These days, the term "real-time" has almost become useless as a descriptive element. Everything we do in our digital lives is real-time – Web, News Feeds, Blogs (ahem), Twitter and other Social media all provide us with up-to-the-second information on who is eating what, where and with whom. In business, the concept of real-time winds its way into manufacturing operations, with up-to-the-minute inventory and inspection information. Compliance Management
is now slowly coming around to bring in more real-time capabilities to business systems.
But let’s back up a second – why are we striving for real-time? What happened to the good old days, when it was good enough just to know how we’re performing within a day? When did it become necessary to keep tabs on things so closely? The reality is that the world is simply moving faster in terms of information. Our operations are streamlined, our supply chains are bigger, our products diversified, our competition is ruthless. We move faster because if we don’t, then someone else will jump in and push us out of business. The pace of business is what keeps us moving fast, and that requires we respond to data faster. We need the data as it happens because we can’t afford not to have it.