What is Production Reporting?
Production reporting typically allows organizations to send bulk reports to customers via email, file transfer protocol (FTP), or other mediums. These reports give users information on the status of their operations, allowing them to see what is going on at an unparalleled level of clarity and make data-driven decisions based on facts and numbers. Production reports are used for analyzing production information and are graphically presented by enterprise, shift, equipment, or facility to deliver the level of detail required to empower business decisions.
In production reports, key performance indicators are tracked against targets that business users set, giving them at-a-glance information on where they stand currently for each performance indicator.
Features of Production Reporting
With modern production reporting tools, building reports is as easy as it gets. Modern tools come with an extensive library of standard reports that business users can select and activate. Each report can be adapted to fit various business needs, both from a content and graphics perspective.
Users can also modify these templates or build an entirely new report using these tools if they need additional components on their report. Reports can be browsed in HTML format online, generated automatically daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly, or created when specific conditions trigger report generation.
Production reporting offers the following benefits:
- Helps retrieve real-time information on production
- Easily integrates various business parameters, including work orders, production orders, quality, downtime, and process results
- Includes various user configuration tools
- Automatically delivers scheduled emails containing configured reports to business users and groups
- Is available in a variety of formats, including PDF, text, Comma-separated Values (CSV), and Microsoft Excel
- Offers many standard reports
- Can be customized upon request
Modern reporting capabilities can easily be integrated into the existing business management culture. In addition, they can be delivered to various business functions in different formats best suited to their needs.
Production Reporting in Action
A production report represented in the form of a dashboard helps monitor the most critical key performance indicators in one central point of access. It allows business users to track and optimize product quality and is a valuable analytics tool to manage all associated production costs efficiently.
In the manufacturing industry, business owners juggle a plethora of data that can make or break the company. It is imperative to understand and use production data to its full potential in the modern management process by monitoring key performance indicators in manufacturing.
Real-time and automated data analysis becomes a necessity when the business demands actionable insights. That is why manufacturing analytics and production reporting enables business users to focus on establishing an optimized process between various critical aspects of the industry, such as production, finances, quality, and anything else an organization feels it needs to monitor.
A production dashboard portrays the overall production capacity of a business. Having all the important key performance indicators related to a company’s production provides an excellent overview that helps optimize it. Inefficiency is the downfall of any manufacturing process, creating waste, using valuable resources unnecessarily, and sending cost per unit soaring. Business users must stay alert, track any potential issue, and spot any hidden trends that harm operations. This means that building production dashboards is a significant benefit in the manufacturing industry, where even the slightest change to a process can make an enormous difference.
Knowing a company’s overall production volume gives business owners an idea of what their active tools or machines are dealing with on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis. It is great to compare the production to previous similar periods and spot the changes, analyze them, and figure out the “why” behind them.
There may be several reasons for more mistakes, such as lack of maintenance leading to a break-down, shortage of machinery leading to under-production, and unskilled or inefficient staff. This might be the starting point of the analytics process. Marking production volume parallel to the quantity ordered is another interesting move: business owners can see if they are moving forward with the flow or if their business is snowed under and is having a hard time meeting that demand. This factor will directly impact their overall sales revenue generated.
In a production dashboard, business users must have a full understanding of the functions of their equipment. Statistics around what machinery produces over time will inform owners of the significance of each machine so that they can take extra measures to care for or have parts on hand for the most productive ones.
That said, every machine needs care and timely maintenance, even if it contributes to a small percentage of production. By determining optimal upkeep and maintenance schedules, business owners will be able to evaluate their return on investment as well as avoid costly breakdowns. It’s important to generate accurate production reports in the dashboard to avoid any production issues.
Much like a manufacturing dashboard, reports can be generated for any industry showing the returns they receive. For any business, measuring the rate of returns is a must-do. Business owners can set a target or goal they wish to achieve at the end of a certain period so that they can make changes according to the result. Once processes are refined and enhanced, they can focus on other attributes that contribute to their production process.
What Are the Benefits of Production Reporting?
Every business has its twists and turns, and accurate reporting and analytics typically takes these quirks into account and makes it easy to find customized solutions. Efficient and effective production reporting is helpful for businesses to stay competitive and maximize revenue streams. Modern companies of every scale use business intelligence tools and software to analyze, manage, and visualize business data. Used correctly, there are a range of benefits that a production reporting tool that can add to any business, such as:
- Valuable business insights
- An accurate reporting is helpful for competitive analysis
- Better data quality
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Better identification of current market trends
- Higher business efficiency
- Better data-driven decisions
- Higher revenue
Production reporting also gives businesses an advantage over their competitors by analyzing market trends, focusing on new opportunities, and building new strategies. Reporting also aids in understanding the current performance and improving both business-to-business and business-to-consumer services.
