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Why Manufacturing Digitalization is More Painful without Strategy

Manufacturing Digitalization

Manufacturing industry has started to realize the significance of Industry 4.0 solutions like IoT, AI, Cloud, Mobile Applications, Web Applications etc. and it is believed that 80% of companies have already started to implement modern-day digital solutions to improve their operations and production rate. However, does simply investing in a digital transformation technology lives up to the expectations? Well, if your answer is YES, then you have to step back and think again.

Be it any kind of digitalization or digitization using digital transformation solutions, without a winning strategy or approach it won’t be rewarding. As digital transformation programs are long haul, it is necessary to set up goals and plan for a strategy upfront before investing in the program. This post will help you why digital transformation strategy matters for any business.

Why developing a holistic and realistic strategy matter for manufacturing?

There is no denying the fact that digital transformations are about technologies but not only technology. Strategy plays a massive role in the success of manufacturing business transformations. In fact, it is the strategy that bridges the technology with business goals and without such a program in place, transforming your manufacturing operations won’t be fruitful and rewarding.

Digital transformation programs always have to be re-scoped based on the goals and expectations of the manufacturers. And at times, there would be a void in the process. As identifying the gap in the process and bridging is important for successful digital transformation, digital makeovers without any strategy could prove risky and costly for your business.

Here is an interesting outlook of how painful your digital transformations would be without a well-defined strategy in place.

Technical processes
Resistance to change
Management buy-in
Budget constraint
Lack of resources
Lack of technical capabilities
Lack of infrastructure

Also, without a digital transformation strategy, it is hard to figure out where your business is right now, where do you want to be and how are you going to make it there.

From the above discussion It’s no brainer that digital advancements are not about technology alone but a robust digital transformation strategy matters too.

So, how to work out a digital transformation strategy? I know this would be your next question.

Let’s start with the steps to build a digital transformation strategy.

Step #1: Find out the real need for digital transformation

Settling out for digital transformation without any need could cost your manufacturing company dearer. Find out the real need and consider the budget you can allot for the entire program. Remember, digital transformations are long and time consuming. It requires some serious money to keep the momentum going. So, finalize your budget and real need before getting started.

Also, set up regular meetings with employees and other key stakeholders to persuade them about the digital programs planned and how this could impact the day-to-day operations. It is a must to foster a cultural change in the organization before taking digital initiatives as there will be resistance from employees or even from customers as they are comfortable with the current system and process.

So, ensure everyone understands the transformation is going to improve the business standards and mutually benefit everyone within and outside the organization.

Step #2: Assess and analyze where you are now

After freezing the need and budget for transformation, focus on the current state of your business. Digital transformation is not about reinventing existing processes alone it is about modernizing the culture, infrastructure changes, technical advancements etc. Ensure you have a good grasp of the current situation before moving to the next step.

Step #3: Identify your goals to ensure where you want to go

Digital transformation should have short-term as well as long-term goals. It is a must to identify and get up goals that aligns with your business improvements before kick starting your digital transformation initiative. Make sure you’ve a thorough understanding of your requirements and have set up clear goals before getting started with.

Having a set of KPIs against the goals will help you measure the progress of the digital innovation implemented. Identify what’s missing currently and what needs to be done to bridge the gap to make the transformation process a huge success. Create a checklist of what needs to be changed, infrastructure challenges, technical adoption impact etc. before kick starting the campaign.

Step #4: Create a digital transformation roadmap

After completing the last 3 steps, it is time now to create a digital transformation roadmap for your manufacturing business. Start with a map starting from point A to point B. The points in between may include infrastructure changes, employee training, tech stack updates, migrating to a new process etc. Tie every point with a goal to measure the outcome frequently.

Set up a milestone out of the goals to ensure the program is working the way you wanted it to be. Another interesting point to remember is that a digital transformation roadmap can’t be created one time, yes, you have to modify the roadmap based on the business priorities and landscape as the market is ever evolving.

Step #5: Partner with an expert digital transformation services

Entire digital transformation programs can be tricky if not executed in a strategic and proper way. It requires a lot of effort from everyone within the company and concentrating only on the digital transformation program could easily impact your day-to-day work progress and bottom-line. To overcome this challenge, partnering with leading digital transformation services is a smart option.

As digital transformation companies have a proven track record of dealing with different customers, the experts can easily understand your business goals and talk to your stakeholders about the benefits to persuade them. Not only that,they will help you with the right digital transformation strategy, tools, technology, and resources to make rapid progress without impacting your routine. Also, this frees up the time of your resources and helps them to focus on the critical tasks.

Summary

If you are manufacturing head planning to modernize your business with digital transformation solutions, consider all the points discussed above before arriving at a decision. Digital transformations are absolutely beneficial; however it all depends on the need and budget.

Make sure you have the right partner to demonstrate the positives and negatives of the program and help you with a well-planned digital transformation strategy to take your business to the next level.

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