As a building product manufacturer, knowing precisely what is happening in your business empowers you to make well-informed decisions. You need reliable insights and information about the materials you are purchasing and the products you are selling. Maintaining records and managing your manufacturing data allows you to use that data to gain insights that can guide your plans. To get where you can make data-driven decisions, you need to ensure your data is reliable. 

Data that is well managed and maintained can inform decisions around procurement, and provide insights that enable process improvements. Data gathered from the interactions of the design community with your product information can drive product improvements. Your data is a valuable asset that can help direct the future of your business.

Considerations for Your Data

As discussed in our recent Product Data Challenges For Manufacturers blog article, a data-centric strategy needs to be built with data that is clean and maintained. Building product data is an asset and it needs care and attention to ensure data-based decisions are well informed. Leveraging your data requires data analysis from a variety of sources to measure performance, set goals, minimize waste, and guide data-driven improvements. For building product manufacturers seeking to leverage their data, there are several things to consider about your current data.

  •  Requirements: What are the requirements for your data? What regulatory, safety, and environmental compliance activities can you convey with your data? Is your data well enough classified and maintained to promptly provide access to those needing it?

  • Ownership: You own your product data and should be the single source of truth for that data. Your data is an asset and should be treated as such. Conversely, incorrect or poorly maintained data can be a liability. Do you have disparate internal systems that do not talk to each other?

  • Structure: How can you structure your information to keep things simple and provide timely access to information? Essential information in test reports, safety data sheets, as well as product properties are all part of your product data. Sharing this information in a structured digital format will not only benefit your workforce but also make it easier for architects and design professionals to evaluate and specify your products. Standard data templates should be used to promote a standard data structure for your product information. Well-structured construction data is accessible by everyone in a team, is centrally located, and is a single source of truth.

  • Sources: In addition to your internal product and manufacturing data, you may also have data from external sources. Market reports and forecasts, association data, marketing data, and analytics from multiple channels can all contribute to your informed decision-making. Building product manufacturers may have access to detailed analytics offered by CADdetails.

  • Technology: How do you adopt new technologies to make your product data more accessible and valuable?  Should you explore data services or work to improve your data in-house?

Leveraging Data: Your Procurement and Processes

There is much your data can do for you, and using data to evaluate your procurement activities can help you reduce purchasing costs. Traditional procurement strategies are manual, time-consuming, and do not effectively leverage data.   Data and predictive analytics can help solve challenges faced by building product manufacturers. Decision-making can be better informed and data-driven. Process changes can be identified and unlock productivity increases. Various risks can be identified, assessed, and reduced. Data gathered from production can be used to improve manufacturing. Real-time data from manufacturing controls and sensors can be used to identify inefficiencies. Data can be used to predict when manufacturing equipment needs preventative maintenance to avoid interruptions in production schedules. Leveraging data can also improve the process of purchasing your products for the contract as data can allow for improved transparency into lead times and shipping dates.

Data should inform your procurement decisions as a building product manufacturer so that you can optimize your supply chain and align customer demand with your purchasing decisions. Analysis of market trends and supplier data can be used to reduce costs. Optimizing your inventory minimizes carrying costs. The automation of routine tasks such as supplier performance tracking and invoice processing can improve data accuracy and reduce the time needed for procurement. The risks associated with procurement such as supplier and market risks can be identified. Process improvements can be analyzed to review performance and reassess strategies. Predictive analytics can harness data to improve forecasting and inventory management.

Taking steps to gain insight through data can lead to better supply chain performance. Manufacturers gain real-time market intelligence when their procurement is data-driven. The analysis of external data empowers manufacturers to adapt quickly to market conditions. 

Leveraging Data: Getting Specified

The procurement process in the construction industry is not as straightforward as it is in other industries. Since architects and design professionals specify a product long before purchasing decisions are made by the contractor, building product manufacturers grapple with lead times that can extend to years. The design choices made in the planning stages take time to come to fruition, so as a manufacturer, you need to be prepared for long lead times.

Understanding the design community in your particular building product vertical is key to unraveling the purchasing process of your customers. Designers are making product decisions based on your product information. This means not only should your design files be of high quality to make it easy to specify your products, but you also need insight into how architects and design professionals interact with your design collateral. This can help inform decisions about design file development. For example, if you know designers are downloading your BIM models, you may want to make BIM models available for all of your products.

CADdetails and Design Hub offer manufacturers valuable insights to understand the intent of the design community. CADdetails detailed analytics lets manufacturers see how the design community engages with building products. CADdetails is dedicated to continuously improving our data and analytics for building product manufacturers.

CADdetails participation includes firm-level data that provides valuable insights. Manufacturers can review product information and designer interactions to drive product improvements. Collect data from your profile on CADdetails and your custom-branded Design Hub. If you are a building product manufacturer interested in gaining insight into how architects and design professionals interact with your product information, Book a Call with us today.

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