Preparing for a digital future is anything but simple. It entails the development of digital capabilities where a company’s processes, people and culture are aligned towards growth and achieving the organizational goals. For manufacturing businesses, there are significant challenges because the digital transformation impacts every aspect of operations and the supply chain – from equipment and product design to production processes, logistics and service.

Connect products and services

External forces like cyber risk, sustainability and complex regulations force companies to transform how they manufacture products, as well as create unique business models that cater to today’s connected customer.

Businesses previously designed, built, produced and shipped products that customers bought, concluding the cycle. It wasn’t common practice to center the entire manufacturing process around the customer and support an ongoing relationship. Now, organizations are building in continuous feedback loops – sensors in products and customer feedback from various channels. The cloud and big data allow for a greater opportunity to improve customer connections and really differentiate your organization by doing things like listening to customer sentiment, analyzing usage and determining quality.

Digitize your Production

With the convergence of physical and digital, many manufacturing companies are embracing digital transformation. Many manufacturers believe that achieving end-to-end real-time monitoring is key to improving business process, but despite investments made, only 7% of manufacturers have achieved real-time monitoring across the entire manufacturing process. The results for those who have successfully implemented smart, connected factories are extremely powerful with average realized productivity gains of 17-20%.

Digital transformation is about applying technologies to radically change traditional processes, products and services into data-driven, connected solutions that can be monetized through efficiency gains and new business models. This digital-first approach allows acceleration time to market and provides new customer value. Finding an approach that fits your business is critical, as there is no one-size-fits all.

Consider these three foundational guidelines to set your organization on a course that make sense:

  • Build a vision for your digital transformation journey
  • Develop a holistic and realistic strategy
  • Identify a partner with industry experience required to deliver the change you need

Develop a strategy to match your objectives

Three key considerations that are easy to overlook, but important to evaluate include finding the relationship between your strategy and technology, prioritizing agility to contribute to longer-term success and the unique requirements for your industry and vertical.

Avoid going it alone

Transformation efforts grounded in industry and vertical expertise are more likely to result in better solutions. The partner you choose should have knowledge of your objectives and scope, a deep understanding of the technology being used as well as strong experience helping others with similar initiatives. They should be able to help you think through the entire digital transformation journey as well as assisting with full execution of that vision.

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Learn more: A Strategic Approach to Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Industries