Maximizing productivity in today’s complex and competitive environment is top of mind for manufacturers, while improving company culture is often overlooked.

What companies don’t realize is that these two challenges are closely connected through the power of analytics.

While only management has traditionally had access to real-time data, weaving analytics into workspaces from the shop floor to the c-suite enables personnel to set goals, spot problems and be proactive to identify new opportunities and risks.

Making sure the organization has access to full-system visibility and real-time data is one of the first steps to creating a proactive company culture. Embedded analytics enable personnel—from C-level executives to warehouse managers, to continually monitor issues, predict customer needs and make well informed decisions, critical for strategic problem-solving and proactive response to pending market changes.

Ongoing, timely data capture helps maintain control. Working with real-time data, rather than snapshot capture of historical data, allows companies to stay on top of potential problems. The use of automatic notification, alerts and escalation rules keeps managers informed of warning signs. Thanks to smartphones and tablet devices, even frequently traveling executives can maintain connectivity and monitor dashboards whenever desired.

In fact, all users can track role-relevant critical numbers on an ongoing basis with workspaces that keep contextual data, forms and collaborative groups on the home screen. Goals can be set for critical numbers and automatic alert can be sent to the appropriate person when action should be taken.

Utilizing these types of warning systems helps companies stay alert to potential problems, such as low parts inventory or declines in a particular line’s daily production. Most importantly – further research can be conducted to find the cause of the problem so it can be prevented from occurring on a repeat basis.

By incorporating role-based analytics, personnel can monitor the critical drivers to success. Potential issues can be identified and remedied before they cascade into profit-affecting issues or the inability to meet a customer delivery.

Processes for capturing data, generating reports and alerting individuals can be largely automated. Today’s advanced software solutions with flexible workflow design allow reports to be automatically generated and delivered to personnel at predetermined intervals. C-level executives can have key critical numbers sent to their smart phone every morning. Automating data capture processes, whenever possible, increases consistency and removes much of the risk associated with human error, distraction or noncompliance. Automating simple tasks also frees up employees’ time so they can be working on more high-level tasks – such as building relationships with customers.