10 Ways Real-Time Monitoring Is Revolutionizing Manufacturing

Bottom Line: Data and the intelligence it delivers are revolutionizing manufacturing, making real-time data the new currency supplier networks need to thrive and grow on.

A Vice President of Operations for a leading supplier for medical products manufacturer told me recently that “real-time data and the knowledge we gain from it is more valuable than cash.” She went on to say that real-time monitoring and the raw data stream it provides is powering entirely new series of strategies and metrics while making long-standing ones including Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) more accurate. It’s also driving ten specific strategies that are increasing manufacturing competitiveness and effectiveness.

81% Of Manufacturers Are Relying On Real-Time Monitoring To Continually Improve Operations  

Our latest IQMS Manufacturer’s Survey of North American manufacturers across 14 industries confirms what the VP of Operations for a plastics manufacturer says. 81% of all manufacturers interviewed are relying on real-time monitoring to improve their businesses. The top 10% of manufacturers are very adept at integrating real-time monitoring, turning data into intelligence using analytics and Business Intelligence (BI), and saving time on the production floor by using mobility applications.

High achieving manufacturers are fluent in a wide variety of technologies and selectively use them to grow existing business and be opportunistic, capturing new sales. They’re all on their journeys regarding which monitoring technologies they rely on. The survey shows broad adoption of light sticks, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), and material handling technologies including barcodes to monitor production. Manufacturers growing 10% a year are early adopters of advanced real-time monitoring technologies including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

IQMS Manufacturing Survey Real-Time Monitoring Key Takeaways 

All manufacturers are integral members of supplier networks. Managing varying levels of inventories across multiple product lines and improving production plans to reduce order-to-fulfillment cycles times are critical to excelling as a supplier. The following are the real-time monitoring takeaways from the latest IQMS Manufacturer’s Survey:

  • 72% of manufacturers say real-time monitoring is essential for streamlining and making inventory reconciliation more efficient.
  • 69% are relying on real-time monitoring to increase the accuracy of tracking production time, downtime, total parts created, rejects and parts to be produced.
  • 63% are relying on real-time monitoring and consider it essential for tracking machine utilization, scrap and downtime reporting.
  • 53% specifically rely on real-time monitoring to increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) accuracy.

In response to the question “how is real-time monitoring changing your business today?” manufacturers prioritized the following nine areas with improving scheduling accuracy (52%) leading all others closely followed by attaining higher levels of inventory control (48%) and enabling plants to improve production plan performance (40%).

Current effects of real-time monitoring on manufacturing businesses

Real-Time Monitoring Is Defining The Future Of Manufacturing

Closing the gaps that slow down inventory reconciliation across plants using real-time monitoring is one of the highest priority areas manufacturers are concentrating on today. 72% of manufacturers consider streamlining and making inventory reconciliation more efficient very/extremely important.

The following are the ten ways real-time monitoring is revolutionizing manufacturing today:

10 Ways Real-Time Manufacturing is Revolutionizing Manufacturing


Real-time monitoring is now a core aspect of any growing manufacturing operation. 81% of all manufacturers surveyed say real-time monitoring is improving their business today. Manufacturers growing at 10% or more per year are the leading adopters of RFID and IoT technologies to gain further insights into how they can improve every aspect of manufacturing operations, with many setting the goal of lights-out manufacturing operations for their most common, easily automated products.

Real-time manufacturing data to increase visibility and shop floor control

Louis Columbus

Louis is currently serving as DELMIAWorks Brand Senior Marketing Manager. Previous positions include Director Product Management at Ingram Cloud, Vice President Marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, Senior Analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at SaaS start-ups.