By: Prateek Joshi

Companies that produce physical goods have expansive operations infrastructure. This infrastructure is well instrumented, which means they are collecting data continuously. But it is the operations teams’ responsibility to make sure they monitor everything. How do they make sure that it's running smoothly? How do they look for relevant signals that indicate potential issues? How do they use the data that they are collecting to improve performance? Here’s what we found out about what makes an operations team successful:

#1. Modern teams are proactive

There are many moving pieces  within a production facility. Teams can't just sit around and wait for disasters to happen without having a game plan.  Modern teams  use a proactive approach in their strategy that prepares them to handle what could happen in the future. They constantly look for anomalous signals. This helps them take action and make sure their operations run smoothly.

#2. Modern teams know that they can't use brute force

Operators have to manage a lot of work simultaneously. At any given point of time, there are an overwhelming amount of  data coming their way. Modern teams know that they can't use brute force to manually analyze every single data point. They realize that they need tools that can process the raw data and extract the right information that can be put to use. These tools can highlight the root cause of a problem, which then allows the operator to resolve  it quickly. The insights that are derived from these tools are key to getting the job done successfully.

#3. Modern teams are data savvy

Operators need to make sure that the facility meets the production requirements each day. They always rely on data to track their team's performance and check their progress.  Experience plays an important role in decision making; however, they constantly look at data to support those decisions.  Data empowers operators to focus their time on the most important or critical factors and enables them to do their jobs better.

#4. Modern teams relentlessly prioritize their work 

Operators have a lot of tasks to manage with many alerts and notifications coming their way. Prioritizing tasks makes sure that teams do not stray from the path of achieving success. Teams can avoid wasting time by  identifying priorities and organizing their work  accordingly. This also helps them avoid duplication. Operators need to use the right tools to help them  get to the high priority tasks quickly and efficiently.

#5. Modern teams enhance themselves with automation

Modern operators rely on tools to automate the monitoring work. These tools arm them with information that's needed to get the work done. Instead of spending hours on putting the data together on a spreadsheet, they use tools that can automate this step for them so that they have this information handy. This is a powerful way in which modern teams keep an eye on their infrastructure. Through automation, they are able to optimize their own efficiency and maximize their time.

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