Client Type: Factory production mobile device testing

This customer specialized in mobile device hardware testing in factories. With 67 million devices going on to the used market annually, they didn’t lack for work. Unfortunately, the business intelligence they could supply to the factories about their own production and inventory health was unusable.

If you have hundreds of technicians testing mobile devices, managers need to know early if there’s a problem on the lines. Without mid-morning insight, the shift may never make its quota. When that happens trucks will leave the loading dock half-empty.

What to do?

Managers found it impossible to get immediately actionable information from the system because it was built for end of day reports and forensic audits. The production managers could generate reports every hour — if they had the time but it was like trying being hit with a firehose when they wanted a teaspoon of water.

The solution

The solution was not to change the back end. Or add more tests or operator activities. No, the solution was to move away from the presenting the things that were easiest to count as and instead show what the data meant to managers in their job functions.

After a deep dive on the production line requirements, I designed production dashboards for managers, department heads and team leaders showing inventory processed relative to the shift period, and process outcomes.

The Impact

Instant endorsement from customers and renewed confidence in both the management team and the product from the governing board. 

Customers realized that we understood the problems they were facing — bubbles in the pipeline that could put the shift targets at risk. It also increased our differentiation because none of our competitors had a factory focus, or baked role-based views into the product.

Moving forward

Having created these analytics, I was well-placed to scope new products for the firm.

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