Digital transformation, aka digitization, is one term that has been both, a topic of discussion and a focal of debates, in the last decade. Thanks to industrialization 4.0, every sector has been the victim of the technology gap and the manufacturing sector is no exception.
Gone are the days when the industry dealt with 2D drawings, paper schematics, punch cards, and spec sheets. Today, the sector demands digital processes. Starting with 3D models to digital twins and all-round connectivity, the manufacturing industry is all set to go paperless.
But how? How is digital transformation influencing the end to end operations in the manufacturing sector? Before that, let’s spare time to see what actually the word digitization mean?
In simple terms, digital transformation refers to the digitization of processes and activities that are part of the day to day business process. Put simply, it is about augmenting technology to take over mundane tasks with the sole aim of increasing productivity and enhancing efficiency.
Consider the following:
- Mails to emails
- Excels to CRM software
- Faxes to online reports
And, the list is exhaustive. What ideally means is that the industry is about to undergo a revolution, one that would alter the way the business operates.
Having said that, the major question that arises here is how this transformation would impact the manufacturing sector. This is what we are about to highlight.
5 Ways Digital Transformation Disrupts the Manufacturing Industry
Accelerate the speed of operations
One of the important and factually evident impacts of digitization is the increased speed of operation. It is no doubt that the basic norm of production has changed, in a manner that is consumer-driven. Consumer preferences tend to change constantly and it is important for organizations to adhere to the changes in order to map the requirements and remain at the forefront.
Manifesting digital tools and technologies allow manufacturers to speed up the process of production giving a boost to the entire phase. Not only do they map their deadlines but they also experience better returns.
Considering the existing face, switching between the design phase and the floor is tedious and is one of the reasons that cause delayed delivery. Further, the fact that the above tasks are done manually, they are prone to errors.
With the onset of digital transformation, all of the above would be automated eliminating the possibility of errors while meticulously improving the rate of production.
Unites All Processes
Imagine that an organization has five different offices at five different locations. Collaboration here is a task difficult to execute. Also, sharing information to and fro each of these branches is prone to errors and mistakes. In fact, organizations grapple to maintain a balance between operations across all locations.
On the brighter side, the evolution of digital tools helps deal with the situation better. For one, data storage and sharing no longer remain a concern, thanks to the prevalence of cloud-based databases. Even though organizations have made the switch, turning to emails and scanned documents, cloud applications allow professionals from across all departments to access and store data in a single repository.
Foster Follow the sun manufacturing idea
Earlier organizations and manufacturing enterprises planned to adopt something that we call to follow the sun. What happens here is that when organizations have multiple offices, both offshore and near seas, they share their work. This implies that as one of the offices is about to close, the branch that has the time zone above would take over the job to resume it. In a way, there would not be downtime and the enterprise can function at all hours of the day.
Though an exclusive idea, it suffered from multiple drawbacks. For one, data sharing was tough and at times, delayed. And the second reason being, people were not given access to data at all points of the day. Surprisingly, digital transformation seems to support the ideology of following the sun. It fosters data sharing followed by ubiquitous access to the same, allowing professionals to work without any obstruction.
Most of the backend processes executed in the manufacturing industry are repetitive and mundane. True that these are important given the need to keep track of the inventory, they are time-consuming and energy-draining.
But not after the onset of digitization. Today, manufacturing industries can effectively implement and adopt bots and automated software to take over the boring physical task. This relives the employees who can then focus on other important things. Not to mention that automating everyday tasks eliminates the possibility of errors while enhancing efficiency and improving the productivity of the organization.
Another impact and probably excellent one is the creation of a safer work environment. Working with machines expose employees to extremely high temperatures and conditions fatal for their health. Earlier, masks and locally prepared safety equipment were the only resort.
The inception of digital tools allows managers to replace manual workforce with autonomous robots. Also, sensors are embedded across the entire manufacturing units to detect threats. This saves the manual workforce preventing them to work under hazardous conditions.
No doubt worker safety is one of the important considerations. Every year thousands of workers die working in such extreme environments. It is believed that employing bots to perform such tasks would improve accuracy and also enable managers to deal better with risk.
The Final Word
It is pretty obvious that the onset of digital transformation would enforce newer means of business operations. And this would only benefit the enterprise. In case, you have been wondering whether to hail on the journey of transformation, now is the time to make the call. Time travel five years from now, the industry would have newer concepts and if you stick to the old norms, the only thing you would attain is business failure.
So, all set to digitize your workforce?
One thing that every enterprise needs to take care of is risk management. Shifting their entire ecosystem to digital platforms, you expose your organization’s data to risk. Also, adopting a cloud-based platform to store data turns your business vulnerable to hacks and attacks. Not that, you should give up on the idea of transforming your business, but that you should do it carefully and meticulously.
And how do you do that?
Integrated Risk Management is one way to keep track of all the activities that take place within the organization and you need an expert to take care of it. Always choose a reliable partner that offers Integrated Risk Management services for effective business operations.
Claptek is a reliable support partner that helps organizations and enterprises manage risks and monitor threats. Equipped with some of the best engineers and domain experts, the organization also has the provision of automated software that owns the responsibility to regularly track the infrastructure against the presence of thefts and cyber attacks.
Reach out to us for better assistance.