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What You’re Missing to Build a Winning Culture on the Shop Floor

by Greg McHale | Oct 10, 2019 | Culture, Machine Shop


Operators and their machines form very powerful and valuable digital connections. But why aren’t shops getting enough answers from that treasure trove of actionable insights?


When we started Datanomix, we famously told early potential investors that while we understood manufacturing processes, we weren’t really manufacturing people. Rather, we were enterprise data people with expertise in delivering simple but powerful products.


We were hearing from manufacturer after manufacturer about how, despite having several expensive data collection systems in their shops, there were fundamental questions they still could not answer.


We held focus groups, we sat in on production meetings, we spent hours on shop floors watching how people, materials, tools, and products flowed. We listened to conversations about the daily problems and challenges experienced from operators and leaders alike.


What we learned was that something incredibly simple was missing from these environments: nobody knew the score. 


Sure, there were ERP systems showing end-of-day quantities and fulfillments, and even MES systems showing OEE; it’s not that metrics didn’t exist, it’s that none of the metrics were actionable in an immediate or obvious way.


In fact, one of our most successful sales cycles to date came from an inbound request where the operations leader quoted his factory-wide OEE numbers in his demo request email - followed by “and none of this helps me run the floor better. I need something that does.”


Manufacturing environments are incredibly complex - sights, sounds, peers in need of help, the fire of the day (only one if you’re lucky!). Knowing the score is about simplifying all that noise into targeted guidance for your shop floor personnel and doing so in a way that promotes teamwork and pushes towards higher levels of productivity.


Fusion by Datanomix captures a data stream that is already present on your manufacturing equipment and figures out how to establish a benchmark for what good production looks like for every SKU you make. We do this by evaluating a combination of utilization, cycle time, downtime events, machine issues/alarms, and part production rates, and turning that data into a score called Fusion Factor.


If you are meeting nominal production levels, Fusion Factor scores for those jobs are B’s, indicating that your performance is average. If you have fallen behind nominal production levels, maybe you’ll see Fusion Factors that are a B- or C+. Moreover, if you see Fusion Factors that are below expectations, you get simple visuals that tell you why. On the other hand, if you’re getting scores in the A range, congratulations, you’ve hit your stride, on course, on target. That’s what we all strive for - working every day to beat the benchmark.


Our product experience usually starts with a production supervisor, a process engineer or a lean/continuous coordinator. He or she will watch the scores, look at the visuals, and spring into action, motivated and guided about where to apply valuable effort. From there, Fusion Factor proliferates, becoming the rallying point for how your team knows, talks about, and manages the score each and every day.


Ready to create a winning mentality on your production floor? Then let’s make it easy for you and your team to know the score each and every day.