The year 2020 was an inflection point in more than one way. It sharpened the need for digital transformation for businesses across the globe, irrespective of their industry. Although the manufacturing industry has been trailing behind many other industries in this aspect, digitization is the need of the hour today. Thanks to the advent of the digital revolution, the digital transformation in the manufacturing industry market is set to reach $767 bn by 2026, at a CAGR of 19%.

 

The Need

Manufacturing businesses have two critical components: their assets (factory outlets, IT infrastructure, etc.) and data from their CRM or ERP. The goal of digital transformation in this industry is to bring these two components together in sync to add value to the supply chains. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, and Intelligent Automation enable real-time control over the processes and automate most of the tedious tasks, thus improving the overall efficiency and productivity of the organization. The Fourth Industrial Revolution can potentially solve manufacturers’ problems with technologies. “Companies report as much as 10-12% gains in areas like manufacturing output, factory utilization, and labor productivity after they invested in smart factory initiatives”, according to a report by Deloitte.

 

The Challenges

Implementing a digital transformation strategy is easier said than done. A manufacturing company consists of multiple complex processes that need to be considered holistically for the strategy to be successful. Here are some of the top challenges that manufacturers face while implementing a transformation strategy:

 

Clustered Systems

A manufacturing organization is a complex ecosystem of tightly coupled systems from IT infrastructure to factories and supply chains. Implementing a transformation strategy that considers every system’s requirements can become a challenge for seamless operations.

 

Changing Customer Demands

Customer-centricity is a growing trend in the market today. Almost every digital transformation strategy is formulated by keeping its customers at the center. While customer-centricity is a significant aspect of every business, the changing customer demands can be challenging to meet the goals of the transformation strategy. 

 

Consent of Leadership

Implementing a digital transformation strategy may or may not encapsulate radical changes to the processes and ecosystem, along with heavy technological investments. The leadership team needs to onboard with the transformation strategy and how it will benefit their departments.

 

New Technologies

Digital transformation in the manufacturing industry relies on cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Manufacturers have to be careful about selecting technologies, their impact on the workflows, and the assurance of the desired outcomes.

 

Employee Upskilling and Reskilling

With the introduction of new technologies and changing workflows and processes, the employees need to be skilled to ensure seamless productivity. Manufacturers need to implement and execute upskilling and reskilling initiatives to ensure continued efficiency and productivity.

 

See how Vatsa Solutions helped a manufacturer automate their workflow to manage their calibration process and build a better utility that is easy to deploy, manage, and use. 

 

The Trends

Implementing a digital transformation strategy has its fair share of challenges – but technological advancements can help manufacturers significantly boost their productivity and efficiency. Following are some of the top technological trends that can help manufacturers seamlessly implement their transformation strategy:

 

Automation and RPA

Automation is the way forward for the manufacturing industry. Leveraging the internet and device-to-device communication is critical for enhancing the productivity of a manufacturing process. By leveraging robotics, manufacturers can automate multiple processes and improve the overall quality and consistency of their outputs. The combination of robotics with the Internet of Things allows manufacturers to automate repetitive processes, monitor complex procedures, and analyze their performance.

 

Predictive Maintenance

By leveraging digital technologies, manufacturers can use predictive maintenance to keep a check on their upkeep costs. Predictive maintenance entails predicting failures in a manufacturing process compared to reactive or proactive maintenance that affects the overall efficiency and productivity of the organization. Manufacturers can enjoy multiple benefits of predictive maintenance like reduced maintenance and upkeep costs, optimized processes, and minimized downtimes.

 

Predictive Analytics

The world is increasingly becoming more and more data-driven. The manufacturing industry, too, has humongous amounts of data that, if leveraged correctly, can provide significant insights. Digitization in the manufacturing industry entails a combination of technologies like Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, and Cloud. These can be leveraged to interpret consumer demands and trends, employee productivity, and so on. Predictive Analytics can help manufacturers make data-driven decisions by getting access to data-driven insights, subsequently improving forecasts, taking their automation efforts to the next level, and enhancing organization-wide efficiency.

 

Related: See how Vatsa Solutions helped a manufacturer modernize their SharePoint-based enterprise software for improved productivity and collaboration.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a total game-changer for the manufacturers as it opens up multiple global avenues in terms of growth. Keeping that in mind, manufacturers must make sure that they remain competitive by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and tools. To learn more about digitizing in the manufacturing industry, write to our experts today at contact@vsplc.com.

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