Five ways manufacturers use analytics to drive up labour productivity

We asked some of our key customers to tell us how they use the data and analysis, that our solutions give them to drive their continuous productivity improvement programs.

Provide instant feedback

“Data is available in real time and shared with management and factory floor. As a result, we’ve seen an instant improvement in productivity.”

Volume tube bending manufacturer Olicana

If your operators don’t know how they’re currently performing and what is expected of them, they may not know that they need to improve, and they almost certainly won’t know by how much. Traditional factory floors use time sheets to collect information once a job is completed. By the time the data is collected, analysed and fed back to the operator, it’s too late to change anything or for the operator to react to feedback.

MESTEC’s solution allows you to collect task times in real time, and immediately feed productivity information back to the shop floor. Olicana achieved a dramatic improvement in labour performance simply by sharing information so that individual operators could see how they were performing. As a result of productivity gains, Olicana achieves a £10 return for every £1 it invests in MESTEC’s solution.

Focus on improvement

“We were able to move straight to undertaking improvement activities, rather than spending time on gathering data and then debating what it was telling us.”

Specialist valve and seal manufacturer Hoerbiger UK

Even if you regularly gather accurate shop floor data to measure labour productivity, you may find that you still lack the necessary insight to improve things. With job times held in spreadsheets it can be time consuming and require advanced expertise in data manipulation in order to drill down to uncover the root causes of poor productivity.

MESTEC’s performance analytics make it simple to analyse data using a comprehensive library of report templates and interactive dashboards. You can even create bespoke dashboards on-the-fly to monitor specific KPIs at a glance. You can gain insight into complex processes and identify the root causes of poor labour productivity, using the information to drive improvement. Hoerbiger spent months performing manual work studies in an attempt to investigate the difference between standard hours earned and actual hours worked but couldn’t get to the bottom of the problem. Only once the team deployed MESTEC was it able to quickly determine the reasons behind the productivity gap.

Identify training opportunities

“What’s more, we could compare operator times for similar tasks, to identify training opportunities or flawed standard times.”

Flight simulator manufacturers L-3

Effective training can improve productivity but taking operators away from the shop floor for training means your productivity will take a short-term hit, so you need to be sure that the training is required and delivered to maximum effect. By analysing productivity data, you can pinpoint who needs training and what areas you need to focus on. You can also measure the return on your training investment once operators are back on the job.

L-3 used MESTEC’s analytics to compare operator performance for completing similar tasks to identify training requirements for their teams.

Deliver actionable information

“Via reports and dashboards, the system is delivering valuable actionable information.”

Defence contractor Thales

Manufacturing businesses report on a lot of productivity metrics that are difficult to action. According to Aberdeen Group, the top three measurements for productivity are revenue per full-time employee (FTE), service level achieved and profit per FTE. None of these are metrics are actionable in any shape or form on the factory floor.

Thales uses MESTEC to ensure that the right staff perform the right tasks and are appropriately qualified for the job with up-to-date certification. It also analyses task times to measure manufacturing cost and efficiency metrics, tracking accurate actual vs. standard times to take steps to improve labour productivity.

Deploy intuitive technology

“Unlike our previous system, we soon found that our people trusted it, and found it easy to use.”

Electronics manufacturer GTK

If the systems you deploy on the shop floor are difficult to use, require extensive training, negatively impact your existing systems or require you to change the way you work, the disadvantages of adopting any system will soon outweigh the productivity benefits.

GTK deploys MESTEC’s solution, including easy-to-use touchscreen terminals for each assembly team, to accurately analyse labour content in its products and enable accurate production scheduling and competitive pricing. Before adopting MESTEC, GTK had to estimate labour content for wildly varying batch sizes from one cable assembly to a thousand – a task they found impossible to do with any degree of accuracy. GTK achieves a £20 return for every £1 invested in MESTEC factory-floor solutions.

Ready to find out more?

Please contact us as we would be delighted to discuss your manufacturing challenges and demonstrate how our rapid, low-risk solution could bring major cost savings and performance improvements to your business.