Manufacturing is all about efficiencies. The more efficient your operation, the more profitable it can be. To improve efficiencies throughout your company, using a manufacturing ERP software package such as Sage X3 can enhance efficiencies throughout the supply chain, production, finance and more. One way in which you can improve efficiency is by better data management.
There’s an old saying in computers, “Garbage in – garbage out.” It means that the quality of the outputs is only as good as the quality of the inputs into the computer system.
You’ve seen this yourself in the manufacturing process. High-grade raw materials entered into the start of the manufacturing process results in a better product. Better products result in higher customer satisfaction and eventually, high demand as word spreads that your company produces the best quality products in the industry.
Well, the same may be said for data. Your Sage X3 system can yield accurate, insightful reports – or it may yield incorrect data, depending on the inputs.
To ensure you get the most from your manufacturing ERP software, put into place the following best practices for data management. Quality in – quality out in all things, including Sage X3.
Data Management Best Practices
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), many aspects of your manufacturing center now collect data. Workspaces, equipment, even raw materials may be tagged with electronic devices that supply your company with data. This data must be managed correctly in order to produce accurate reports that yield better business insights.
Some data management best practices to put in place include:
- Collect only what you use: Just because you can collect large amounts of data doesn’t mean that you should. What will you use? What do you need? These are the questions that should drive the process of choosing data elements to collect. When you determine what information is most helpful to improve business processes, you can review the data elements that are necessary to collect such information. Reports from Sage X3 draw from numerous sources of data, but not every source of data is equally important. To avoid feeling overwhelmed by your data, be selective in what you collect, monitor, and use. More isn’t necessarily better.
- Demand real-time data: Sage X3 provides real-time data to help you with business decisions. Other systems may rely on batch uploads, nightly reconciliations, or other methods of managing data that cause delays between what’s occurring and what is reported in the system. Delays can be costly. When real-time data is easily obtained, switching to Sage X3 if you use another system just makes sense.
- Use reports to analyze data: It’s tempting to peek at raw data to see general trends, but the robust reporting features of Sage X3 make it a far better tool to understand what’s happening in your business. By using the reports from your system, you’ll be able to see more than macro trends. You’ll be able to drill down into the data to get a better picture of your business and make sound plans for its future.
- Build a data dictionary: For information that must be manually entered into the system, it’s important to create a data dictionary. Data dictionaries define the fields in your system so that everyone using the system will use it consistently.
- Create data rules: Data rules are also an important best practice when managing data. Data rules define what’s important enough to be entered into the system, as well as how to enter it. Data rules may also spell out who can override data or correct mistakes in the system. By limiting this access to a small group of people, you limit the number of mistakes that can creep into the data.
The world of manufacturing data has come a long way from spreadsheets, tick counts on clipboards, and guesswork. If you’re still on the fence about switching to manufacturing ERP software, we’d like to invite you to explore Sage EM (formerly known as Sage X3). Our virtual Sage X3 tour will help you understand the many system features that can put the power of manufacturing data at your fingertips.
Finance, supply chain management, and production can all be managed through a single dashboard and real-time data that enhances your understanding of what’s happening in your business and helps you improve decision making.
IWI Consulting Helps Business Be More Efficient
IWI Consulting Group helps businesses gain insights into their operations, inventory, and profitability. We provide software and support for a wide range of industries throughout the Toronto area. For more information, please contact us today.