Digital Transformation In Manufacturing: How To Stay Ahead

Manufacturing, like just about every other sector of the modern economy, is enjoying the benefits of widespread digitisation. Businesses which fail to adapt to these new conditions risk losing a competitive edge.

Research unveiled by The Manufacturer back in January 2020 revealed that 87% of manufacturers believes that digital technology would be important for future prosperity. 91% cited the increased productivity that such technologies would offer. More recently, we find that the spread of Covid-19 has accelerated the successful digital transformation; according to the manufacturing global, 67% of manufacturers have accelerated their digital projects as a result of the virus. It’s likely that these transformations will be lasting ones.

Covering Risk

The digital, work-from-home age exposes manufacturers to different sorts of risk. Phishing attacks have spiked during the lockdown, and the digital services that everyone uses are vulnerable to watering-hole attacks. Consequently, business might look to more specialised technology insurance to manage these risks.

Why Is Digital Transformation A Big Deal?

As well as offering marginal (and often, revolutionary) improvements in productivity, the introduction of digital technology can help firms to anticipate future needs, and to quickly adapt to meet that new demand before it actually begins to manifest. For example, internet of things technology might report that the engine temperature in a sports car is consistently outside of what’s expected, prompting a redesign before the fault begins to cause breakdowns.

Remote Working

The UK is in the midst of a remote working revolution. The coronavirus has forced businesses, almost overnight, to shift their operations from the factory floor to the home office. While not every job in manufacturing can be done from home, a few can. Thus, by offering remote work, businesses have been able to reduce the number of people on their premises at any given time, and thereby reduce the risk of transmission. This would not have been possible just a decade or so ago, and the difference lies with digital technology.

Of course, there are other advantages to remote working, which will continue to be attractive to both employers and workers after the virus is no longer a threat. For one thing, remote working allows us to eliminate the daily commute; for another, it provides the work-life balance which skilled workers might be looking for in the future.

Cost Reductions

Of course, the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry holds the potential to reduce costs throughout the market. Digitalization of the industry reduces the reliance on human resources. Therefore, business owners can cut labour resources, or allocated employees to different areas of business. Being an incredibly cash sensitive industry, these changes can immediately help to alleviate resource restrictions or budget limitations. Of course, this helps improve money management across your small business. Certainly, the digital transformation of manufacturing has led to significant cost reductions.

Software As A Service

Indeed, software as a service has impacted the manufacturing industry. In bygone times, you might have paid a hefty upfront fee for a specialised software package, perhaps once every few years. The modern internet has made a different model possible. Software is included as part of a service, with a monthly subscription being paid, and the software itself being updated automatically and regularly. They allow for rapid change, and give management one less thing to think about.

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