Organizations today work with a great volume and variety of data. The trick is using that information in ways that improve the performance of the organization. One example is in the oil and gas industry where the stakes are extremely high; involving millions in revenue. Government approval for exploratory oil and gas rights are awarded to companies with the best technical application. The trouble is, assembling and authoring highly complex, high-value documents like exploratory proposals and regulatory submissions – which can often be thousands of pages – is a huge challenge.
I've been doing some research on content management, and its utilization in manufacturing, mass-production companies (like food and pharma), plants, and refineries, and will be going through this research in a series of posts over the next few weeks. Around the globe, these companies are clearly approaching a crossroads. Per Guy Bieber, director of strategy and architecture at Citrix, looming ahead for manufacturers is a revolutionary moment, driven by 3-D printing and the Internet of Things: “The breakthrough moment will come when one customized part costs the same per unit to produce as a million of the same part.” But between now and that revolutionary moment, there are significant and immediate challenges that must be addressed by executives: How can we get to market quicker? How do I address global competition from low labor cost markets? What are the process implications of globally dispersed customers and suppliers? How can our company be BOTH low cost and high quality? How can we deal with rising and more complex compliance requirements? Lean Manufacturing Principles “Lean” principles (standardizing processes, eliminating waste, reducing variants in products and services, and delivering higher qualities) are key to meeting these challenges. Per Wikipedia, Lean Manufacturing is a systematic method for the elimination of waste within a manufacturing system. Lean takes into account waste created through overburden and waste created through unevenness in workloads. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, Lean is centered on making obvious what adds value (any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for) and reducing everything else. Many leading-edge manufacturers are now taking Lean principles and applying them to their core business processes. This journey almost inevitably leads manufacturers to question all the “unstructured” information that clogs these processes. Manufacturers must distribute, track, and archive countless documents, such as invoices, receipts, planning documents, and engineering change orders (ECOs) generated throughout the development and manufacturing process for every piece of equipment, part, and assembly. All of these must be integrated with multiple core manufacturing systems (e.g., MRP/ERP Software, Product Lifecycle Management Software, Supply Chain Management Software, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and Production Scheduling and Control Systems). A lot of this is currently done manually and with hybrid digital/paper systems, creating extra work, opportunities for errors, and process interruptions – and creating a major potential barrier on the journey to apply Lean principles to core business processes. InfoTrends estimates that typically between 20% and 30% of organizations use their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to manage the unstructured information associated with many of the core business processes tied to manufacturing. The rest use a combination of their ERP system and paper documentation or use paper only. I’ve explored this theme in The Modern Manufacturer’s Guide to Digitizing 7 Key Business Processes. Download a free copy today and let me know what you think.
A direct link to my invitation to join AIIM's Oil and Gas Special Interest group.