Change In The Manufacturing World With Digital Transformation.

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Constantly shifting digital landscapes are facing manufacturers. All changes are driving the fast-changing consumer expectations, networked gadgets, and technology improvements in supply chains across various industries. Already we are seeing the impact of digital transformation in manufacturing on businesses, suppliers, customers, as well as other third parties.

This can help businesses to adapt faster to change or anticipate them before they happen – which is crucial for manufacturing. It is not surprising that IDC projects 50% of all manufacturers by 2022 will invest in artificial intelligence and resilience to improve productivity.

What is Digital Transformation In Manufacturing Industry Today?

Due to the volatility of global, economic, and policy decisions, the state of manufacturing is always changing. There have been many developments in 2019 that could lead to disruption in the sector, including AI and trade policy. This trend will continue in 2020, with many areas of manufacturing being accelerated by 5G network capabilities. The greater push for IoT and Industry 4.0 will be evident.

Companies’ digital transformation efforts are driven by customer expectations and solving customer problems. In order to be successful in digital transformation, manufacturers must consider eCommerce, CRM, and ERP platforms.

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities

There are many obstacles that manufacturers face in pursuing digital transformation. However, having a discussion with manufacturers can help them to look at their inefficiencies and their resource allocation processes, and be open to new technologies.

  1. The IT department’s technology stack, development structure, and infrastructure can be affected by any digital transformation initiative. This could require new releases, processes, APIs, or innovation in other areas of digital performance.
  2. The manufacturing industry’s digitalization can have a negative impact on human resources. Employees may feel disillusioned when confronted with new workplace realities. Manufacturers face challenges due to employee reluctance, communication problems, and other issues.
  3. Manufacturers are in a cash-sensitive and dynamic industry and must be aware of any limitations to their budget and resources. This can make it difficult for manufacturers to stick to their digital transformation plan.
  4. Manufacturing operations can be complicated due to tight deadlines and limited resources. Management doesn’t like to see the negative effects of digital transformation on operations.

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities

There are many obstacles that manufacturers face in pursuing digital transformation. However, having a discussion with manufacturers can help them to look at their inefficiencies and their resource allocation processes, and be open to new technologies.

A digital transformation initiative can put demands on an IT department’s technology stack.

Examples for Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

Digital transformation in the manufacturing industry is more than automating production lines or better analyzing existing data. Digital transformation requires a shift in mindset, approach, and new ways to solve problems. These are just a few of the ways manufacturers have transformed their businesses.

  • It is hard to sell businesses and can prove counterproductive if the platform doesn’t meet today’s buyer needs.
  • It is hard to overstate the impact of big data on manufacturing: NIST has shown that increased output capacity by up to 20% and decreased material consumption by 4% using machine learning.
  • One California-based fruit supplier doubles its production without having to hire a single employee. Their solution included an automation system with historical analysis and alarm notification.
  • Inefficiency in data processing via wearables directly leads to inefficiencies in human resources. Honeywell and Intel have created a Connected Workers Proof of Concept to combine sensor data with worker worn devices.

Top 6 Digital Trends in Manufacturing

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is a trend that combines traditional manufacturing with industrial factories with digital. It is also called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” which automates manufacturing operations until all processes are managed and mechanized in real-time.

An example is a machine with a sensor that uses data to interact with another machine. All this happens without the involvement of another person. Industry 4.0 will allow for a blurring of the lines between actual and virtual warehouses, which can lead to more efficient collaboration.

IoT

The key technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). This is a network of physical objects interconnected that communicate based upon calculated data, their environment, and data from outside. This could lead to new functions and services for manufacturers.

Operations, asset management, personnel management are the most important IoT applications. Manufacturers can, for example, establish preventative maintenance plans with real-time monitoring. They can also improve energy efficiency and work conditions through smart air management, risk mitigation, worker productivity, and more.

Machine Learning

It’s now easier than ever to use algorithms to find the optimal course of action from multiple options, thanks to the volume of data machines have. This is a huge advantage over humans who would struggle to do so with human beings. Today’s machines have demonstrated that quality does not have to be sacrificed in order to increase efficiency. They are able to anticipate and more accurately identify which factors will affect the speed of an assembly line or its quality.

