Activity Streams Have Great Potential for Collaboration in Manufacturing

By Derek Singleton posted 01-24-2012 13:01


These days, activity streams seem to be popping up everywhere in enterprise tech as vendors rush to add social features to their software. Twitter and Facebook-like streams are even starting to gain traction in manufacturing software. Two of the most prominent examples of vendors incorporating activity stream data into their manufacturing user interface (UI) are cloud enterprise resource planning vendors: Kenandy and NetSuite.

Incorporating activity stream data into manufacturing software UIs has important implications for collaboration manufacturing environments. For instance, it enables rapid information sharing between sales teams and production teams to provide instant updates on things like purchase orders. However, I think the impact that activity streams can have on manufacturing software UIs is potentially much more interesting. Activity streams represent a radically new take on ERP Uis and have the potential to change the way users interact with their systems.

Two Innovations Activity Streams Can Spur


Beyond allowing users to enrich transactional data, I think that activity streams carry two other important implications for manufacturing software UIs. If incorporated, these features could help to further improve the way that manufacturers operate their shop floors. Activity streams could be use to:


1. Automate reminders that keep projects flowing. A key benefit of an activity stream is that it automatically updates subscribed users with the latest action taken. An activity stream could be used to update every employee on their current and future tasks, directly from the system. This would keep projects flowing while enabling employees to plan ahead for future projects.


2. Aggregate the most pressing tasks for immediate action. A final benefit I see in activity streams is that it keeps employees abreast of the highest-priority action items. Manufacturing UIs could create an automatically generated list of the most important tasks to accomplish on the shop floor. For instance, an order may need to be completed and rushed to an important client prior to starting on a new purchase order. A manufacturing UI that can order tasks by importance would help manufacturers become more efficient.


As this functionality matures, surely there will be more uses for activity streams in manufacturing software. For now, I'd like to turn it over to the reader. If you’re a manufacturer and have an opinion on how activity streams can be used within the UIs of manufacturing software, please leave me a comment at the Software Advice website. You can find the original article at: The Benefits of Activity Streams in Manufacturing UIs

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