Manufacturing leaders today are moving their enterprises to the next level of digital business transformation in order to create new ways of operating and growing their business. The Fourth Industrial Revolution enables them to combine digital technologies with organizational, operational, and business model innovation to facilitate and accelerate profit and growth.


Connectivity and the Digital Transformation

In the age of communication, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as the key to increased competitiveness for manufacturers dealing with the inherent complexities of the equipment they produce and the processes needed to successfully bring them to market. It’s all about using digital technologies to virtually simulate the real world, which will help companies foresee and correct production issues before physical manufacture. Embedded systems render plants and equipment smarter, automatically communicating with one another to launch procedures, optimize production throughput and signal problems or the need for maintenance.

The Rules of the Game have Changed

Industrial equipment companies are adopting societal trends in order to change the way products are made. It is a demand-oriented economy in which the offer is tailored to consumers’ expectations. In a recent interview, Philippe Bartissol, Vice President, Industrial Equipment, Dassault Systèmes shares his predictions and key trends that are changing how the industrial equipment market is evolving to meet customer demands.

Meanwhile, as many manufacturers are globally implanted and deal with a vast ecosystem of design and production sites to help them design and manufacture their products, they need to efficiently communicate with this extended ecosystem to make the most out of the collective knowledge out there and to coordinate their operations. Everyone must have the same level of information to avoid errors that can lead to late deliveries and poor product quality.

Most organizations will find themselves wanting when it comes to managing and leveraging the disciplines required to optimize returns from the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Many will attempt to transform through a series of initiatives targeting specific digital competencies while losing sight of the interplay and synergies that are needed for true digital transformation. Organizations that can digitally transform their operations, or partner with suppliers that can help them to do this, will thrive; those that don’t may struggle to survive.

The pace of digital transformation will accelerate, particularly as IoT becomes more entrenched on the shop floor and in daily business and society. The proliferation of devices and the information that flows between them will require business leaders to increase their awareness of how their ecosystem is evolving on a continuous basis. As a result, strategic planning cycles will continue to shorten. Dashboards and other metric-oriented analytical tools will become the default feedback system in the production environment.

This leads to a new battlefield, requiring a different level of expertise, different processes and systems, and a new operating model, creating the need for outstanding front-end strategy supported by an outstanding back office. A successful digital transformation will lead to an end-to-end solution that facilitates accelerated revenue and profit growth going forward.  [November 2015, IDC Manufacturing Insights #IDCWP26X]

Globally-distributed industrial equipment manufacturers must continuously increase their awareness of how their operations are running on a daily basis. Communication and real-time information-sharing help organizations make better-informed decisions that can mean the difference between being a leader and being a follower.

IDC Manufacturing Insights outlines the benefits for companies that undergo a digital transformation by embracing the use of technology. By increasing awareness throughout their ecosystem, shortening time to market, and improving information flow and decision-making they can improve their sustainability and bottom line performance.

The IDC Manufacturing Insights white paper outlines the principles that companies must abide by to achieve their full business potential:

  • Connecting global stakeholders requires greater standardization
  • Adopting virtualization to provide real-time access to process and product information
  • Decentralizing intelligence by relying on the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communication to improve companies’ ability to make local decisions while maintaining centralized control and traceability
  • Analyzing machine and plant performance in real time to allow companies to react quickly to make process improvements
  • Adopting a service-oriented approach to manufacturing to increase agility when faced with late-stage customer requirement changes
  • Leveraging the power of modularity to build new products using standard components to accelerate new product introduction
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