Manufacturing’s Digital Transformation Needs 5 Kinds of Connectivity
Manufacturing businesses operate in the real world. More than any other kind of enterprise, it’s the real world of raw materials that shapes their business. This strong tie to the physical world has made it harder for manufacturers to reap the benefits of the digital transformation that’s changing the way companies run their businesses and interact with their customers. Yet manufacturers that are able to adopt these new, flexible, data-driven ways of doing business will have strong advantage over their competitors. Making this change means building five kinds of connectivity into your processes:
1. Connected devices
The Internet of Things (IoT) means manufacturing equipment can monitor and report its status and change what it’s doing based on that information. Analytics can help ensure quality control and support predictive analytics to minimize machinery downtime.
2. Connected suppliers
Integration with suppliers means that companies can reduce their inventories of raw materials, obtaining resources on an as-needed basis. Shipments can be tracked from the moment they leave the supplier’s premises, and monitoring can guarantee the quality of the raw goods.
3. Connected customers
The more closely your business interacts with your customers, the better you’ll be able to meet their needs. Manufacturing on demand, and manufacturing as a service, will let digitally transformed manufacturers reduce inventory of both raw materials and finished product and instead craft exactly the product customers need when they need it.
4. Connected employees
No matter how smart the IoT devices on the factory floor get, they need to operate under human supervision. Mobile devices let employees access work systems from anywhere, whether in the plant or at a customer site, and collaboration software helps employees share their ideas and creativity.
5. Connected management
The data collected by the IoT devices, customer input, and employee insights can help management make smart decisions for the future of the business. Dashboards keep managers current on what’s happening in the plant and support real-time decision-making.
Building these five kinds of connectivity requires integrating new technology, including the Internet of Things, social software, analytics, cloud, and mobile devices, into the way the company operates. The connectivity demands increase bandwidth, and networks need to be redesigned and enhanced to provide the additional capacity. There’s a need for additional security, particularly around IoT and mobile devices, as well as cloud, to make sure company data is protected.
Once the technological changes are made, leveraging it effectively requires employees to change their processes and adapt to a new way of interacting with clients, suppliers, and each other. The digital transformation of manufacturing is as much about the way people work together as it is about the technology they use.
Bringing Technology to Manufacturers
Prescient Solutions offers information technology services for manufacturers that help them make the most of their existing technology as well as adapt new technologies to make the digital transformation. We can help you develop your overall IT strategy, address specific concerns such as mobile device management or backup and recovery, upgrade your network capacity and security, and provide 24×7 remote monitoring and support. Make connecting with us the sixth kind of connectivity your business needs to support your digital transformation and information technology success.