Manufacturers are among those who stand to benefit the most from Digital Transformation. Emerging digital technologies open new opportunities to reinvent how products are made and distributed to the market.
Turning these opportunities into reality requires specific critical steps. According to Infor, there are 9 steps manufacturers need to take in their journey to digitalisation.
9 steps to Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
1. Clarify the missions for your business.
Start your digital journey with a clear goal.
Take the organisation’s core values into account and define the key mission you aim to accomplish. Decide what products or services your organisation will offer to customers, and set up a clear path for your company to follow.
If the organisation fails to specify its goals, it is likely that your employees, partners, and customers will be confused and unreceptive.
2. Invest in creativity factors
Establishing a workforce with an equal number of doers and thinkers is a must for every organisation. A manufacturing operation will surely have many engineers, technologists or mathematicians, but it also needs critical thinkers like designers, storytellers or artists so that they can add creative values to the operation.
A diverse workforce brings creative thoughts and advanced methods to solve business problems. Moreover, your teams can join forces, learn and further develop each other competencies. Having a diverse workforce that can support each other will not only create a positive working environment but also put your company among one the dream companies to work at.
Read more: Creating a “Team Spirit” in Your Organisation
3. Prioritise your business models
Before launching your business, you must have a model for the organisation first. Begin with a core purpose then plan ahead your processes, teams and systems to strengthen your business. This also includes choosing your partners, suppliers and contractors that you may collaborate with in the future.
Bear in mind that you can also apply more than one business model and earn revenue from multiple sources. Although it might seem simple, mapping out a model for your business early would minimize the abrupt cost and margins for your business.
Read more: The Role of Technology in Strategic Performance Management
4. Move to data-based decision making
Data is at the heart of Digital Transformation. Businesses should leverage the power of data in order to boost productivity and increase efficiencies. To do so, your business needs to have a stable data foundation and systems for collecting, storing and arranging all data in a logical way. The systems must be able to provide accurate, real-time, accessible and relevant data to support the business operation.
Read more: Data Analytics for Manufacturing: the Tesla’s Case Study
Emerging technologies like cloud computing are crucial for businesses. As your organisation grows, the need for data storage also rises. Cloud technology not only solves the storage problem but also provides you with analytics and insights that can guide processes and forge a competitive advantage.
5. Develop co-innovation with partners
The more innovative the manufacturing industry becomes, the more important it is for manufacturers to cooperate with each other or invest in outsourcing partners. Long gone is the time when a manufacturer has to produce every component on their own. Outsourcing helps shorten the assembling process and provides convenience and cost-effectiveness.
Read more: Manufacturers adapt to Industry 4.0
In detail, letting contractors focus on specific components allows for economies of scale as the per-unit producing cost is lowered. Moreover, as they are professionals in their field, your partner can bring fresh ideas, and various options to your products and become a co-innovator with the ability to develop new features and processes.
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