By Jeng Yi Choong, Kepner-Tregoe 

Modern technology is changing the landscape of the operations management profession, both in what can be done on the factory floor as well as the analytics capabilities now available for operations managers. One of the biggest trends of the last few years is the impact of mobile devices and applications in making real-time operational data, alerts and insights available to operators and management 24/7, and wherever they are in the world. Not only are managers able to see what is occurring within their operations, they can now direct changes remotely to support higher levels of consistency and performance than previously.

Apps are being used throughout modern business, from sales and finance to HR and customer service. It isn’t surprising this technology is now being heavily used in manufacturing and operations functions as well. In many ways, operations are the ideal scenario to leverage mobile technology in business. Remote sensors, industrial IoT devices, embedded monitoring features in equipment and affordable telemetry systems allow almost every aspect of a company’s production workflows to be electronically monitored. With the support of cloud computing systems and operations management software, various data streams can be aggregated into dashboards and analytics data sets, operators are able to manage end-to-end processes from a single console. Mobile technology is now extending these capabilities even further.

Operations management applications cover a wide spectrum of functions, from simple dashboards and alerting mechanisms to full-featured interactive mobile consoles. Individuals can use them to adjust production settings remotely. The scope and sophistication of these applications will vary based on the size of your production process, types of machinery and the equipment features suppliers provide. New equipment suppliers are now including remote monitoring and diagnostic tools as parts of their core products – making it possible for the operators and support staff to monitor how well the equipment is functioning and identify any abnormality that requires attention.

It's great to have new features and technology, but the most beneficial value for your company is the use of these tools to achieve higher levels of operational productivity. 

  • Mobile applications enable you to:
  • Monitor production performance in real-time
  • Support and operate automated processes remotely
  • Analyze trends and analytics to assess the impact of issues
  • Alert management and stakeholders for immediate response to operation disruptions 
  • Trigger timely maintenance and repair support from 3rd party suppliers

The net impact of these benefits is that you will be able to achieve higher levels of productivity while your machines are running. In the age of mobile apps, operations management staff have more tools and data at their disposal than ever. This is one of many examples of how modern technology is being used to drive operational excellence in organizations.

For more than 60 years, Kepner-Tregoe has been the industry leader in processes, methods, and skills for improving operational effectiveness. Our experts work with companies around the globe and across industries to improve operational results through the use of information and technology and with best-in-class problem-solving methodologies. To learn more about technology in operations, visit www.kepner-tregoe.com.

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