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Example of a Manufacturing Operational Dashboard

Reading time of 4 minutes

In this article, we will look at a manufacturing company that wants to improve its production tracking, and therefore optimize its performance and efficiency at its various production sites. For this reason, the company is working to implement a tool that will improve its production management.


Evaluating production to optimize performance and efficiency using an operational production dashboard

The context

To ensure efficiency, the modern manufacturing company needs to continuously track its production, and this tracking requires access to production data in real time. Wisely, the company decides to go with an automated tool, since there is a lot of data to be processed, and the results need to be up to date at all times. For this purpose, the company therefore plans to create an operational production dashboard in order to track key production indicators continuously, and in real time.


Evaluating productivity and identifying means of performance optimization

An operational dashboard enables users to evaluate all production data in real time, while more easily analyzing the different production-related key performance indicators. Of course, synthesizing overall production results involves tracking production volume, machinery output, resources, and product quality, etc.


Developing the dashboard

As explained in our previous guide to implementing a dashboard, there are different steps necessary when designing this type of tool, summarized as follows:


The goal is to ensure better tracking of operational performance in order to optimize production and revenue.

The tool presents a snapshot of productivity at different levels of the company, with the goal of helping the operational team identify and anticipate potential problems, but above all, optimize performance and production efficiency.


To quantify the company’s level of productivity, the right KPIs are necessary to get the most quantitative data possible, because the team responsible for production will want to have a productivity overview of all of the company’s production sites and teams in order to compare everything with the initial objectives.

Here is a quick list of the KPIs selected:

  • Different production sites;
  • Resources;
  • Final products;
  • Production volumes.

Data aggregation and processing

Taking advantage of a digital transformation that is well on its way, the company has already automated its operational data extraction, and the data is stored in a data warehouse, internally, or in the cloud. The company therefore has up-to-date, comprehensive data to begin designing its operational dashboard.

Which information will be presented

Taking advantage of a digital transformation that is well on its way, the company has already automated its operational data extraction, and the data is stored in a data warehouse, internally, or in the cloud. The company therefore has up-to-date, comprehensive data to begin designing its operational dashboard.

The company decided that the dashboard would highlight the following elements:

  • Overall productivity for each sector of the company with regard to objectives;
  • Productivity of human capital.

Formatting and viewing

To make the data easier to read and interpret, the dashboard is split into two pages covering each of the elements listed above, and there are also several filters available to users for analyzing the results in detail.

Choosing the tool

The company chose Microsoft’s Power BI for the dashboard because it has a variety of features and considerable advantages compared to other programs:

  • It is a unique tool that centralizes all data aggregation, processing, analysis and presentation;
  • It is a collaborative tool: ideal for sharing with different team members;
  • The tool offers different features for analyzing data on an ad-hoc basis;
  • The familiar interface is similar to other Microsoft products, and allows users to take advantage of Business Intelligence.


The final dashboard

Presenting the results

After going through several steps, here is the dashboard that the team will use on a daily basis. As we emphasized above, it will contain two sections that cover the main focus points that the production management team are interested in: results by sector and resources.

Here, we’ll look at the pages, and the major information they contain.

Page 1: Productivity by sector and evaluation of objectives

The dashboard’s first page present information about the company’s operational objectives, and uses a tool to track the company’s ongoing orders.

This part presents the productivity comparison for the company’s different production sites. It shows the various KPIs related to production volumes compared to estimations, and the results are presented as a table and graph for easy interpretation.

Note that users can filter by production site and select the period they are interested in.

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Page 2: Team productivity

The second part of the dashboard has an overview of the performance of the company’s human capital. In this part, users can view the productivity from the company’s various teams. The idea is to get a specific picture of the missions the operational team is working on, in order to identify which areas could be optimized to boost productivity.

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The operational dashboard, an essential tool for improvement

Whether to ensure productivity from your company’s various sectors or individuals, an operational dashboard is certainly a valuable tool.

Its advantages include interactivity, enabling more in-depth analysis; precise, real-time information; saved time; etc.

User-friendly, and visually easy to understand, it gives company leaders a quick picture of the company’s current situation and empowers them to make the right decisions.

Article written by:

Sebastien Chaput, Project Manager and Senior Analyst

My versatility as a programmer analyst cumulates more than twenty years of experience in web and application projects. Being involved in projects oriented towards the performance and profitability of companies motivates me to implement solutions beyond the limits of what is feasible.

Contact me now >

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