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5 Questions That Will Help You Choose the Right OEE Software

5 Questions That Will Help You Choose the Right OEE Software

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5 Questions That Will Help You Choose the Right OEE Software

May 20, 2021

Kurt Rowan
People in hardhats reviewing a clipboard

Sometimes it’s great to have lots of options … other times, less so. One of these scenarios is selecting business technology. Which product will make the biggest impact on your business? Enhance your production capabilities?

Many of the manufacturers we speak with recognize the benefits of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) software, but don’t know which solution to choose. And it’s the wide variety of products on the market that prevent them making an investment.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. But with some strategic work up-front, you can find the right partner and confidently choose technology that will make a significant difference to your manufacturing operation.

Ready to get started? Here are five questions you need to answer in order to find the best-fit OEE solution for your business.

1.    What Are Your Goals?

Nobody invests in technology for its own sake; we want it to drive business improvement. The clearer you understand your production goals, the easier it will be to find OEE software that delivers the functionality you need to reach them. For example:

  • Do you want to open up capacity to produce more in the same amount of time?

  • Do you want to produce the same product in less time?

  • Do you want to reduce your overall cost per unit?

  • Do you want to integrate your production data with ERP for complete end to end visibility?

  • Do you want to identify common causes of downtime to improve asset reliability?

  • Do you want to drive accountability and create acceptable conditions on the shop floor through real-time visibility?

  • Do you want to invest in tools that will deliver a future-proof digital manufacturing environment?

You may have one specific objective in mind; you may want to achieve all of these things. If you’ve got multiple goals, it helps to rank them in order of priority.

Some manufacturing OEE technology will be able to do everything. Other software will only offer certain functionality. Any that can’t deliver the functionality you need to reach your goals can be immediately removed from your list, so you can focus on the most appropriate options.  

2.    What Data Do You Want to Capture?

All OEE solutions have the same basic objective: to monitor and optimize the production process. You can read our blog post on what is OEE – and why does your manufacturing strategy need it? to find out more about how efficiency is calculated.

But while their broad functionality is the same, the data they are able to capture and analyze may vary between solutions.

For successful investment, you need to clarify what production data is most critical to optimizing your performance, and whether the OEE software you’re looking at is capable of managing these metrics. Any that either can’t meet your needs, or will require complex customizations to deliver the features you require, should be removed from your shortlist.

3.    How Will You Interpret Information?

OEE is a comprehensive way of measuring what percentage of your manufacturing time is truly productive, but measurement alone won’t generate improvement. You need to feel confident that the solution you choose will deliver insights in an informative, easy-to-understand way, so you can make practical changes in response.

The key to unlocking efficiency gains in production is uncovering losses both in real time, and over time in a way that’s easy to consume. How do you achieve this? By looking for OEE software that enables you to categorize data and convert numbers and statistics to visual charts and graphs. The easier you can interpret data, the quicker you can act on it. So, if the process of converting data into insights is time-consuming or complex, remove that solution from the running.

4.    Who Will Use OEE in Your Business?

As well as looking at how data is presented, consider also who will be responsible for managing the system. Does the OEE software you are looking at require specialist knowledge to operate? Is it difficult or expensive to add new users?

Ideally, you want to quickly reach a point where all the key people in your manufacturing organization are checking and analyzing your production data on a daily basis.

If you feel that the user friendliness of any software options you’re considering will be a barrier to adoption, drop them from your shortlist. Your goal is to find an industrial manufacturing OEE solution that’s accessible by everyone.

5.    What Happens When You Identify a Problem?

The last piece in your OEE puzzle is finding a solution that integrates with your wider manufacturing operation, to ensure that insight triggers action. The solution you select needs to either work in harmony with your other essential business systems or replace them with a better operational process.  

The most productive manufacturing businesses use more than OEE to assess production performance. You need software that monitors performance in real -time, to identify emerging issues and pre-empt potential failures.

Look for software that can manage both what’s happening now, and what’s about to happen next. This will enable you to develop a proactive workforce; where losses can be acted upon before they become repetitive. And, in turn, this will help to facilitate continuous improvement and drive long-term productivity.

Extracting Insights Every Single Day

OEE software is a really effective way to benchmark your current performance and identify where improvements can be made. But remember that technology is only a good investment if it is used.

The level of payback your manufacturing business gets will be directly related to how you capture and analyze OEE data every single day. And the better the software fits your objectives, the more likely you are to continually extract and act on insights.

The questions we’ve shared will help you narrow down your shortlist to solutions that meet your fundamental needs. All that remains is choosing a partner with the right chemistry.

A good technology provider should have a proven track record of creating software for the manufacturing industry, as they will clearly understand the requirements of your market. They should also listen closely to your operational goals, so they can set up the system and prioritize data quality in a way that drives success.

But most importantly, they need to understand that the value OEE delivers is continuous; you’re on an everyday optimization journey. The strongest providers want to build true partnerships, which ensure you are getting the best possible ROI from your software investment.

Aptean Industrial Manufacturing OEE provides a complete picture of your production effectiveness, to identify sources of loss and areas for improvement. Discover more about our state-of the-art solution.

Dites-nous en plus sur vous et un spécialiste Aptean vous contactera.