The role of ITSM in modern manufacturing
Over the past few years, the manufacturing industry has seen rapid digitization to improve production techniques with smart manufacturing technology. Propelled by Industry 4.0 and Industry 5.0, manufacturers are moving away from archaic and disparate manufacturing systems to digitally transformed manufacturing with connected smart manufacturing systems that take advantage of advanced technology, like IoT, AI, ML, and big data.
This constant trend of digitization has driven manufacturers to adopt smart equipment and software that are connected to the larger IT environment to measure equipment health automatically and proactively flag anomalies. IT infrastructure now plays a bigger role in manufacturing, and it’s vital that the IT team stay on top of IT incidents to eliminate manufacturing downtime.
An ITSM solution ties things together and gives manufacturers a strong foundation to establish effective ITSM practices to manage IT infrastructure in an organised, structured way. Additionally, it helps manufacturers streamline service delivery for users and provide a good user experience, something that was often neglected. Delivering services to employees and other end users on time improves employee productivity and keeps customers loyal, which in turn helps manufacturers achieve better margins in increasingly competitive spaces.
5 ITSM challenges that manufacturing companies may face:
1. Disorganised ITSM operations that increase manufacturing overhead
Merely adopting a ticketing system cannot transform ITSM and help reduce overhead. A complete restructure of ITSM operations and implementing core ITSM practices are required to overhaul ITSM operations and realize gains. Without a structured ITSM solution, the IT teams of manufacturing companies struggle to implement core ITSM practices and tailor them to the company’s needs. The lack of core ITSM practices affects the IT team’s ability to:
- Respond to and resolve incidents quickly to reduce manufacturing downtime.
- Identify problem equipment and perform RCA to discover underlying issues and prevent similar incidents in the future.
- Provide a list of services available to employees and deliver them on time to increase employee productivity.
- Manage and track company assets to optimize asset spending.
This is further exacerbated by the lack of a digital workspace for technicians to track tickets assigned to them and resolve them according to service-level agreements (SLAs).
2. A poor user experience that undermines manufacturing efforts
While production kept getting better with smart manufacturing trends, end-user support was neglected with old-fashioned systems that provided poor user experiences that indirectly affected production through subpar service delivery for employees and strained relationships with vendors, suppliers, and customers.
With the trend of digitization, manufacturers needed a single point of access for end users to access services; this helps streamline service delivery to each user group, for example:
Fixing workstations, addressing HR- and payroll-related issues, and processing applications for time off
Vendors and suppliers:
Tracking purchase orders, flagging product or order issues, and managing product recalls
Responding to product questions, warranty claims, or requests for replacement and spare parts
3. Leveraging automations to improve margins
Manufacturing companies are constantly on the look out for ways to automate processes on the factory floor and improve operational efficiency. Similarly, adopting automation to accelerate ITSM operations helps improve margins by reducing resolution time and manufacturing downtime.
Useful ITSM automations like automatic ticket assignment, notifications, and ticket workflows accelerate processes and free up technicians to work on more critical tasks that can improve productivity. Without automations, technicians need to spend precious time manually performing mundane operations, leading to increased technician costs and lower profit margins.
4. Lack of organised data to make informed decisions
Data management is a huge challenge for modern manufacturing companies, and the lack of organised data makes it hard to generate useful insights. The dynamic nature of the industrial landscape makes it vital for manufacturing companies to constantly make informed decisions like increasing support personnel, optimizing asset usage or tweaking ITSM processes to increase efficiency, and identifying inefficient processes. A good reporting system helps manufacturing companies evaluate their ITSM operations and realign them with business objectives. Without a strong reporting system, manufacturing companies are unable to gauge key service desk metrics and identify process inefficiencies.
5. Adopting new technology
To thrive in highly competitive spaces, manufacturing companies need to adopt new technology or upgrade their existing infrastructure to keep with the latest industry trends. This requires significant changes to their IT infrastructure, changes that must be carefully deployed to prevent unintended collateral damage to other IT infrastructure components.
A streamlined change management process and a CMDB help IT teams carefully plan low-risk changes with a bird’s-eye view of IT infrastructure and successfully implement changes with the necessary permissions while keeping stakeholders in the loop. In the absence of a change management process, IT teams struggle to plan and implement low-risk changes.
The ServiceDesk Plus advantage
ServiceDesk Plus gives your manufacturing company the full-stack ITSM experience to support the manufacturing process and auxiliary activities with industry best practices. From unifying IT data and services for ease of management to overhauling IT and non-IT workflows, ServiceDesk Plus transforms the way manufacturing companies approach service management, reducing overhead and improving their bottom line.