Three Sure Ways to Get Your Factory Fit for the Future

  • How the right business technology drives insight, transformation, and growth
  • Behind the scenes of the world’s leading industrial and manufacturing companies, a profound digital transformation is now underway.
  • What It Takes to Be a Grow Getter

As with any profound transformation, the opportunities for competitive advantage and growth are enormous, but so are the challenges. How do you determine what your next digital transformation steps should be? How do you position your manufacturing business to take the next step—and the one after that?

This eBook will help you answer these questions. In it we will:

  • Introduce the role of visibility in digital transformation
  • Consider three key trends that are shaping the future of manufacturing by delivering the visibility that enables transformation:
    • Growth of the Internet of Things (IoT)
    • The advance of analytics
    • The migration of applications to the cloud
  • Identify the traits you need in your core systems to take advantage of these trends giving you the visibility to identify and take the steps that will help transform your business into the factory of the future.

What It Takes to Be a Grow Getter

Wherever your manufacturing business is on its digital transformation journey, there’s so much to consider that it’s easy for paralysis to set in.

To keep your forward momentum, it pays to learn from businesses that seem unfazed by the challenge and are successfully driving transformation and growth. We call these businesses Grow Getters.

prefer constant innovation
One thing Grow Getters have in common—especially the small-to-midsize manufacturers that we talk to—is that they move forward in small, smart, incremental steps.

Step by step, embrace change

One thing Grow Getters have in common—especially the small-to-midsize manufacturers that we talk to—is that they move forward in small, smart, incremental steps. They identify the big changes they want to make, but don’t stress about the magnitude of their ambition. They know that if they keep making smart changes, step by step in the right direction, the momentum for innovation and transformation will build.

 planning significant investments
They invest in technologies that give them greater visibility, from the factory floor through all of their core business processes—sales, financials, customer relationship management, supply chains, purchasing, inventory, shipping, invoicing, and so on.

Invest in visibility

Grow Getters know that they first need to identify the right steps to take. This is why they invest in technologies that give them greater visibility, from the factory floor through all of their core business processes—sales, financials, customer relationship management, supply chains, purchasing, inventory, shipping, invoicing, and so on.

We see this when we look at their technology investments. In a 2017 paper , Aberdeen Group points to three technology trends driving digital transformation for manufacturers the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, and cloud based capabilities.

All three promote greater operational flexibility and efficiency. Equally importantly, they all promote better visibility of operations—enabling manufacturers to achieve insights that they can translate into smart decisions and action.

Trend 1: IoT Makes Manufacturers Smarter

IoT-based smart devices are opening new windows of visibility into manufacturing processes.

Because of this visibility, according to Aberdeen Group, manufacturers are using IoT devices to make more accurate, real-time decisions. The best in class are almost four times more likely to detect the unexpected—making them much more able to respond quickly and effectively to unforeseen events and their consequences.

Once IoT technologies such as sensors and actuators are embedded into your products or production equipment, you need to be able to handle the flow of data—to capture and store it, analyze it, and act on it. This fundamentally depends on the capabilities of your core business systems.

IoT investments
This direct integration of the physical and digital worlds enables manufacturers to streamline, simplify, and improve their operations.

What is IoT?

“Internet of Things” is a term used for the growing worldwide network of ordinary physical objects that now contain embedded technology designed to:

  • Sense their internal states or aspects of the external environment
  • Transmit the data collected
  • Receive and act on data from other connected devices

This direct integration of the physical and digital worlds enables manufacturers to streamline, simplify, and improve their operations and customer service. They can automate many actions that used to be manual because the devices collecting data can now initiate specific processes when predetermined conditions appear.

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