How to Overcome Static Production Reporting Challenges
Accessing relevant and timely information is vital for any business to make quick and accurate data-driven decisions. However, as many business owners know, traditional static reporting methods have a range of limitations. There are a few key challenges of reporting and solutions that need to be overcome with static reporting.
Challenge 1: Reporting Is Time Consuming
Many business users are familiar with the fact that reporting takes a long time. Business users need to wait for IT or finance teams to generate and submit reports. If the users need any extra information, the request for custom reports can further delay the process. In addition, if the executives or managers are required to make critical business decisions, they cannot rely on weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly information on the reports because they need up-to-date current business data at their fingertips.
Also, IT and finance teams don’t want to spend much time on creating reports; they have a range of competing priorities and other tasks that they view as more important.
Solution: Give reporting access to end users
Reporting wait time can be eliminated by implementing business intelligence solutions. This is because business intelligence solutions access up-to-date business information and present it to business users in a user-friendly format. As a result, managers or executives can pick a schedule for generating standard reports and other reports to be automated and sent directly to inboxes or saved on dashboards. For example, an organization can schedule a weekly or monthly report to be generated in conjunction with scheduled staff meetings.
Challenge 2: Reporting Does Not Provide the Level of Insight Needed
Traditional static reports give only a summary of information without much detail. However, when there is an abnormality in metrics, the business needs more detailed information. In this case, a customized report that helps detect the underlying data driving the abnormality is required, or an interactive report that allows users to drill down into individual figures.
Another drawback to static production reporting is that it may miss opportunities. Static reports provide only the requested information. Business users cannot analyze details of the information that are not reported. For example, a production manager may request a breakdown of products distributed by region. The production figures may appear to be on target. Yet, a detailed report might show a different story. With the additional information, your product manager can intervene to increase the overall efficiency, increasing the revenue.
Solution: Dynamic reporting
The business intelligence dynamic product reporting helps non-technical business users drill down into the underlying data by clicking on metrics. Then, the users can ask queries and follow their thought process to find the information or answers that they need.
Challenge 3: Need to Manipulate and Combine Reports in Spreadsheets
Typically, data is stored in multiple sources in any company, including enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems. Once the reports are created using information from these sources, the data needs to be combined so that it can be accessed from a central source. Typically, spreadsheets are used for storing the combined data. While spreadsheets have different uses in business, they are not an efficient choice for reporting. This is because spreadsheets are highly prone to errors since even a small mistake in a single cell will be carried throughout and invalidate the entire report. In addition, when a spreadsheet is being shared, it is difficult to make sure that everyone is using the most current version.
Solution: Incorporate a system that integrates data from multiple data sources
In modern technology, many business solutions provide a single source of truth by centralizing data from different sources. These solutions integrate seamlessly with various data sources and direct these data into a single central location. Once the data has been put into the central location, it is accessible on a dashboard where it cannot be accidentally modified, updated, or deleted.
Challenge 4: Need to be in the Office When Creating Reports
Executives or managers who often travel between locations or employees who work from home because of COVID-19 typically have hybrid workplaces. These workplaces require flexibility to access their data anywhere. When managers are tethered to their office, their productivity and efficiency may be seriously impacted.
Solution: Access to mobile cloud data
Modern business intelligence solutions provide cloud access to your data via mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets, or phones. This makes it easy to access and explore data for managers and executives, especially when traveling. Also, this facility enables them to make decisions and offer a quick response whenever needed.
Challenge 5: Restricts Timely Action
It is difficult for any employee to know how to act on the report when it offers limited information. When the report doesn’t have detailed information, it may feel like shooting in the dark. Moreover, when employees feel they have to ask for all the information they need, they may not develop a sense of ownership and personal responsibility in their job roles. As a result, employees may not take the initiative to act on the information independently.
Solution: Give employees (restricted) access to data
To encourage a team to take timely action, business owners need to provide team members with access to the data that is critical to their role. This enables employees to independently query the data and gain insights relevant to their position. Data accessibility also helps employees to take ownership, become more autonomous, and find solutions quickly.
What Makes a Good Production Report?
In any business, to get the most of production reporting, it is essential to check whether the reports meet certain criteria, such as they:
- Are created or generated on time
- Display detailed and timely information
- Follow a meaningful and logical flow of information
- Are presented in the format required by the user
- Are adaptable to all the user requirements
The Difference Between Reporting and Analytics
Though at first glance, both reporting and analytics seem interchangeable, there are some differences. For example, while reports point to what is happening, analytics illustrate why it is happening.
Reports are used to organize, format, and summarize information, whereas analytics is used to analyze, interpret, and explore data.
Results obtained from reporting are pushed to users for review. Likewise, analytics results are pulled by users to get answers.
Is Production Reporting Required?
If a business wants to meet targets, achieve goals, and succeed in outlasting their competitors, production reporting is a must. Traditional static reporting fails in providing the tailored and detailed information required to create an educated opinion. Dynamic production reporting allows employees and executives to make actionable changes that directly affect production outcomes and efficiency.
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