The entire world hasn’t seen more disruption cumulatively in the last decade than it did in the last 15 months.
The growing trends of manufacturing
The five core themes that have emerged and will continue to see higher adoption this fiscal and years to come are – remote working and e-collaboration leading to higher adoption of cloud offering, the exponential use of e-commerce (both B2B and B2C), automation of processes using analytics, AI/ML, IoT & robotics, innovative security solutions and countermeasures to properly address & mitigate severe cybersecurity threats and ensure due compliances and Product-as-a-Service, wherein the supplier provisions maintenance, repair & alerts services for the supplied equipment/asset, at agreed SLAs.
Adaptability & resiliency for future digitalisation
To embed digital in the identified processes of an organisation, it is important to carve out a multi-disciplinary team of passionate members, jointly analyse the current state of end-to-end operations across the value stream – with a fresh pair of lenses. Management of change looks great in theory and is the most vital aspect in delivering transformation projects. Over the years, peers and senior leaders build a greater bias towards their gut, intuit against data-driven insights and cross-functional coordination.
Manual, excel-based workflows, processes with high and routine dependence on people is a good candidate to start delivering value with higher ROI. With the volatile macro business environment, there is great value in identifying levers to shorten the overall supply chain cycle time to be more adaptable & resilient to serve customer demand.
Approach to digitalisation
Like stated earlier as well, it’s all about people first. It’s important to improve the team’s (leaders, managers and other personnel) knowledge of technology and its potential implications. Look for active, ongoing collaboration with academics/government institutions on building skills needed for the future. One should look at how to progressively build trust and employee engagement through open, transparent communication on how the new-age skills and knowledge will give the associated team and the enterprise an edge over others and help individuals regain confidence about their prospects. With digital natives, the millennials, coming into the workforce in significant numbers, legacy system and processes will need to be progressively revamped & digitalised to create an attractive work environment for them to join and be retained.
Data management & data governance
Deploying new systems, applying and building interconnectivity across disparate but contextual systems can add value and improve performance when effective data management & analytics are applied. Companies on their path of DX have to factor that any analytics, any AI or ML used to create actionable insights, is based on the quality and availability of the underlying data sets. If this data set is incomplete or inaccurate, it will lead to incorrect predictions and misleading reports.
Siloed systems and siloed data sets (both from inside and outside the organisation) need to be connected with the business context to eliminate any blind spots and achieve a firm grasp on aspects that matter for prompt decision support.
Tips for getting started
Getting started on digitalisation will require hard, concrete work of enthused, empowered, capable confluence of cross-functional teams. It’s not an isolated IT project. It is not the time to be sitting on the fence, to stay competitive, companies need to proactively adopt new tech to solve current business problems, achieve higher work efficiencies and create new business models. Considering one’s business partners, the competitive landscape is changing, changing fast given the pandemic, so one needs to change. Companies that are not willing to transform may end up facing an existential crisis.