Creating a real-time, data-driven, problem-solving culture is a team effortCreating a data-driven, real-time, problem-solving culture can’t be done without a single source of truth.

But building a single source of truth does not begin with a technology solution. It starts with gathering key personnel from across the enterprise to create a strategic data vision. It is not a solo effort. You can’t do this on your own, in a vacuum.

These key individuals will eventually define the use of this data asset and set appropriate enterprise goals to achieve their objectives. We’ve identified the key roles that need to be engaged. Each brings their discipline-specific preconceptions to the discussions. It is absolutely vital to keep the work at a strategic level for the benefit of the entire enterprise.

So who is involved? What do they need? How can you help align people in these key roles?

Key roles

The roles that we’ve identified are:

  • Operations leaders
  • Design and manufacturing engineers
  • Supply chain leaders
  • Continuous Improvement and quality leaders

Your goals are to:

  • Lower the walls between these functions
  • Foster strategic conversations
  • Build a single source of truth, and
  • Foster a core competency in real-time data.

When this happens, you’ll see higher performance, increased supply chain flexibility, improved customer satisfaction, increased asset usage, reduced material and human costs, and increased revenue.

What are the questions and top of mind concerns about each of these roles?

Operations Leaders

In our experience, Operations Leaders (Vice Presidents/Directors of Operations, and Plant Managers) are concerned first and foremost about top and bottom line. The kinds of questions they ask are:

  • How can I improve schedule adherence?
  • What’s our scrap/waste/rework rates?
  • How do we optimize material costs?
  • How can we improve throughput and revenue?
  • Can we optimize human resources?

These questions are important because increasing throughput and capacity can drive revenue (top line) growth. And better material, waste, and human cost management can drive margin (bottom line) growth.

Most leaders today recognize that they need the help of every colleague in the company to answer these questions. So an enabling question is: “How do we build a culture of problem solving, discipline, and accountability?”

Engineering Leaders

Engineering leaders may be focused on either manufacturing engineering or on design engineering.

While there may be some overlap, manufacturing engineering wants to know if the manufacturing process is optimized for quality, productivity, and throughput. An optimized manufacturing flow increases asset utilization, reduces costs and increases quality.

Design engineering is focused more on the product and the customer. They want to know if the product design is optimized for manufacturability. They are probably also asking questions like:

  • How do manufacturing defects impact customer satisfaction?
  • Can design improve the customer experience?

These are important questions because a product design that is optimized for manufacturability decreases defects, increases customer satisfaction, and reduces warranty costs

Supply Chain Leaders

Supply Chain Leaders often have the widest (or highest) perspective. They are the link between suppliers and customers. They are concerned with the entire supply chain, and the performance of each link in the chain. They are likely to be asking questions such as:

  • How is quality across my supply chain?
  • How can we be more responsive and flexible for our customers?
  • How do we optimize pull through supply chain?

Continuous Improvement and Quality Leaders

Many organizations have separate functions for quality and continuous improvement. Both functions are critical to organizations.

Continuous Improvement Leaders are likely asking questions such as:

  • What improvement projects should be the top priority?
  • Are improvement teams productive, or do they spend all their time chasing data?
  • How can we reduce project cycle times?
  • Do improvements stick?
  • How do we measure success?

These questions are important because they foster an organization that can identify and resolve problems the better. CI teams are under pressure to deliver results, and in many organizations, projects have failed to yield the expected results. While there are many reasons for this, often isolated solutions sub-optimize the whole system.

Single Source of Truth

All four of these functions will benefit from a single source of truth so that everyone has ready access to real-time actionable intelligence. This single source of truth:

  • Can be mined for priorities and insights
  • Provides Real-time actionable insights
  • Enables drill down analytics
  • Fosters faster problem identification and resolution
  • Can aggregate and connect product and manufacturing defects to customer/field complaints
  • Improves communications up and down the supply chain to build trust and confidence
  • Increases capacity to sense and respond to manufacturing problems in a timely manner

Who is involved in creating the data-driven, real-time, problem-solving culture in your company? What questions are they responsible for? Are there roles that we’ve missed? How can you foster alignment across your organization?

If you’d like to discuss how Hertzler can help your team align to create the data-driven, real-time, problem-solving culture, contact us at, or complete the form here. Our unique design process gathers all parties and fosters new conversations about the shared needs that must be addressed. With everyone aligned around a single source of truth, your team will be positioned to rapidly drive quality improvements, reduce waste and increase profits.