By: Cesilia Faustina
The rise of digital transformation is affecting the way manufacturers are running businesses. What used to be a clear-cut method of conducting business is now filled with uncertainty, especially when it comes to industrial manufacturers. We are witnessing more complex projects, multiple product lines and large industrial facilities that are already hard to navigate by itself, however, imagine having to manage it through increasing demands and competition.
The manufacturing industry can no longer depend on avoiding multiple obstacles through traditional means, too much is at stake for their business. This is why most manufacturing companies are now moving towards digital solutions to help them achieve greater efficiency. Production transparency is now being achieved through digitalization and innovative technologies. A survey conducted by PwC showed that 72 percent of manufacturing companies are drastically increasing their level of digitization and expected to be ranked as digitally advanced by 2020.
The increase of digitized devices is rapidly growing and we are expecting more manufacturers to depend on connected equipment with sensors and data insights, including real-time devices. That said, there are surely plenty of challenges faced with this new adoption. Not to say that technologies haven’t always been around, but the implementation of these devices are still relatively new in the manufacturing market, which is why manufacturing companies today need to be aware of some of the digital trends in today’s industrial market.
Flexibility is key
When looking to implement technological advancements, manufacturers need to know what system is going to work for them, this is why many companies that adopt such software need to be aware of its flexibility and integrated system. It is not enough to simply adopt technological devices for a manufacturing cycle, businesses also need to have an integrated system of tools to help with all stages of the business workflow.
Manufacturing involves many steps with many different parties, whether externally or internally, which is why having a software that can cater not only to your production management requirements but also to your needs in financial, HR, inventory and more, is ideal to maintain a successful workflow.
Advanced reporting is very relevant
As manufacturers are becoming more digitally aware, they are also starting to rely more on digital reporting and data insights. Having everything recorded and documented through a digital platform means ease in going through past and present data. It also creates a safer space for all your data, with more advanced security systems in place.
Having everything stored digitally also means that the data recorded may be summed up through a digital report in order to help with the analytics side of things. Manufacturers today rely greatly on customizable reports and dashboards. By having data digitally, they may be presented through the options of a dashboard or report, according to the company’s specific needs, making it easier to view, read and receive the right information. Implementing technological tools will help manufacturers to create smarter decisions and implement more proper and relevant planning.
Manufacturers are expected to expand in an ecosystem of ever-changing strategies. That said, this industry requires bolder and more advanced approaches to running businesses. Thus, the crucial role of digital integration. As more manufacturers are moving towards digital solutions, one of the most crucial parts of that is greater opportunities for integration. Digitalization creates a flow of integration between one digital system to the next; this means that manufacturers no longer have to limit their planning to only one sector, but they can directly manage the different departments of a manufacturing cycle.
One key area is integrating with your SCM (Supply Chain Management) system. Having your production management system directly connected to your inventory is essential. The production process can be aware of the raw materials in your warehouses while keeping your sales management system up-to-date on the finished products delivered by your manufacturing process to your product warehouses. Integration with the SCM also provides real-time connectivity with the procurement system to keep track of the purchasing process for the materials and items, e.g. spare parts, needed for production.
As technology are becoming more flexible, so are their ability for integration. Most manufacturers are starting to adopt digital software that can help them manage their day-to-day operations, and a requirement to that is the system’s ability to integrate with other systems. It creates a more powerful and real-time operation for business workflow. Direct integration is providing a crucial role in the efficiency of manufacturers and will support a strategy ahead of the competition.
Greater technological partnerships
As we are moving into the digital era, more manufacturers are also creating more partnerships with tech companies in order to experience the right solution to help them speed up their work processes. Many manufacturers are now implementing digital software to help them run their tasks and create a more practical operation. Tech companies as well, are creating digital solutions to help manufacturers. This symbiosis relationship is leading the manufacturing industry towards a greater movement for industrial manufacturing, and that is a purely digital operation movement.
Most software companies today provide manufacturing management software to help accelerate a company’s workflow. This will make such industries more manageable and efficient.
Understanding which digital trends are getting the best of manufacturers is important to know where the industry is moving towards. By being aware or even putting effort to implement these changes, it will guarantee manufacturing companies to stay on top of the industrial value chain.