that now contain increasing electronic and software content, which is broadly true of many product categories.  While these new devices deliver unprecedented performance or convenience, the shift in product content means product complexity like never before.  And, as complexity increases, so too does the probability of failure of at least some components.  Unfortunately for manufacturers, reliability and warranty expectations have, if anything, become more stringent.

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Tags: Cost of Quality (CoQ), Digital Transformation

Analyzing Emerson Exchange and Automation Fair from Rockwell Automation – Two Leaders with Similar but Different Approaches [MondayMusings]

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 02:16 PM

The #MondayMusings Industrial Transformation blog series provides insight and analysis for executives from recent briefings, events, and publications @LNSResearch.

Click here to speak to Matt Littlefield

Labor Day to Thanksgiving is typically a three-month sprint for industrial automation and software analysts, with many of the leading vendors holding annual conferences. That means the week after is both a time to give thanks and enjoy a respite from heavy travel.

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Tags: Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, Digital Transformation, #MondayMusings

Five Mistakes Companies Make in Their Vendor Selection Process

Posted by Dan Miklovic on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 @ 08:45 AM

The last step in the LNS Digital Transformation framework is vendor selection. Frequently, manufacturers engage LNS or other research firms because they desire a selection process that is free from bias and to, ultimately, choose a provider that can actually help them achieve project objectives. Companies recognize that vendors have a natural bias to their own products while system integrators have a bias towards products with which they are familiar and for which they offer implementation services. They also recognize that their knowledge of the breadth of the potential solutions can be limited. In many cases, users simply recognize they “don't know what they don't know” when it comes to which solution providers to evaluate.

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Tags: Solution Selection Guide, Solution Vendor / Software Vendor

Sphera Unveils Roadmap to the Cloud at Inspire 2017 User Conference [MondayMusings]

Posted by Peter Bussey on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 09:30 AM

The #MondayMusings Industrial Transformation blog series provides insight and analysis for executives from recent briefings, events, and publications @LNSResearch.

Some software vendor customer conferences are routine, incremental improvements of what transpired the year before.  Others are step-change events representing a major milestone in the evolution of a company and its presence in the market. The Sphera Inspire 2017 conference held recently in Austin, Texas, (and the week following in Brussels, Belgium) marked such as milestone.

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Tags: Solution Vendor / Software Vendor, #MondayMusings, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)

When MES Paves the Way in Digital Transformation: Summing It All Up

Posted by Andrew Hughes on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

LNS has had lots of interest in our research on jumpstarting Digital Transformation with MES. It has led to many conversations with manufacturers and, unsurprisingly, these conversations have differed hugely depending on the level of digital maturity and the industry in the company involved. What became clear during these discussions is that companies with little automation and less manufacturing operations integration were keenest to get going with a Digital Transformation initiative.

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Tags: Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Digital Transformation

Four Things Quality 4.0 Isn’t: Correcting Common Misconceptions

Posted by Dan Jacob on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

Have you ever played the game “Twenty Questions?” It’s a great game for long car rides, as I was reminded recently while taking an old-school family road trip from Pittsburgh to Maine. Fifteen hours of non-stop driving with nothing but the car radio, snacks and each other’s company means you’ll eventually play every game you know (at least twice).

For those unfamiliar, Twenty Questions is a game where one player thinks of something, and the other players have 20 questions to guess what it is. I've found that process of elimination can be an effective strategy. To discover what the thing is, it’s helpful to first determine what it isn’t.

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Tags: Enterprise Quality Management System (EQMS), Digital Transformation, Quality 4.0