The Power of Data When Your Products Simply Cannot Fail

Did you know that when a plane lands and brakes to come to a stop, it’s Greene Tweed materials that enable that braking process to happen? But what if those materials hadn’t been made quite right in the manufacturing process? How do you think the processes of a braking a plane would be affected?

It’s not worth thinking about, right? And it’s one of the reasons why Greene Tweed approached Qlik to better analyze and use data to ensure the precision quality of its products. Today, the company benefits from a highly statistical view of its quality system running in near real-time, meaning that it’s tuned in to any little anomaly – sometimes, even before it occurs.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s take a look back at the journey that Greene Tweed has taken to reach this point.

Modernizing for more efficient operations

David Hufnagle is Manager of Enterprise Data and Analytics at Greene Tweed and has been instrumental in the company’s data journey. Back when he started at the company, it had two people in the analytics team. Every time the company needed to build a new application for products, they would build a product master from scratch, and it was done differently depending on the developer. There was no consistent set of data for the company’s products, so David created standard product sets to pull from for sales and manufacturing data.

This process was just the beginning of what would become a new Vision 2030 program for the company, of which becoming a data-driven company in 2025 was a key goal.

Working with Qlik

One of the biggest steps in achieving this goal was to move to the cloud, and for that, Greene Tweed turned to Qlik. Today, the company benefits from Qlik Sense for the front end, and Qlik Replicate to move data from SAP and other systems to the cloud. Greene Tweed also uses Qlik Alerting as a good news/bad news tool. In fact, Qlik solutions give the company insights into everything from work orders, sales orders, and purchase orders – every end of the enterprise is covered.

Particularly on the manufacturing floor. Greene Tweed has a lot of devices (presses, ovens etc.) that carry out different tasks in the manufacturing process - putting sensors on every single one of those means generating a huge amount of data. Capturing all the data into the cloud through the analytics process - which they're set to have up and running very shortly - will make a huge difference in the early detection of anomalies. It will allow the company to ensure product quality and will look to eliminate around 15-20% of waste materials.

As David said, “our products simply cannot fail.” Early detection of potential issues before they become substantial problems is hugely important. For example, the ovens used in Greene Tweed’s manufacturing run at 500 degrees. If that temperature wavers, even just a small amount, the quality of the final product can be compromised.

Smartphone-style accessibility

For David, the inspiration behind working with Qlik to modernize how the company uses data came from his smartphone. “In our daily lives, we are used to being able to get real-time information when and where we want it at the tap of a screen. Why can’t we have that level of real-time accessibility at work?” He wanted to get Greene Tweed’s access to and use of information as close to real-time as possible. And he’s achieved it.

Today, data in the company’s cloud environment is on average two minutes old – sales data is refreshed every 30 minutes which they hope to reduce to 20 minutes very soon. The one exception is financial data which is refreshed in the warehouse in as little as every five minutes. The success of the data analytics program means that the company is about halfway to achieve its 2025 goals, with the next three years earmarked for a focus on implementing a formal data governance program across the whole organization.

“We are a medium-sized company with big company technology, but it means that as we grow, our Qlik solutions grow with us”.

To find out more about how Qlik is helping organizations achieve informed action, read our latest Active Intelligence Executive Insights series, where you will also find expert opinions on ways that real-time data analytics can transform your business.

“We are a medium-sized company with big company technology, but it means that as we grow, our Qlik solutions grow with us” - @GreeneTweed is on an incredible #ActiveIntelligence journey.

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