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  • Bilal Memon

Benefits of End to End Reporting for Manufacturers

Manufacturing of any kind is an extremely well planned process; from the early idea stages and prototyping to the purchase of bulk raw materials to the full-scale hiring and production process. Little happens without strategy and planning.


End-to-end reporting is a summary of detailed data for each interaction from the time if first comes in to the contact center to when the contact terminates. The reports will show detailed data for each interaction as each application and each agent processes it.

When manufacturing companies are considered, there are various departments such as:

  • Production

  • Quality Control

  • Sales

  • Procurement

  • Safety Control

  • Technical Planning

The number of departments and their key working roles vary from organization to organization. Often, there are a number of required reports for any organization to make data-driven decisions and strategies.


When such a reporting mechanism is not present in any manufacturing organization, it will not be possible to monitor the entire manufacturing pipeline in a constructive way. In such a scenario, root cause analysis for any incident such as non fulfillment of orders, loss of raw material, slow inventory turnover, stockpiling, etc, is not possible, and performing any analysis to know what went wrong and when is an arduous process that requires information gathering from different departments as well as inquiring from employees. This makes operations slower and makes it difficult to make any informed decisions that improve any manufacturing processes.


BACKGROUND & DEFINITIONS

Careful planning improves process improvement and quality management as efficiency improvements can have significant competitive and financial gains for high-volume manufacturers. More specifically, modern manufacturing execs constantly angle for innovative ways to:

  • Reduce costs

  • Capitalize on analytics for production efficiency

  • Juggle outsourcing and near sourcing

  • Proactively manage risk

  • Streamline inventory management

With today’s ever-increasing data volumes and data sources, even robust managed integration technologies are no longer sufficient because of all the other types of data and applications manufacturers must integrate for a full view of the organization. Thus, solving the overall integration problem starts with removing the companies’ dependency on legacy systems that utilize numerous technologies while relying on outdated methods and infrastructure.


Today’s integration technologies better inform the planning process and actually increase revenues by connecting and consolidating applications, reducing redundancies, better managing the supply chain, and eliminating bottlenecks.


SOLUTION

A solution to tackle the problem of streamlining manufacturing monitoring from procurement of raw materials to delivery of goods to the distributor is to develop end-to-end reporting. End-to-End reporting, as the name suggests, is the type of reporting that encapsulates all sub processes within the framework. In manufacturing, end to end reporting would encompass insights, KPIs, as well as an analysis of the entire product journey (ie. from the raw materials to goods reaching the distributor/buyer).


End to end reporting has this unique characteristic that it can be customized as per the requirement of the manufacturer. If manufacturers want a complete reporting only of the entire production line then end-to-end reporting would consist of the required sub processes that are core to production and would not consist of subsidiaries such as procurement, finance, logistics, etc.


There are several advantages of having an end-to-end reporting in place. A few are listed below:

  • Single Reporting Framework: Organizations where end-to-end reporting is not in place o en struggle with consolidating reports from different resources and infrastructure as each department/business unit has its own reporting dashboards and framework. This makes it difficult to collect different reports when any executive wants to see a bird’s eye view of the entire organization. End-to-End reporting simplifies this by providing one framework for all reporting.

  • Centralized Data: A major challenge in high scale organizations or in organizations that have numerous sub processes & divisions, is that the data is not present in one centralized location for easier and simplified extraction. Oftentimes employees have to scour several data storage infrastructures or databases to extract information relevant to them. End to end reporting simplifies all of this.

  • Automatic ETL: As highlighted earlier, a challenge that organizations face is to gather data from different resources because all the data is stored on different technologies as well as different frameworks. Having an end to end reporting system would simplify the process of gathering, transforming and loading the data for any analysis that a person wishes to conduct on an individual level.

  • Ad-Hoc Reports: When legacy systems are in place with no centralized location for the data, it is near to impossible to extract ad-hoc reports without much hassle. One has to contact different departments if inter-department reports are required and if not, then one has to o en contact database administrators to either give data access or request for support to extract the required data. O en, ad-hoc reports are required on an urgent basis; however having a non-automated process makes the process before the actual reporting is given to you quite lengthy. End to end reporting can also enable ad hoc reports since all the data is available centrally and the infrastructure uses a single reporting framework.

  • Customizability: End to end reporting also provides a mechanism to generate customized reports as they can leverage all data sources and provide additional insights that are beneficial for decision making.

Step 1: Data Requirement & Sources


The first step in developing end to end reporting is to determine the starting and ending point of the entire business life cycle that manufacturers wish to capture in the reporting. This step is the most crucial as it lays the foundation of reporting while identifying its starting and ending points.


After identifying the start and end of the sub business processes that manufacturers need in the report, it’s necessary to break down each sub-processes into work divisions. For example, supply chain can be one business unit but when reporting is concerned, it can be broken further into procurement, inventory management and logistics. Inventory Management can be further broken into warehousing, lead times, time to sell, etc. Outlining all data sources and their relevant data points assists in determining what reports are possible to be generated. This step also helps to identify the lack of streamlined data entry/recording process. It also brings forward any untouched areas that don’t have any data sources available.


The end result of this step is a tree-like structure that outlines the entire business process and what data from each process needs to be incorporated in the reports.


Step 2: Data Consolidation


After highlighting the required data points, the second step is to consolidate all the data into a single data source or build a utility to pull data from all the different data sources. This not only simplifies reporting, but also enables centralized data storage. This step is also challenging because missing fields and incomplete data can lead to unconsolidated data.

Google Migrating services provide a brief overview of data consolidation and the entire process of generating reports.


Step 3: Data Security Protocols

Considering that end to end reporting has to pull various data into one consolidated platform, data and its security protocols become an unavoidable task. It is important that key security measures are taken to protect data from any unauthorized access and leakage. Some unavoidable steps of data security include the following:

  • Granular Access Control for Defined User Permissions

  • Initial Employee Training for Big Data Privacy Standards

  • Using Secure Programming Frameworks

  • Data Cryptography for an Enhanced Encryption Level [Source: 3 Essential Big Data Security Protocols To Be Aware Of]

The security protocols also will help identify user roles, for example, a production line manager would have access to different reports than the VP of the organization.


Step 4: Dashboard Development & Integration


In this stage of developing end to end reporting, all the consolidated data is wrangled and a utility is developed that calculates different KPIs, analyzes data patterns, and generates alerts. This set of features is not limited and can vary from organization to organization. In the dashboard, each business process and sub process will have its own set of KPIs as well as even monitoring protocols such as highlighting low stock levels, highlighting high outstanding bills etc. Since user access is controlled, alerts and important information such as outstanding bills would not be visible to a person handling quality control. Similarly, QC related statistics would not be relevant and accessible to the finance department unless an ad-hoc report is required.


For manufacturers to gain an advantage in this hyper competitive world with rapidly changing demand, it’s absolutely necessary to have end to end reporting in place to make the most constructive business decisions.

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