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Supply chain volatility has widespread impacts across industries. Failure to adapt can lead to unmet demand which can result in extensive losses — sales, profits, customers, and market share are all put at risk, especially when competition surfaces. Businesses that can anticipate supply chain volatility have a distinct advantage to those that are helplessly at its mercy.

Location data is a powerful tool that can help businesses predict operational changes at industrial facilities. With Spectus, business leaders can anticipate disruptions months before they’re publicly announced by monitoring workforce activity at industrial sites. Before a plant begins manufacturing a new product, workforce activity changes to accommodate the needs of the new production line. Mobility trends at the plant can help businesses visualize persistent changes in activity that reflect operational changes that cause disruptions. By analyzing mobility trends at manufacturing sites, business leaders can strategize proactively and mitigate risk and losses during times of volatility.

Stops & Dwell Time

Where devices stop—and for how long—creates a detailed picture of workforce activity. At Spectus, we produce a data asset called Stops that captures the points at which devices spend time – specifically, at least 2 minutes. We build Stops according to the spatial and temporal proximity of individual device pings. Within the Stops asset, we collect an entity called Dwell Time which captures the amount of time between the first and last ping that contributed to the stop. Together, Stops and Dwell Time indicate where devices spend their time, and for how long. At industrial facilities, persistent changes in Stops and Dwell Time suggest that workers are consistently spending their time differently at the site. The new pattern of activity might imply an operational change that disrupts the supply chain.

Case Study: Automotive Manufacturer

Let’s consider a large car manufacturing plant. By monitoring device activity at the plant over time we may be able to detect changes in devices’ Stops and Dwell Time that imply operational changes. To detect changes, we’ll monitor device activity over a 3-month period and visualize Stops and Dwell Time.

Stops and Dwell Time are visualized below. Each circle represents a Stop and its size indicates Dwell Time: the larger the circle, the longer a device stayed in that specific location.

Stops are color-coded by time:

  • Purple circles represent stops in the 1st month
  • Red circles represent stops in the 2nd month
  • Yellow circles represent stops in the 3rd month

We circled a pattern of yellow, similarly sized activity occurring in a new part of the plant. This trend represents a new, continuous, and consistent type of work taking place, which supports the hypothesis that an operational change occurred—for example, a new type of car being manufactured. Location data allows businesses to anticipate operational changes at industrial sites months before they’re publicly announced and strategize proactively.

Stops and Dwell Time are immediately available to customers upon onboarding the platform, and are only two of our pre-packaged tools designed to uncover insightful mobility trends. Find out more about Spectus’ spatial analysis tools here.