In middle to large organisations, we know that it takes time to change and implement new processes, especially when you are so used to the current systems in place. The manufacturing industry was first revolutionised with the introduction of the assembly line by Henry Ford, reducing production time and increasing efficiency. Gearing for the implementation of Industry 4.0, current insights have shown various trends potentially impacting the manufacturing industry – especially with the emerging internet of things (IoT) and big data in the last decade, data collection processes and analysis can be done quicker to provide actionable insights for manufacturers to act on. Not only that, advanced robotics and machine learning provides opportunities to increase efficiency whilst lowering operating expenses.
Knowing that changes are coming our way, the question really is: what can companies do to prepare for Digital Transformation?
Assess your digital capability and potential to support further initiatives
Research done by the people from MIT Sloan School of Management suggests that companies should assess their digital advantage position by first identifying their digital maturity on the basis of digital intensity and transformation management intensity. What this really means is that companies need to be honest and ask themselves “Do I have the resources to support new digital initiatives? Will the management allow me to use more resources? Are they willing to take on these initiatives?”
Learn from others – be aware of the competition and industry trends
If your company is a little more risk averse, you will still need to be on the lookout for what your peers or competitors are doing. This will mitigate risks of losing out to the competition too late, and ensure that you are able to plan things ahead. Not only that, by being aware of trends and what the competition is doing, you will also be able to learn from them – both the good and the bad!
Decide on implementation approach
Another big consideration to make is – do you introduce new systems gradually across all locations (assuming you’re in multiple locations) or departments? Or is your implementation on a larger scale? Here are also some other considerations to think of:
- Do you build new applications and technologies?
- Can you use your existing infrastructure and legacy systems to create new applications?
- Will the new application work with your existing system?
- Do we need new applications, or can you just upgrade the existing system?
The tips above are general guidelines based on BAYPM’s experience and observations with current and former clients. We would love to help you with your Digital Transformation journey, give us a shout and we’ll be sure to assist you as best as we can. Currently, we are working on a project to digitise manual processes within different locations. The client opted for an incremental implementation approach based on geographical locations, and the needs of their different factories.