Digital transformation (DX) is rapidly impacting and changing the manufacturing industry, with new technologies representing a significant opportunity for manufacturers to improve productivity and efficiency. As a result, organizations are in a race to digitally transform.
Digital transformation refers to the broad strategy of implementing digital technology to combat industry challenges and foster new disruptive opportunities. This digital adoption is highly prevalent across industries today and the manufacturing sector is no exception.
DX in manufacturing involves the introduction of new technology to improve all aspects of the manufacturing process specifically — from reducing costs and streamlining the supply chain to speeding up process times and improving output quality.
The digital transformation journey is becoming a key element in staying on top of digital innovation in the industry and maintaining a competitive advantage. According to a report from Forrester Consulting, more than 90% of manufacturing leaders today believe that a digital transformation strategy is important for the company’s success.
With more and more manufacturers projected to accelerate their digital business transformation, several key factors are driving these changes:
Let’s take a closer look at what technologies teams are taking advantage of and how they’re using them to boost their processes.
The International Data Corporation reports that global spending on digital transformation efforts among companies in discrete or process manufacturing industries is projected to total more than $816 billion by 2025. But, with major global investments anticipated in the next few years, what does this digitization look like for manufacturers?
Here are just a few examples of how teams across the sector are approaching transformation:
IoT sensors measure and monitor industrial processes to provide real-time data to maintenance staff. Teams are taking advantage of around-the-clock “eyes” across their factory floors to improve visibility for machine performance and eliminate wasted time and resources. Possible applications for industrial IoT sensors include overseeing plant operations and equipment, managing inventory, and predictive equipment maintenance.
Increasing and interconnected devices in manufacturing help companies generate and collect massive amounts of big data. And with data analytics tools, teams are turning this data into actionable insights that can be used to support a range of business operations including inventory optimization, predictive maintenance, production and demand forecasting, and order management.
Cloud technology has been well-received in the light industrial and manufacturing sector, helping teams facilitate better communication, inventory tracking, and product life cycle management. Manufacturers are making use of an array of cloud-based solutions, from enterprise resource planning (ERP) to general manufacturing software, to easily and securely store large amounts of data, drive efficiency and streamline operations.
Also known as 3D printing in factory settings, additive manufacturing is the process of creating products from digital data using lasers. This transformative technology allows for the specialized production of customized products and components. For example, major car manufacturers and automotive designers are taking advantage of these tools to quickly construct a prototype of a physical part such as a gear stick or the interior elements of a dashboard.
Manufacturers are optimizing their use of AI, automation, and ML to foster streamlined processes while ensuring safety. And these powerful tools can be used in different, personalized ways for the best results. Companies are introducing AI systems to manage inventory needs and identify industry supply chain bottlenecks, for example. Automation and ML, for instance, can be used to facilitate scheduling and data reporting, and even improve workplace safety by handling potentially risky tasks.
Organizations across the industry are leveraging VR and AR technology to transform the manufacturing experience and drive efficiency. For example, manufacturing and logistics workers can use AR glasses in warehouse operations to access digital packing lists or make use of AR devices to detect item damages and maximize freight loading space.
Companies across the manufacturing sector will require unique digitalization efforts to address individual issues. But, no matter what digital solutions are introduced, teams stand to reap major advantages as a result. Some of the most prominent benefits of digital transformation include:
Before an organization can implement digital solutions or experience their benefits, they need a clear DX strategy in place. A comprehensive, established plan of action will be the foundation for taking on digital adoption effectively.
Follow these critical steps to successfully develop and execute your strategy for introducing new digital tools and resources:
Long-lasting success will require teams to go beyond the hype of emerging technologies and devise future-ready strategies to manage business transformation and capitalize on opportunities. This includes workforce solutions that can support your plans for digital adoption.
When it comes to solving workforce challenges and developing digital-first approaches, Bluecrew can help. Bluecrew’s powerful platform technology gives your organization access to our qualified, W-2 workforce-as-a-service, making it easier for your business to navigate change and stay at peak performance. Our all-in-one solution handles everything from recruiting and onboarding to time tracking, payroll, and compliance, so you can focus on your digital transformation.
Ready for a workforce-as-a-service solution that provides powerful control and supports your digital transformation strategy? Contact Bluecrew today to learn more and get started.
Bluecrew puts the power to see, hire, and manage pre-screened W-2 workers at your fingertips.Start hiring
We’ll match you with jobs that have top pay and great benefits. You pick work that fits your schedule.Start working