Many solutions are on offer in the visual management market. It may therefore be difficult to find the one which suits you best. Let’s look at a key factor in your choice: The connection to the information system (IS). Do you need it? Above all it is about the objectives and intended use of your visual management solution. We will look at some of the main points.
A solution not connected to data: How will the solution be used?
You might choose a visual management solution which is not connected to your information system for very short-term or ad hoc requirements. An internal workshop or brainstorming … such events do not necessarily mean retrieving existing data. On the contrary, in these events, you are looking above all to capture and summarise idea on screen. Simple digital post-its could do the job.
And visual management solutions not synchronised with the information system are highly flexible. You can choose the data to display during the workshop. You made a mistake and you’d like to correct it? It just takes seconds. Generally, these solutions do not need the IT department in implementation. You can therefore be autonomous with the software.
If you choose a non-synchronised solution, you need to consider certain limitations. It will be difficult to change your management methods over the long-term. This solution is not appropriate for permanent long-term displays in your premises. Searching for data in the right files and re-entering them in the visual management software will soon become time-consuming for your teams who will quickly become indifferent. The information will not be updated regularly which will result in lower quality of reliable information.
In conclusion: Perfect for ad hoc single events with prior preparation but not to change management behaviour.
A solution connected to dataHow will the solution be used?
At the heart of the digital workplace, or Industry 4.0, is to use data which exists already, using software solutions already on the market. In this case the objective is to implement long-term visual management for operational staff. In this case favour a solution which is connected to your information system. Your data is retrieved automatically from your existing system which is already maintained by your team (or other teams within the company). You will no longer lose time re-entering data, avoiding potential data entry errors and ensuring that your data is reliable. The permanently displayed indicators will be updated in real time. Touch screens are now becoming the tool of a new management style: That of the digital workplace or Industry 4.0. You will be embarking on a real digital transformation of your company. This is therefore a long-term stable solution.
But beware: If you choose this type of software solution, you need to consider its implementation. This type of project needs staff with IT profiles. They will have the necessary skills to connect your solution to the software you use internally such as Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce or your ERP. And we’re talking about operations management here, which needs a project. The design of your first screen will require several workshops with a variety of colleagues and the IT department. Although longer to implement, this solution has the non-negligible advantage of being more stable over the long-term by removing the need to feed the system daily with data. All departments in your company will be able to adopt it easily.
Conclusion Longer to implement as it requires some fundamental thinking about digital transformation, but a true vector of management and state-of-the-art collaboration.