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Manufacturing Metrics: An Introduction

Posted by Dave Kravitt

Manufacturing Metrics Introduction FeaturedCovering everything from production volume to the complexities of warehouse management, these metrics are a vital tool for managing the complex workflows of a manufacturing operation. 

PSGi works closely with our clients to manage the software necessary to utilizing metrics as effectively as possible. This blog provides a quick introduction: you can view our comprehensive guide here.

Manufacturing Metrics Provide Actionable Operational Knowledge

Manufacturing metrics need to reflect the precise conditions of a firm’s supply chain, production process, and business challenges. That’s why the exact way these metrics are implemented can vary widely from industry to industry. But they all share the same ultimate goal: providing the strategic insight necessary to respond quickly and effectively to changing operational data points. 

In some cases, this task may simply involve monitoring production volumes to ensure productive assets are working efficiently. In other cases, it can involve complex tracking of time-sensitive ingredients in the warehouse. Or real-time monitoring of ingredient mixes for process manufacturers (where ingredients can be added mid-production to maintain desired product quality or grade outcomes). Meanwhile, maintaining detailed awareness of the state of your supply chain is essential for staying agile in the face of disruptions like the COVID crisis or shifting international tariffs.

Metrics can also be employed at widely varying scales. A simple metric like throughput can be applied to an entire organization, a specific facility, or even a particular piece of equipment. 

The examples below illustrate the sheer variety of manufacturing metrics applications. We take a look at these and many more in our manufacturing metrics guide here. 

Manufacturing Metrics

Manufacturing Metrics Examples

  1. Production metrics like throughput capture how much product is being produced while related metrics like capacity and asset utilization compare current output to total potential.

  2. Manufacturing cycle time is a critical metric for ensuring production lines are working efficiently to maintain responsiveness to customer orders. For process manufacturers, in particular, scheduling metrics play a vital role in, for instance, minimizing equipment downtime and changeover costs. 

  3. Manufacturing efficiency plays a huge role in a product’s ultimate profitability. Efficiency can be examined at a high level via unit cost. These metrics can also be homed in on more specific cost drivers. For instance, energy-intensive production can be examined using the Energy Cost Per Unit. Preventative maintenance investments can be measured using metrics like Avoided Cost. 

  4. Quality metrics not only help ensure a quality final product, but play a large role in cost-avoidance; the earlier a defective product is caught, the less expensively it can be recalled or re-worked. 

  5. Inventory management metrics help track everything from ROI on inventory investments to the “cash to cash cycle time” from purchasing inputs to selling a final good (essential for managing liquidity). For process manufacturers, inventory management is even more complex and requires tracking, for example, the quality of ingredients received from suppliers. 

From preventative maintenance to inventory allergen control for food manufacturers, all of these metrics categories provide insight on operational outcomes with a direct impact on the bottom line. 

Across these diverse categories, maintaining accurate, timely metrics can itself be a challenge. To maximize its utility, any metric must be recorded accurately and be made available to support business critical decisions on-demand. Most of all, this imperative requires a solid technology foundation. 

Using metrics effectively doesn't necessarily require a complicated solution, but it does need fit-for-purpose software. And a cross-disciplinary team with the knowledge and experience needed to not only run this software, but help it capture the nuances of your manufacturing operation. 

PSGi works closely with manufacturing clients to support and manage essential business software. We take pride in getting to know all the operational details necessary to drive as much value as possible through the best possible technology strategy.

If you’d like to reach out to our team to discuss utilizing metrics more effectively in your manufacturing organization, just click the button below. 

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Tags: Supply Chain Planning