The purpose of a smart factory

Today I read a report on Smart Factory KPIs that said measuring Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is the most important indicator to measure.

I myself am a big proponent of measuring this as a source of insight. But this is not the end goal, in my opinion. Specifically not for us as sheet metal workers. OEE and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions give you the ability to compare apples to oranges, but don’t immediately help you sell more apples.

I think the real goal of a smart factory is to become a fully digital company that can connect to a digital supply chain. From start to finish. A customer can request, order and track all progress and documents digitally without human intervention.

We need to think bigger than just OEE dashboards, AGVs and CoBots. Those are just components. The strategy should be based on how a company can best join the chain and help the customer with their needs. Not the means, but the result.

The point is:

A Smart Factory strategy is much more complex than operational effectiveness. It starts with the customer, processes and systems and ends with a fully connected chain.

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