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Productivity in people: Fostering collaboration and improving decision making

Today's Guest Blog is from Phil Lewis, Vice President of Solution Consulting for Europe, Infor




Technology sounds like a natural solution for streamlining products and production, but it also helps boost the all-important ‘people’ aspect of productivity. At Infor, we work with businesses to implement technology that speeds and informs smart decision making and enables collaborative behaviour.


Big data, better decisions

Most manufacturers understand that better data means better decision making by their managers and employees. However, sometimes the challenge is having too much information and no way to combine this unstructured data into one place and in the right context. Today’s software solutions can assemble data – from machine use to shift schedules – into meaningful analytics delivered at point of decision to the right person.


Collaborative social ecosystems

Internal networks can also be formed with technology serving as the connection. For example, as soon as a customer places an order, a message can be sent to the right manager who can use contextual analytics to see if the product is in stock, make sourcing decisions immediately and send the message for the product to be immediately taken off the shelf and shipped.

Based on a familiar social-media paradigm a sales manager can ‘follow’ their customers and receive updates (tweets) about the status of orders for example, or to share information with others in the organisation. This collaboration is enabled by an online tool like Infor Ming.le where everyone is encouraged to proactively manage the business and use the data at their fingertips to become predictive, and make the best possible decisions.

"It is especially important to have a flexible infrastructure to ensure a fast response to customer demand - which often changes even during construction phase." Roberto Altena, Head of Information Systems Management of Marchesini Group.


Streamlining the human work chain

One of the biggest drains on ‘people’ productivity is latency in the decision making process. Busy managers often cause avoidable delays by not providing approval in a timely manner. Enterprise focused collaboration tools can provide a solution that increases human efficiency – like Infor Ming.le.

Managers can now receive tasks in real time, on their phones or computers (no matter where they are or what they’re doing), and then immediately sign off on a proposed task. The system can then move forward to the next step of an agreed upon activity stream.


Case study:  Marchesini Group

Marchesini Group is a leader in the packaging manufacturing industry. In 2002, Marchesini Group decided to upgrade its Infor ERP. The new Infor software provides the opportunity to 'surf' the data / information in a completely new way. Infor Ming.le allows all employees of the various business units to communicate and collaborate by sharing information such as documents, projects and photos. Then connecting processes structured and unstructured Infor Ming.le allows a significant increase in productivity levels.

The new IT system has enabled more people to use it. The previous system had 250 users, but today, thanks to the integration that characterises the new system, there are around 1,500 users amongst designers, engineers and other professionals, who can access Infor LN.

To hear more about technology’s potential for boosting productivity, attend the EEF National Manufacturing Conference in London on 24 February 2016.

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