GSK to fine-tune manufacturing ops

Manufacturing improvements and the alignment of plant tactics with corporate strategy are two objectives behind GlaxoSmithKline's deployment of solutions and services from Informance International at two manufacturing facilities.

The pharma giant's Clifton, NJ, and Aiken, SC, plants are being assessed to determine how business intelligence can help sustain the effects of operational excellence activities, according to an Informance announcement. The solutions provider says that overall equipment effectiveness tools are a good starting point, but that pharma manufacturers need solutions that "deliver facts, pervasive visibility, and root cause analytics."

Manufacturing process automation has plateaued, says Bill Polk, research director at AMR Research, in Manufacturing Business Technology. "Small, iterative continuous improvement programs won't cut it. Manufacturing needs major breakthroughs."

Now-mature ERP backbones having extensions that provide real-time transactional data have driven a progression from "disintegrated shop floor manufacturing data (manufacturing intelligence) to enterprise manufacturing intelligence to true real-time business intelligence," according to Polk.

Apparently it's no secret: IT consultancy Gartner calculated a 22 percent revenue increase for business intelligence analytic applications and performance management platforms from 2007 to 2008, to $8.8 billion, reports Processor. Major players: SAP, SAS Institute, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and Microstrategy.

- here's the Informance announcement
- read the MBT article
- here's the Processor item