Digital Operational Excellence
We have been developing software solutions for over 25 years for the Medical Device and Pharma sectors. When I think back, many of our solutions were to replace a manual process. Some of the early projects were driven from a compliance perspective i.e., automate the sending of data to packaging machines to eliminate the risk of human error and the potential for an incorrectly labelled product. Others that followed were more related to production tracking and assisting with operations management, including providing better visibility to WIP and how the manufacturing process was performing. Visibility back in the day was by way of a reporting system. No slick dashboards on live screens in manufacturing or on people’s mobile devices.
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As the years progressed, we worked more closely with Lean and CI Leads at the customer sites. These projects would have included anything from helping collect more data or more accurate data to aid a DMAIC project, to developing software to help implement controls in a process to address a specific issue, or ensure that an improvement could be maintained.
Recent advances in technology have brought a new dimension to Leaning a process or automating some or all elements of a business process. The challenge today, in our view, is how best to use Digital. What role can software or technology play in the re-engineered or streamlining of a process to eliminate waste and non-value add steps? It’s important not to take what you have and covert the paper forms to a digital format. There may be some gains here for sure, but it’s a wasted opportunity. You really need to analyse the Current State and map out your Desired Future State, and the path to get you there.
But how do you know what your Desired Future State is? This can be the difficult part. You don’t want to sell yourself short and end up with a less than optimal solution. But you also need to be realistic and may have certain constraints that you need to work within, and may want a desired future state which provides incremental improvement, or indeed a step change, but which may not be your “Blue Sky Thinking” desired future state.
Our approach to helping our customers embrace Digital Operational Excellence is very much a collaborative approach. It involves us applying our domain knowledge to their specific problem or project, but also demonstrating what some of the technologies can do. We find the best approach usually involves a workshop where we demonstrate some POCs that we have developed, or where we have used certain Low-Code No-Code tools, bespoke solutions or indeed a Fusion of both to solve specific problems, automate processes, or provide real data-driven insights.
By showing “what’s possible”, and then collaboratively discussing the Future State, we normally arrive at the correct “Desired Future State”. One of the key benefits of a Low-Code No-Code platform like Microsoft Power Platform is that you can very easily develop POCs or Pilot “Quick Wins” which are very visual, intuitive and easy to understand – from a data collection perspective (an App), to automating a business process (Power Automate) and visualising the end result (Power BI). The solution you build during the first iteration may deliver the first incremental improvement, or may even provide a step-change in efficiency improvement or waste elimination. For a very large OpEx project, at a minimum it will really help develop a rapid prototype to help clarify requirements and identify the future state to a complex problem or complex process.
If you are looking to utilise technology to optimise and maximise your organisations’ competitiveness and performance or would like to discuss how we can use our experience and expertise to deliver real benefits to your business, please Contact Us today or call us on 051 878555.
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DATAWORKS – Driving Digital Transformation in the worlds’ Leading Life Science Companies
for over 25 Years