At a Glance

  • The manufacturing industry operates best by integrating people, tools, processes, and information.
  • The data generated from each of these facets needs to be quantified and analyzed.
  • In the manufacturing world, organizations that know their metrics tend to understand the tricks of the game.
  • It’s critical to focus on the metrics that matter the most; the ones that help your entire organization gain essential insights regarding different functionalities and business areas to continuously improve the manufacturing process.
  • One key that comes from knowing and managing your manufacturing metrics is the ability to systematically optimize your operations based on results.

In any industry, it’s essential to know exactly what your numbers are and what they mean to your business. While this sounds like it should be simple enough, we all know how difficult this can be in practice. When you’re able to gather numbers and metrics they still need to be collated, classified, quantified, and analyzed to add value to the business, especially for a multi-pronged industry like manufacturing. Manufacturing metrics can be diverse, and each metric has a different value throughout the manufacturing value chain. A cumulative study of a group of these metrics is a good way for manufacturing companies to gauge their performance and form strategies for continuous improvements.

Figure 1:Cycle of Continuous Improvement Methodology

Cycle of Continuous Improvement Methodology

As a manufacturing company, you always want to aim for a higher ROI which can mean a thorough analysis of manufacturing metrics and alignment of short-term and long-term business goals. Each of these metrics serves as a source of truth, representing a precise measurement of your manufacturing processes either in terms of quality or quantity (and sometimes, both). Let’s take a look at the manufacturing metrics that matter the most and how you can fortify your IT infrastructure to study and derive insights from these metrics.

1.Demand Forecasting Market research helps companies gain ideas to make estimates about demand forecasting. A manufacturer’s objective is to gauge the amount and type of raw material they will need for their upcoming business cycle. Planning, supply chain management, and operational alignment can benefit significantly from this metric’s help. It’s essential to remember that demand foreshadowing is dependent on external factors and, as such, subject to sudden changes. Take, for example, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many manufacturers found that much of their yearly estimates had taken a hit (especially sectors like automotive and luxury consumer goods). On the other hand, the demand for things like medical equipment and hygiene products increased by several fold, the world over. In this scenario, manufacturing companies can benefit from a robust enterprise resource planning system such as the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations that seamlessly enables change management, demand analysis, and order management.

2.Throughput & Yield of Units Produced A manufacturing company’s operational efficiency is directly proportional to its yield. Throughput is a metric that measures the average number of units produced in a particular amount of time (other coefficients being per machine, per production line, or facility). Access to the correct yield information helps manufacturers gauge their performances accurately, address bottlenecks, and develop plans for improvements.


of manufacturing executives plan to get more out of what they already have invested within their manufacturing and supply chain network.

Source: Accenture

3.Inventory Turnover Properly managed inventory is a strong indicator of a manufacturing companies’ performance- after all, knowing how often inventory is sold or used in a particular timeframe is the measure of knowing its success in the market. This is precisely why decision-makers in the manufacturing industry focus on analyzing the turnover data of their inventories. To expedite the analysis and avoid data mismanagement, manufacturers still using legacy systems need to strongly consider investing in an automated ERP system that can track inventory data in real-time and facilitate seamless coordination between multiple stakeholders.

4.Quality Analysis The final quality of your product is one of the best indicators of production performance. A successful product is the best way to build your customer base, making it essential to understand applicable quality metrics- including monitoring and documenting raw material quality, incoming supplier quality, random quality checks at manufacturing plants, packaging quality, and more.

5.Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) Whether it’s a single piece of equipment or an entire production line, knowing how effective every piece of equipment is, has become essential to a timely yield that matches quality and quantity requirements. This metric is recognized by the manufacturing industry worldwide as one the most important to assess agility, downtime, and overall production quality.

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The metrics above are just a few in manufacturing that often generate mountains of data through multiple sources that are constantly subject to changes. The answer to managing all this information is a data pool – a single source of truth for multiple manufacturing metrics that can help companies track, manage, and analyze the data against their KPIs.

Figure 2:Role of Sophisticated ERP in Managing Manufacturing

Role of Sophisticated ERP in Managing Manufacturing

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and Power BI lets you optimize your IT infrastructure to systematically allow real-time data access, multi-level visibility, and artificial intelligence-backed insight generation. This allows you to visualize and track the progress of your manufacturing metrics, along with a cumulative awareness of your production line.

Final Thoughts

For every manufacturing company operating today, metrics and KPIs have become among some of the most important things to understand and track. How you view these metrics moving forward, how accurate the information is, and how you’re able to leverage it will be the deciding factor in your success.

  • Every company needs to reinvent its best practices with the help of manufacturing metrics for a profitable business.
  • Investing in a fortified IT infrastructure to track and manage manufacturing metrics is the need of the hour for manufacturing companies.