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Online Analytical Processing Approach for Manufacturing

Online Analytical Processing Approach for Manufacturing

If you take one manufacturing company, for example, you will see there is an abundance of data they receive, analyse, and process in order to make the most of their operations. Yes, data lays a solid foundation for precise decision-making in any manufacturing domain. This is why the manufacturing world pays more attention to the data it keeps consolidating through various channels and streams. In today’s digital business landscape, there is one specific approach known as ‘Online Analytical Processing’ to fulfil the data processing requirements with 100% accuracy and efficiency.

What is this Online Analytical Processing approach for manufacturing? What are the key benefits of this strategy for manufacturers? We will discuss everything in our article.

We will reveal

What is Online Analytical Processing?

  • First, we must know that this is not a new concept at all. This term has been circulating in the business world since 1993. However, according to reports, the original concept’s history dates back to the 1960s. So, as you can see, this concept has always been there in the business scenario.
  • Now let us focus on the theory of this approach. Online Analytical Processing is known as OLAP in short, and it is a technology used for analysing and querying multidimensional data from various perspectives. 
  • It allows users to extract insights from large volumes of data quickly and interactively. Unlike traditional relational databases that are optimised for transactional processing, OLAP databases are designed for complex analytical queries. Yes, this is why it is highly suitable for industries like manufacturing, where an abundance of data keeps moving faster.
  • If we explain this more clearly, OLAP is simply software that an organisation can use to analyse business data they receive from several points of view. As we can see, businesses collect and store data from multiple data sources in modern times. This can vary from websites, applications, smart metres, CCTV, sensors, integrated software solutions, etc.

Understanding the Mechanism of OLAP

  • It is always better to understand the core function of any software before leveraging its employment. 
  • When it comes to OLAP, it includes three key operations. Users can navigate through these dimensions to analyse data at different levels of granularity and view it from multiple angles.
  • The number one is aggregation or consolidation, which means the roll-up of data an organisation gathers. Then here comes the drill-down from summary to detail, and as the third component, slicing and dicing, which means snapshots across multiple dimensions. 
  • It goes without saying that OLAP empowers organisations to gain deeper insights into their data. This empowers them to make informed decisions and drive better business outcomes in return.

Top 4 Benefits of an Online Analytical Processing Approach for Manufacturing


Better Forecasting and Planning

This is one of the main requirements for manufacturing businesses. But why? With this capability, manufacturers can easily anticipate future demand, allocate resources efficiently, and ensure timely production and delivery of products. 

However, it is not as simple as it seems to be. It is quite problematic to receive accurate forecasting due to the complexity of factors influencing demand, such as market trends, consumer behaviour, and external events. Traditional methods seem to be struggling to analyse large volumes of historical data and identify meaningful patterns and trends.

This is where OLAP comes in. This offers a solution by allowing manufacturing companies to analyse historical data and trends comprehensively without errors. OLAP tools can organise data into multidimensional structures, as we mentioned above. This capability allows users to explore different dimensions and perspectives easily. As it makes navigating through these dimensions smooth, manufacturers can uncover insights into past demand patterns and identify correlations with various factors.

Furthermore, with OLAP, companies can perform sophisticated analysis, including slicing and dicing data, drilling down to detailed information, and rolling up to higher-level summaries, keeping its mechanism active.

Let us explain what benefits it offers in the manufacturing realm. OLAP encourages them to forecast future demand more accurately. Moreover, it helps optimise production schedules, manage inventory levels effectively, and finally ensure timely delivery to customers.

Cost Reduction

If a manufacturing business desires to maintain competitiveness and profitability in a dynamic market environment, it must take cost reduction a bit more seriously. 

This is not something that can be achieved without a proper strategy. It is quite challenging to identify inefficiencies in production processes, manage inventory effectively, and make informed decisions to optimise resource utilisation. 

However, the good thing is that OLAP addresses these challenges smoothly within the manufacturing framework. Let us elaborate on how. It provides comprehensive insights into manufacturing operations, which allows manufacturing companies to analyse vast amounts of data in the first place. This directly impacts the ability to uncover patterns and trends that highlight areas for improvement. If the manufacturers can optimise their production processes, it makes the route for improving efficiency and enhancing decision-making capabilities for sure. 

This way, OLAP can ultimately lead to cost reductions for manufacturing companies. This is achieved through lower operational costs, reduced inventory holding costs, and better utilisation of resources. 

Enhanced Visibility

Not just a manufacturing business, but any other organisation looks up to enhanced visibility when it comes to their processes. Do you agree with this?

Especially, manufacturers require high levels of visibility into their operations to ensure efficiency, meet customer demands, and mitigate risks effectively. Achieving the expected visibility levels should be achieved in a systematic way. Otherwise, it can be challenging to manage and analyse large volumes of data from disparate sources and access real-time information for timely decision-making. 

Online Analytical Processing offers a solution by providing comprehensive visibility into various aspects of manufacturing operations. This includes production output, inventory levels, and supply chain performance. 

On the other hand, OLAP tools organise data into multidimensional structures, and this capacity allows manufacturing stakeholders to navigate through different dimensions and perspectives easily. This visibility allows manufacturers to identify trends, patterns, and potential issues, empowering them to take proactive measures to address them.

Real-Time Decision Making

No matter what technology they employ, what process they follow, or what investment they make, manufacturing excellence relies on one major element. What is it?

That is undoubtedly real-time decision-making! With the right decision-making, it will be no problem to swiftly respond to changing market conditions, customer demands, and operational challenges. However, the problem here is receiving up-to-date data. As one manufacturing company framework includes and processes large volumes of data, it will be pretty challenging to integrate data from disparate sources and ensure data accuracy and reliability. 

OLAP addresses these challenges easily by enabling manufacturing companies to analyse vast amounts of data in real time. This capability allows for quick decision-making based on up-to-date information, facilitating optimisation of production processes, inventory management, and resource allocation.

Not to mention that this real-time visibility empowers manufacturing businesses to adapt quickly to market dynamics and successfully optimise their processes. It is easier to stay competitive in the Singaporean manufacturing landscape through this kind of agile decision-making.

Cerexio Solutions for Manufacturing Excellence


Cerexio presents various types of technological solutions to help you achieve the best of your manufacturing processes. No matter what sort of operational framework your company executes, Cerexio solutions such as MES, Manufacturing Control Tower, Enterprise Integrator, Data Analytics, etc. will offer you the best assistance to keep up with your business goals.

Enhancing Foresight Capacity in Manufacturing with OLAP Technology


If you are feeling exhausted with handling the massive volume of data you keep receiving throughout the entire year, it is advised to opt for a technological answer like the Online Analytical Processing approach. If you have doubts regarding how this will work for your specific goals, you should consult an industry expert for a demo session.

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