One of the greatest assets that we have at our fingertips is data. Even the simplest packaging line set ups have the proper technology to understand the magnitude of their operations. Whether it’s how much product is coming in and out or how much energy is being used to run the daily operations, there is a basic accounting of data as it pertains to the packaging line.
With the advent of packaging automation and more sophisticated machines, we have even more data available. These machines are connected to a network that can communicate with other machines and processes to create a well-rounded overview of your operations.
Collection: Equipment is Key
The first step in any data analysis project is an accurate collection of data. Technology has progressed at a high rate over the past few decades, bringing us a variety of equipment and systems to measure data in a warehouse. With an increase in machines and automated equipment handling operations, it becomes easier to track data and numbers.
As data is collected, it also has to be stored. Using cloud-based networks that can store data long term and connect different pieces of data will yield the best outcome and provide the most insights.
How Do Companies Benefit from Data?
Data provides endless benefits to companies, particularly in a warehouse environment. Collecting the data is just the start. Companies really only benefit from the data when it can be converted into actionable insights that they can use to improve operations.
Here are a few ways that companies are using the data they retrieve to make smarter decisions.
- Labor planning: understanding of how labor is being used, how much time certain activities take if there is 1 person vs. 2 people vs. equipment
- Improving safety: garner insights about safety issues to plan safer outcomes
- Inventory: simple understanding of how much inventory is needed guides buying, supplies, and transit needs
- Inventory storage and planning: a more complex look at inventory helps to make decisions about how to store inventory and plan for changes in need
- Operational issues: understanding of where there are issues in operations, whether it is consistent product damage or late shipments
Data You Need to Know in Your Warehouse
Next, let’s explore the top three data points that are critical for any warehouse, distribution center, or packaging line.
Order accuracy applies to what’s going out, as well as what’s coming in. If you have issues with the inventory, you will need to explore the data about how your ordering and shipments look from suppliers. If you have issues with your order fulfillment, you may need to invest in a vision system or a better way to account for what you are sending out to your customers.
Modern day machines have a great capacity to track how much downtime and problems they have. Using this information will help your engineers to know when service is needed, or when it is time to upgrade your machines.
Metrics about your overall capacity tie the operations together. It’s important to understand how much work needs to get done and how much human or machine capacity you have to get the job done. If you are constantly at max capacity, you may need to hire or enhance your machines. If you are under capacity, you may have an opportunity for new business or to scale back.
Learn more about Your Packaging Data
Data is critical for improving operations, avoiding problems, and maintaining a healthy bottom line.
Interested in learning more about the data points and analytics that are available to you about your packaging operations? Contact a Hughes packaging expert today for an evaluation.