I love this post from Thomas Wailgum at CIO.COM. His title says it all: “Wake Up People! Forget Twitter and iPhone Apps, and Focus on SAP and ERP Apps.”

I’ve been on Twitter now for several months and I confess that I find it addicting. I still can’t decide if it is irrelevant or useful.

Wailgum argues that:

They are nothing more than a costly distraction, stealing your attention from the massive problems that you, your company and the business world now face: We’re in a deep recession (perhaps a depression), and your company’s core IT systems are going to be called on to do more and more (with less and less).

If you’re a Twitter fan, you’re likely to bristle at this argument.

I’ve certainly had fun following people on Twitter, and I’ve even made some connections and learned some things that I wouldn’t otherwise know. But it doesn’t drive my business. In fact, I think Wailgum hit the nail on the head: Business enterprise software will drive value in your business, not Twitter or Facebook.

Recently we sponsored a research study by the Aberdeen Group.  The report looks at specific practices and technologies that manufacturers have in place, and look at the productivity and profitability of those businesses. Here is a key finding from this research that supports Wailgum’s argument:

This is the first benchmark produced by the manufacturing practice (Aberdeen Group Research analysts) showing a direct correlation between Best-in-Class operational performance across On Time Delivery, OEE and Yield metrics that enables significantly higher profitability. In fact, the Best-in-Class enjoy over 33% higher operating margins than both Industry Average and Laggards.

So what is it that Best-in-Class performers do that generates a 33% higher margin than Average or Laggards? What behaviors drive this kind of performance benefit?

A glance at the top four or five high impact differentiators between Average and Best-in-Class performers reveal a common theme: real-time data. Here are the top differentiators of Best-in-Class performance in manufacturing companies:

  • Continuous Improvement Teams leverage analytics and real-time visibility into operations
  • Production release and control leverages real-time data
  • Production optimization uses real-time data from production processes and responds to process deviations
  • Plant floor exceptions are monitored in real-time

Twitter isn’t on the list. Neither is Facebook.

Nothing on this list is very sexy or even new. Nothing is based on derivatives. It is all the fundamental block and tackle stuff that actually makes a difference to the bottom line. A 33% difference in the bottom line.

If you want to read more, please download the Event Driven Manufacturing Intelligence Report and my companion white paper, “The Role of Real-Time Data in Improving Profitability and Customer Satisfaction.”

Then tell me whether you think Twitter and Facebook are irrelevant. You can leave a comment, tweet me (ironic isn’t it?), schedule a conversation, or call 800-958-2709.

Now I need to tweet about this new post!