Speed, accuracy, and traceability
Traditional paper-based operating systems suffer from a number of issues, the biggest being speed, accuracy, and traceability. Paper record management is inherently slow, with plant workers typically having to move between work stations—each time checking off boxes, filling out forms, or copying down numbers.
An increased number of manual processes often leads to human error. No matter how experienced people are, they will inevitably make mistakes. This situation can be exacerbated when working across a range of equipment types within 24/7 operations, with multiple employees from different shifts potentially affecting the process over the course of a day.
Paper-based information also exists in silos – what’s written on the paper exists only on the paper. But information within manufacturing plants typically needs to be archived, shared, or analyzed. And if manufacturers want to perform analysis on huge reams of paper, it can be an impossible task just to gather all the information needed in one place.
All these factors create a complex working environment for manufacturers—not just on the shop floor but through all support and strategic levels, right up to senior management. Whether it’s real-time tracking or monthly reporting, managing the paper trail can be inefficient, time-consuming, and simply overwhelming. This results in lower quality, longer lead times, and higher costs.