Since starting to manufacture filters in Kidlington, Oxfordshire in 1955, Essentra Components has become a leading manufacturer and distributor of components vital to hundreds of markets and thousands of products.
In the world of manufacturing, speed, accuracy and transparency are integral to business operations and inspire customer confidence. So when the global pandemic took hold, manufacturing systems were hit hard and the ability to predict product availability and delivery to customers was significantly affected.
As the world was told to work from home, the manufacturing industry was no exception. Overnight, employees across Essentra Components’ global network were forced to find new ways of working to ensure they could continue to meet their customers’ needs. That’s when Essentra Components’ decision to partner with Tableau made sense, as employees around the world were able to remotely access up-to-date data dashboards and capabilities. data visualization.
Respond to uncertainty
The summer of 2020 saw manufacturing sites around the world being ordered to completely shut down operations or operate a heavily reduced service to stem the spread of the virus. At the same time, however, healthcare providers were calling on manufacturers, including Essentra Components, to address the global need to mass-produce emergency ventilators for COVID-19 patients. This marked the start of an unprecedented global supply and demand crisis, which was further affected by the blockage of the Suez Canal in 2021 and continues to be hampered by supply chain issues. long-term supply and shortages of truck drivers.
“Going from an initial lack of needs to unprecedented demand in a matter of months rendered existing forecast data useless,” said Richard Willis, head of analytics and insight at Essentra Components.
“The fallout from the pandemic meant no one trusted forecasts, while the number of decisions to be made in the supply chain skyrocketed. That’s when we needed the speed and accuracy of Tableau’s visual analytics to reassure our increasingly apprehensive customers.
The true value of agility and precision
One of the biggest frustrations for manufacturers’ customers is the delay in producing a small component in the product’s manufacturing cycle, which can disrupt the entire production and distribution schedule. The pandemic has made the challenge of delivering to their customers even greater for Essentra Components employees. That’s why the introduction of the “Delivery Promise Report”, created through the Tableau data visualization platform, has become agents’ best ally for providing fast and accurate production lead times and delivery dates. estimated.
Likewise, the “Date Change Report” acts as a valuable tool for colleagues to monitor manufacturing schedules and anticipate delays that may be caused by supply and demand issues in the supply chain network. supply in the broad sense. Access to this live data means Essentra Components can quickly alert the customer and help them find an alternate supplier to minimize disruption to the overall production schedule.
Richard Willis continued: “While production timelines can never be 100% guaranteed, particularly when disrupted by a global pandemic that no one saw coming, having updated timelines easily accessible means we can proactively communicate with customers and respond to their inevitable questions and concerns. Ultimately, we build customer loyalty by being nimble and transparent. »
Data analytics as a business transformation mechanism
Essentra Components began its Tableau journey with 50 user accounts in the company’s Components division. That number has now grown to 600 active users who work in marketing, finance, and sales. Through the use of Tableau’s visual analytics, employees who have never worked with data before can now use Tableau to support all aspects of the business, including acquisition performance, customer lifecycle management and customer loyalty assessment.
“Having immediate access to up-to-date data has proven invaluable in assuring both the company and its customers during these challenging times.” concluded Richard Willis.