document.write(''); Manufacturers are embracing data and AI to drive action - Simo Baha

Manufacturers are embracing data and AI to drive action

A millennial man crouches down to use a large touchscreen monitor in a test factory.  Another large monitor and a female worker using a hand truck are shown in the background.

The needs of the manufacturing industry are constantly evolving, and the companies that achieve the greatest success are those that see these ever-changing circumstances as an opportunity to innovate.

Embracing new technologies is key to navigating paradigm shifts. By leveraging unified data models, building flexible factories, and innovating the supply chain with AI, companies can meet consumer demand and manage their supply chains more efficiently. Leaders who implement these strategies stay ahead of the competition.

In this collection of videos, industry experts share their thoughts on current manufacturing trends.

Optimizing the supply chain from the factory floor to the boardroom

The events of the past three years have forced manufacturers to reevaluate almost every aspect of their industry. Flexible supply chains are vital.

However, only a small percentage of companies are actively designing their supply chains. Many have multiple out-of-sync planning systems that prevent them from realizing their full potential. By designing and synchronizing supply chains, companies can better control costs, reduce waste and improve customer satisfaction.

Effective production planning also means accounting for data from every production touch point and stage. That way, companies can better translate their projects into actionable plans and optimize resource management through unified data models.

As companies adapt to the new normal, they are replacing rigid mass production with agile manufacturing and sustainable practices.

Building agile factories through smart manufacturing

While traditional manufacturing focuses on the efficiency of individual processes, modern manufacturing requires an agile system that can efficiently manage multiple processes end-to-end. Manufacturers need to be able to get to market quickly, and to do that they need access to compelling data.

“We may have all this data, but that doesn’t mean it’s actionable,” says Jake Hall, an industry leader known as a Manufacturing Millennial. Data becomes valuable when organizations create the tools and knowledge needed to turn information into impact.

In many cases, achieving this involves digital transformation, which helps businesses take full advantage of the latest technology and their own data.

Companies that take a multi-pronged approach to digital transformation see the greatest results. For example, businesses can use intelligent manufacturing systems to collect and analyze data, gaining powerful insights into areas of effectiveness as well as touchpoints.

When that real-time information meets trained employees with the skills to act on it, businesses unlock the power of agile manufacturing.

The agile factory of the future uses the Industrial Internet of Things, the cloud, artificial intelligence and other smart manufacturing technologies. And Hall believes it’s imperative that companies employ these tools to make the most of the resources they have.

Tune into the full conversation with Jake Hall in this video to learn more about smart manufacturing and how data impacts factory management.

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Innovative Supply Chain Management with AI

As AI functionality expands, its potential applications in manufacturing grow exponentially. Companies are already finding that AI can improve their supply chain efficiency by analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying opportunities for improvement.

Ultimately, AI pattern recognition will help businesses move beyond traditional functional processes and respond to external market signals, becoming more proactive, flexible and profitable.

Laura Cesere, founder of Supply Chain Insights, believes AI is invaluable for these purposes. “The ability to see deeper insights and sense and trigger proactive responses is starting to become a big advantage in channel data and supplier data pattern recognition,” says Cecere.

As the industry is currently undergoing a period of reimagining, many companies are realizing that they must explore information from multiple channels to proactively respond to fluctuating economic conditions.

Watch a conversation with Laura Cesere to understand how AI and unified data models can help drive business forward.

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Creating efficiency with cloud solutions

Manufacturers can use these new tools to optimize available resources in 2023 and beyond. By using the latest digital resources, they can enhance their operations, allowing them to quickly respond to changing market demands, minimize downtime and improve efficiency.

The challenges of recent years will inspire innovations that will make production more flexible and sustainable. By combining operational visibility, data integration and digital collaboration, cloud solutions play an important role in that transformation.

“We are on the cusp of a new world of technology that will revolutionize supply chain management,” says Cecere. “It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.”

Discover how technology delivered in Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing can help your organization.

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