How digitization can transform operations

Aktualisiert: Juli 23

As global markets continue trending towards a buyers market, so change the demands. Individual product solutions with a manifold of varieties dominate over mass produced items.

This however puts manufacturing companies of any kind into a tough spot - from machines running 24/7 on the same product, now operators have to more frequently change setups, recalibrate and clean. Digital solutions can directly address those specific challenges that low-volume, high complexity manufacturers currently face. The secret lies in applying digitally integrated operations rather than single functions. In our experience, three areas hold significant potential.

Quality and reliability.

The reliability of products in the field is a key selling point and top priority, so predictive analytics and remote maintenance should be incorporated into equipment to increase uptime and limit disruptions to operations. Manufacturers can establish remote access to monitor product health and build predictive models, using field data to optimize it. A equipment manufacturer, for example, can therefore equip controllers with a mobile data connection for remote access. The same concept can apply to the manufacturer’s own equipment, with digitization improving the efficiency and effectiveness of maintenance, reducing unneeded downtime.

Demand volatility.

High volatility and unpredictability in production and the supply chain makes determining demand difficult, yet doing so is essential for decisions ranging from production planning to inventory management and staffing levels. Data-driven demand prediction can provide manufacturing leaders greater insight—for example, through statistical models that link production demand forecast to external data sources. A maker of flexible packaging film can estimate demand for its products based on targeted market forecasts.

Production variability.

Almost by definition, low-volume, high-complexity production means managing a large number of product variants, a wide range of production tasks, and close collaboration between manufacturing with engineering. Digital standard operating procedures (SOPs) and performance management can significantly improve an organization’s ability to manage the complexity. For production, manufacturers can establish remote access for SOPs from tablets, and then link jobs to SOPs to automate performance management. For example, displaying customer-specific options on devices such as Google Glass can increase efficiency and lead to better decision making.

The industrial sector will see more disruption within the next five years than it has in the past 20. To capture the growing revenue pool, incumbents must understand what the speed of change, the evolving competitive landscape, and the impact on the workforce mean for them. But the new world is very different from the one they know. They will need to shake up their business models, their approaches to competitors, and the very core of their businesses to hold their own, let alone grow, in the face of a disruptive onslaught.

In response to the disruptive forces, there is the need for agility. Yet there is a huge mismatch between understanding the need for speed and taking measures to achieve it.

In order to get an idea on the components of successful digital transofmration, lets look at the the lessons of hidden champions in this field

1. Leadership and goals

Not only do hidden champions know what they want, but they also have the willpower and energy, sometimes the obsession, to turn their goals into actions. Leadership means that they ignite this fire in many people of different nationalities and cultures.

2. high-performance staff