May 16, 2020

Ensuring customer experience and boosting revenue with real-time analytics

manufacturing analytics
Digital economy
4 min
Ensuring customer experience and boosting revenue with real-time analytics
The digital economy is redefining our relation to time

The speed of the global economy has increased, resulting in fiercer competition for customers in...

The digital economy is redefining our relation to time

The speed of the global economy has increased, resulting in fiercer competition for customers in all industry sectors. The growth of revenue from digital outlets is surpassing revenue from traditional outlets. The customer is more demanding with expectations that are unstated. If they can’t get what they want from one vendor, they move to the next. Brand allegiance is quickly evaporating. Customers have multiple relationships and pick the one that works the best at that particular time. Increasingly, open markets have intensified the race towards greater productivity and competitiveness: who can offer the best service at the most attractive price? Yet now, a new game-changer has come into play: time. The issue is no longer about simply the finest service at the best price. The pace of transactions and the associated communications has increased. “Where’s my order?”, “Did you get my transaction?”, “I expected a confirmation by now!” are all foremost in the minds of customers. Nowadays, “immediate” is the performance benchmark. The new question is: who can provide the best service, at the best price, and in the shortest time?

For companies, this puts enormous pressure on operational teams. They have to constantly ensure that actions, orders, and deadlines are fulfilled against the most stringent of KPIs for clients, partners and regulatory bodies. If an optimal level of client satisfaction is not met, both in terms of product or service quality and transaction time, failure can have a dramatic impact on a company's brand image or financial results – from reduced revenues to regulatory impacts.

But I thought we were already monitoring that…

Against this increasing focus on time, companies are realising the need to transform themselves from reactive to become proactive with a clearer overview of their real-time operational performance.  The sooner that an emerging issue can be identified then the more time there is to address it prior to negatively impacting customer or regulatory obligations.

For all global corporations, there is some installed suite of monitoring tools for the digital channels. Typically, these tools include: Technical monitoring to ensure that network connections and servers are up and running. Application Performance monitoring provides technical operations with a view of how the software application tiers are performing. For example, how quickly does an item appear in the shopping cart once it has been chosen by the consumer. This may also include application issues such as browser types that are unable to connect to the company’s ecommerce website. Finally, while Big Data provides the ability to investigate large volumes of data for patterns, this type of investigation is typically focused on strategic decisions and not on emerging intraday issues.

Those companies at the fore front of their digital transformation will implement real-time analytics that provide business operations with sophisticated views to monitor the event streams and data flows. Tools such as Axway Decision Insight can now identify emerging issues based on static or dynamic evaluation of flows. These types of real-time analytics for data flows and event streams are important across multiple industries, including banking where transactions are started and concluded within minutes, or supply chain where an order acknowledgment may be required in minutes.

For example, for one supply chain organisation, technical monitoring tools identified that four files containing customers’ orders were stuck in in a B2B gateway. Without real-time analytics the technical operations team took two days to inform business operations of the impact and resolution of the issue, including who the affected customers were and how large their orders were.

Instead, real-time analytics provide a clear end-to-end overview of an operational process, providing notification —systematically and instantly—of any unusual situation that requires intervention from a business operator. Via self-learning technology this type of tool uses historical data to automatically distinguish an unusual situation from a normal one, and establish the thresholds beyond which an alert should be issued to highlight an abnormal circumstance.

The banking sector provides a good illustration of the business benefits of real-time analytics solutions. A global bank typically has dozens of daily processing deadlines supporting individual different payment currencies. In a recent example, the payment division of a world-renowned bank noticed that some large payments were at risk of not being processed to the currency deadline.  In the event that this processing deadline were to be missed, the impact would be instant. Firstly, the clients concerned are paid late for this transaction. The bank faces penalties and fees for the late settlement that can reach hundreds of thousands of euros, and the damage to the bank’s marketplace reputation is significant. However, with notification from real-time analytics, not only were the payments at risk identified, but the solution also provided a prioritised list of the payments in order of their urgency for resolution.


In today’s digital economy, time is the latest currency. Companies' interest in real-time analytics is therefore its capacity for controlling business activities, coordinating work, and allocating resources, ensuring a perfect customer experience as it increases the reliability and efficiency of their operations.

Clay Cowdery is Business Performance Strategist – Advanced Analytics at Axway


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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing


What is Ultium Cells LLC?

Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”

Who is Li-Cycle?

Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.

As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”

Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?

By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.

“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).

"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.

"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.

Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.

"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.

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