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Emerging from the chrysalis of digital transformation

June 7, 2022   by Rohan Kapil

Digitalization has finally made its way to the forefront of business and sales planning in the manufacturing industry. Like butterflies, the business tech used by manufacturers around the globe have been undergoing a complete metamorphosis.

It has taken years for the “going digital” trend to inch out from the isolating corner of IT departments and flutter into business-wide applications, forever altering the landscape of competition in regard to quality and productivity goals. Eager as we all are for our processes to evolve rapidly and reach maximum potential, effective digital transformation doesn’t always come naturally.

When assessing what automated changes are needed, we first need to examine the trends and driving forces for digitizing. We then need to look at mistakes businesses should avoid when making these decisions and explore solutions for maximizing the value of new investments in technology. Decision-making errors are easy to make, but it’s even easier to achieve optimization when you are equipped with the facts. We can learn from the successes and failures of other manufacturers as more and more make the commitment to go digital.

Business leaders can all relate to the bombardment of fleeting trends and jargon that often crop up in the discourse on technology. Discovering examples of clear and genuine success is nevertheless doable, and more importantly, worth the effort. One such example is Kvadrat, the world’s leading manufacturer of design textiles. Outgrowing the use of Excel spreadsheets for important decision-making for over 25 companies, they implemented a powerful digital solution that automates their consolidating and forecasting. While this may sound clearcut, the road to getting there is often unclear for many organizations.

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According to a 2022 BCG survey, 72 per cent of more than 1,300 manufacturing executives have started  considering advanced analytics to be more important now compared to reports from three years ago. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that ​​organizations are predicted to invest about $6.8 trillion in digital transformation efforts by 2023. Despite this big push towards predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, only 17% of the executives surveyed by BCG admitted they had received satisfactory value from their data analytics processes. The gap between recognizing the importance of digital tools and effectively implementing them is staggering, but one that can be easily bridged with wisdom shared by those with experience. Businesses rightfully desire to make their operations more conducive to quality and innovation through powerful predictive software and informed strategizing. Embracing this trend can not only boost your competitiveness in the market but bolster your business’ impact in addressing society’s needs.

Stanford’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a well-respected economic researcher, asserts that the most common mistake businesses make on the road to digital optimization is assuming that simply investing in AI solutions will automatically correlate with higher productivity gains. The reason why benefits may not take shape at first is “the failure to invest in skills,” meaning that employees who are already in the workforce often ignore reskilling and upskilling when it comes to new tech. Here’s where the approach to selecting digital tools is crucial and where strategy for implementation can possibly overtake the importance of the technology itself depending on the nature of your workforce. When we are singularly focused on the end goal rather than envisioning employee experience throughout a transition, we can dig ourselves into a hole that comes with a significant cost to climb out of. Finding the most worker-friendly, easy-to-train digital processes is a critical, often forgotten feature that should be placed at the top of your priority list.

What does it take for your digital processes to spread their wings and fly? Consider business-wide integration and consolidation of operations to upscale ease and accuracy. Doing so will spare employees the effort of navigating multiple, sometimes asynchronous interfaces, each requiring separate training for proper use. At the same time, operating on a disjointed basis keeps departments at arm’s length from each other when they should be free to collaborate swiftly and effectively. A natural outcome of this strategy, of course, is that workers will be equipped to enact smooth transactions with accurate results. This catch-all approach is a surefire method for attaining the right conditions that reward workers with time and energy for more invigorating, creative pursuits.

Take an introspective look at where your company is in the journey to digitalization. What is required to attain a fully-fledged digital workspace that caters to your specific needs? Is it independence from costly external consulting? Are your controlling processes spread too thin? Are you able to forecast correctly when developing business strategies? Whatever your concerns may be, executing consolidation and integration successfully means recognizing all the moving parts. For this reason, seeking out unified solutions to process hang ups is considered to be a necessary variable in undergoing a complete digital transformation.

Businesses are learning they can no longer afford to ignore the trend of digitalization. To achieve our ambitions, we must adapt to the digital environment not only to survive, but to thrive. Those who are emerging triumphant from the cocoon of outdated models recognize that the future of business planning is the achievement of accuracy and agility while conserving the necessary energy to innovate. Without a doubt, natural selection will always favor efficiency. The digital landscape is ours to cultivate.

About the author

Rohan Kapil

Rohan Kapil is the Director of Customer Success for Jedox, Inc, a leading EPM software solution provider. He holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategy and Finance and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science. He has 14 years of experience in the Enterprise Performance Management space solving critical financial planning and budgeting problems and executing complex projects to enable ambitious growth. Skilled at translating granular financial and non-financial information into actionable intelligence, he helps companies of all sizes enhance executive decision making and mitigate potential risks to improve business performance. www.jedox.com/en

 

 

 

 


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