Delayed Metrics Visibility Inhibits Improvements

In most manufacturing companies, employees do not have visibility into performance to change outcomes during their work shift, or even at the end of it, according to Tony Christian, director of Cambashi, an industrial research firm. In a presentation to the MESA European Conference, Christian provided a sneak peek based on the first 100 responses to an on-line survey, Pursuit of Performance Excellence: Business Success through Effective Plant Operations Metrics.

In this early data set, two-thirds of respondents report that their companies show metrics to operators, line workers, supervisors and those managing plant operations on a daily or less frequent basis. Only one in five respondents always provide line-level metrics to operators and technicians to make needed adjustments in their scope of control. The ongoing research study is being conducted by Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) International and Cambashi.

The preliminary findings show that one reason few companies can show employees’ performance results quickly enough to change outcomes is that nearly two-thirds find it necessary to have an analyst cleanse the data prior to analysis, and over 70% find it time-consuming to analyze and set up the data for visualization. Further, 42% do not provide leading metrics that help to predict problems, but only lagging reporting of what has already happened.

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