Digital Platforms for Manufacturing
The manufacturing industry has long struggled to connect and engage their workforce, as traditionally, IT and internal communications teams have been bypassed in favor of others. In order to stay competitive, manufacturing companies are now coming to grips with the evolving needs in a global economy, such as streamlining processes and connecting all workers. This is why, according to Gartner, digital is now the second biggest priority for top manufacturers, after revenue growth.
A digital platform can be the answer to centralize many employee needs at once and increase operational efficiency. Because in the end, productivity is what speaks most to this industry.
Why manufacturers are investing in digital tools
So why do manufacturers start a digital transformation? What drives them to upend old processes and invest into new tools?
Growing role of IT in manufacturing strategy
According to a 2018 Gartner study on CIOs in heavy manufacturing, IT departments and their CIOs are increasingly occupying strategic roles within their companies.
Here are 4 main ways in which IT will determine manufacturing’s future:
Digitalization is becoming more strategic to heavy manufacturing businesses, as services generate new streams of revenue
IT will bring core business value to customers
Manufacturers plan to increase technology spending in the next years
Heavy manufacturers are continuing to cut spending in infrastructure and data centers, favoring cloud migration instead
This means IT players must find ways to maintain and grow their key role, while findings ways to be cost-effective. Perhaps SaaS tools are among the viable solutions.
Top 4 reasons manufacturers should start their transformation
As it turns out, manufacturing holds the key to one of the biggest data mines among all industries! To harvest that wealth of information, it’s crucial to streamline legacy systems that are overgrown with hundreds of processes developed over time.
One concern is to help keep business continuity in the face of demographic transition. New technology helps to retain experience and knowledge while gaining efficiency and attracting a younger workforce.
Production gains in efficiency
Investing in SaaS solutions for instance, means less maintenance costs in the long run, and will quickly make up for losses due to production downtime.
Smooth business growth and faster market readiness
Established manufacturers who want to grow are façing technological limitations with their old systems. It’s difficult to scale up production or reach for new markets when legacy systems cause decentralized data management and don’t allow new integrations.
Main manufacturing challenges
Manufacturers share some common pain points that we can summarize in three points.
Connecting all employees in one place
Top management wants to connect between themselves, and also easily communicate with the rest of the organization. What’s more, manufacturers are warming up to a new philosophy: connecting blue collars and looping them into corporate communications.
In manufacturing, employees are often spread across different sites or geographical locations, and can be further separated by work methods. Teams may be separated by location and languages, but they need access to the same resources.
Achieving digital maturity
The number of heavy manufacturers who are scaling digital initiatives is steadily increasing. And yet, CIOs are still facing significant barriers to reach their objectives. These include lack of innovation, insufficient IT resources or digital skills, and legacy technology blocking change.