• Tom McKee

What Is An Agile Factory?


I have been talking a lot lately about the Intelligent Enterprise, which is how manufacturers are using data to effectively deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and increasing customer expectations.


The Intelligent Enterprise leverages investments companies have made in technologies like ERP, cloud, mobility, and artificial intelligence to help optimize performance and meet the ever-changing customer demands by drawing insights from the data they already possess. This visibility enables every level of the enterprise make real-time decisions that positively impacts the bottom line and customer satisfaction.


Recently, I hosted a series of events on The Intelligent Enterprise where we covered this and many other topics with industry leaders who shared their own modernization stories. You can stream the entire series by clicking here. Tune into our Agile Factory event to hear special guest Frank Constantine, Plant Manager for Kennametal, on their Factory modernization successes.


The Intelligent Enterprise model reflects how manufacturers run their business. The model can be broken down into Demand (customer-facing processes) and Supply (fulfillment processes). A key component within the Supply side of the Intelligent Enterprise is the Agile Factory.


The Agile Factory addresses some of the common issues and challenges manufacturers face, including:


Gaps in Operational Results Lacking visibility and/or delays in obtaining operational data to make real-time decisions.


Training Workforce limitations related to utilizing systems, technology, and using data for problem-solving and risk mitigation.


Underutilized Enterprise Systems Significant investments in technology solutions that have not delivered acceptable returns due to under-utilized or unimplemented capabilities.


Data Issues – Perhaps the biggest gap is related to data. This could be missing and inaccurate data, possibly not knowing what data exists, and then not understanding how to leverage the data that is known and available.


The good news is that with these gaps also comes opportunities. In this video, I will further discuss these challenges and share recent success stories from our customers as to how they are utilizing their existing data to become Agile Factories, quickly driving improved business outcomes.