Datanomix has a lot to be grateful for in 2020. While the year was one of the toughest in recent memory, I reflect on the wins for the company, our people and our customers, all working together to deliver new value to our manufacturing partners.
Manufacturing in America has been a hot topic for quite some time. A global conversation is well underway, spanning everything from skilled labor costs to trade tariffs on inbound finished goods as a way of reshaping the policies on where things get produced. As I’ve mentioned in other writings, with a resurgence in onshoring, the technology community has an implicit duty to help and protect the industrial base in our country. The ramifications of this are monumental to our economy – from job creation to a massive multiplier effect enabling secondary suppliers to participate, building further momentum across the country.
First, I want to offer true admiration and respect for the strength of our customers. The precision machining industry is where we concentrated the initial thrust of our data analytics solution. The customers we’ve met over the course of dozens and dozens of meetings this year are some pretty impressive people. Each one is committed and focused on what differentiates them from other companies in this business. Whether it’s turning small-format, screw machine parts or vertically milling car-sized aluminum castings used in robots, the inner workings of this industry is why manufacturing in America is great. We built our product with and for these customers and the results are clearly transformational in the way they can now run their businesses. We have been showcasing the stories of some of these amazing companies and will continue to do so at an increasing pace.
Without a great product, you don’t get in the door. Two years ago we hired a team of developers who understood the nuances of data analytics and how to present it to a customer who has extensive knowledge of the inner workings of their business. Meaning, when we present information in our product, it is immediately consumable by the most critical employees in the company, because it understands how to think about the data in the same way that they do. Our dev team stitched together two key things:
- We actually dug into the data stream coming from the machine controller and understood it deeply. We learned that this data contained some very important attributes about the job/part the machine was making.
- We watched our customers operate and tracked what information they needed, when and why and figured out how to deliver it to them with no friction to their existing workflow.
Asking for no input from anyone, we get the answers straight from the machine controller. The fact that all of this data is in the machine and we can broadcast it is game changing for them.
This year we watched several customers expand their plant footprint, adding new machines and wanting to increase operating margins. As these factories get physically larger, managers lose the ability to control every facet of production, but need the contextual data that gives them the digital leverage to grow. “Digital leverage” is defined as technology that increases the capability of an employee without having to hire additional manpower. Our product provides that leverage and the bigger production picture in the form of production intelligence. A subset of that information is machine monitoring.
We knew that we needed to redefine productivity into something meaningful to everyone in the company. Our Fusion software as delivered, is a series of information derivatives. The first is a high level production benchmark for every job in the factory. The Fusion Factor is a real time picture of the daily job path and at a glance, predicts outcomes. If you don’t like the intended outcome, you can do something about it proactively. The subsequent derivatives are deeper drill-downs into the what’s and why’s. You can see a product demonstration to learn more about us; we are confident that our product arms users with critical production, operations and business information that they cannot get by merely walking around asking questions.
What customers really like about our product is that it’s not an all or nothing game. We built an architecture that was modular and consumable in increments of machines. Meaning, you can deploy us on your 10 hottest machines and if you like it, purchase in units of your choosing until the entire factory is connected. The economics of that model are far more attractive than a six figure upfront investment and months of integration. The time to data is even more attractive. We install in less than an hour and have people using the product that same day. Our time to data is measured in hours not weeks.
In November, we launched a series of new capabilities that build upon the core product by adding a dozen new features and answering questions for quotations, scheduling, sales and operations personnel. With the encapsulated job score forming the nucleus of our dataset, we’re able to light-up new areas of the business operations where manual tools and estimating have run out of gas. In the future we will digitize and automate so many more facets of the operation, all by putting data in context for users.
While 2020 could have been a punt for Datanomix, instead we capitalized on what our customers need most. A real time production intelligence tool that drops in simply and learns quickly what “good” looks like. When it sees “not good”, it calls for help. We’re grateful to the customers who helped us put points on the board, and look forward to continuing to grow with them and our soon to be customers in 2021. Cheers.