Machine learning may include suggestions for employees, predicting waiting times, shipping times, and behavior models to reduce risk. Data generated by machines can provide insights into every aspect of the production process when they are integrated with the supply chain.

Robots

Future robots won’t differ from the current manufacturing process. However, future robots will be able to learn from past behavior and use pattern recognition to improve results. 

Robots will continue to invent against the backdrop of connectivity. This includes autonomous driving, dexterous moving, and even moving. With movement data connected to IT systems and teams over longer distances, and even geographical locations, this will allow for faster and more efficient business decisions.

B2B eCommerce

B2B eCommerce platforms today must quickly respond to buyer needs. These tend to be similar to those of B2C customers. B2B buyers expect a B2C-like experience. This is why it can be difficult to maintain B2C-like experiences. They also require custom checkout workflows, pricing rules, and product data personalization. Manufacturers such as Saltworks or Samuel Hubbard can be great examples of digital transformation manufacturing cases that we’re able to digitally transform their stores using OroCommerce. This allowed them to use one website for segmentation, multichannel capabilities, and pricing rules.

B2B eCommerce platforms can sync product data automatically with ERP and WMS, reducing inventory management and human error. B2B eCommerce systems give manufacturers greater flexibility to sell direct-to-customer, B2B2C, and without interrupting existing channels.

The Benefits of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

Manufacturers are constantly faced with a choice: transform and develop digital technologies, or stick to time-tested methods that have proven successful. Long-term, digital transformation has many benefits.

Better data usage

Digital transformation refers to optimizing data usage in operations. Manufacturers can use data more effectively by feeding it into their B2B ERP, CRM, Finance, Warehouse, and other systems.

Improved processes

The future of operations is possible with digital transformation. Real-time insight can be used to optimize the machinery’s life cycle. This allows for error-free operation and helps to avoid disruptions.

Increased innovation

Innovation is a motivator for innovation. A digital transformation strategy can help you take a holistic approach to optimization. To improve business and supply chain performance, ERP smart factory capabilities should be used.

Smarter outsourcing

Manufacturers can prevent disruptions by implementing remote monitoring, troubleshooting, and proactive maintenance. They also have access to data that can be accessed at their disposal.

Customer-centricity

A B2B eCommerce platform allows manufacturers to connect with customers. Clients, regions, and brands can use it. Manufacturers can also make use of sales data to accurately predict customer demand and adjust production accordingly.

How to Prepare For Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

Information and technology are not going anywhere, just like manufacturing. They are exposed to Industry 4.0, IoT, and machine learning.

Manufacturers have to invest in order to meet the expectations of clients and partners about their products and their processes. 

How can BRISK assist you in your digital transformation?

Businesses today rely on company-specific processes to attract customers, grow sales and maintain business relationships. We offer businesses a single view of the customer, B2B, B2C, sales, and other data. This allows for greater resistance to market forces and increased agility to take advantage of new opportunities.

Wrapping up…

Digital transformation trends in manufacturing tend to focus on customization, efficiency, agility, and other similar areas. Any digital transformation strategy must keep up with changing times. Manufacturers should remember that digital transformation is not a panacea for all manufacturing areas. Instead, creating a manufacturing digitization roadmap should not be viewed as a way to get and stay at the top in your market.

Are you ready to take the first step in your journey? 

About Author

Karamjit Singh

18+ years of experience in the digital design industry, including the launch, design and production of innovative product concepts with a clear vision. Result-oriented program director delivering years of extensive and cross-cultural experience in the field of end-to-end IT solutions and road map creation. Being a tech. lover, he functions in a transparent manner with customers and the companies he partners with. He believes in continuous innovation. As a strategic leader, he has repeatedly demonstrated his strengths – combining business acumen with strong financial discipline, deep operational expertise and organizational management skills to effectively expand companies, guide them through successful turnarounds and revitalizations, and manage them across all stages of the business life cycle.