Rapidly growing digitalization has already been behind the changing face of different aspects of life and is now encroaching the boundaries of process manufacturing business models to revolutionize it in every possible way. The digital shift has played a vital role in bringing in the most awaited Industrial Revolution 4.0. The technological trends like the regenerative design and intelligent models are responsible to bring any type of product ideas into reality. Product innovation and changing customer’s expectations are the driving force towards the desperation to adopt digital technology for the manufacturing. The applications of cloud solutions enhance flexibility and scalability of operations has helped manufacturers to develop new service business models.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions provide yet another opportunity to optimize the use of digital innovation in process manufacturing units. It allows manufacturing companies to boost productivity, reduce costs, and shorten the product lifecycle time simultaneously. While business owners focus on reducing downtimes, shorten innovation cycles and boost the bottom line, process manufacturing ERPs are preparing for the digital future and prove to be a useful tool against surviving the wave of digital disruption.
Needs calling for Digitalization
The dynamic nature of business operations is opening doors to vast opportunities for digital innovation to flourish and have offered new ways to satisfy customer requirements more efficiently. Let’s explore the reasons that are driving all of us towards digitization.
- The much-needed flexibility– The sharp boost in highly customised products requires flexible and effective manufacturing that can easily adjust as per the specifications put forward by the customer. This tractability is needed not only for the field of operational processes, but also providing the flexibility in product design, manufacturing methods, and mode of project execution.
- Shortened time from product idealization to market– Manufacturers are in a huge rush to bring their products to market faster and cheaper so that they can succeed the cut-throat competition. But it’s only possible with the help of new age technology that has mastered the latest production methods to overcome the increasing complexity of product development.
- Striving for better quality– Quality is the key for sustained clientele because a satisfied customer returns to your doorstep. Digitalization powered by exceptional quality control tools makes it possible to manufacture superior quality goods.
- Enhanced Security– Company’s intellectual property is their biggest asset. Multi-level security measures and advanced security tools are the need of the hour to counter cyber-attacks and data breaching instances and protect the valuable data. Cloud-based security models are powered by data encryption and digital signatures that provide foolproof protection against data threat, both now and also in the future.
- The demand for data-based business models– Products and production facilities are bound to generate the bulk of data and forms the lifeblood of any running business. Recording, evaluating, and analysing this data isn’t easy, but extremely necessary for survival in this competitive era. The need to develop new, data-driven business models is thus generated and fulfilled by digital data storage and maintenance at data centres.
Opportunities for Digital Innovation in Manufacturing
Right from product design to production planning, production engineering, production execution, and services, there is not even a single aspect of manufacturing which has remained untouched by the wisdom of digital innovation. Digitizing your various operations can lend you a plethora of business benefits in the long run. It allows manufacturers to integrate and digitize their entire value chain – right from suppliers to vendors and distributors. Digitization has enormous scope in the manufacturing arena, some of them are discussed below:
- Digital Factory Shop Floor– Digitizing the shop floor tools enable manufacturers to have a tight integration of resources over their physical as well as virtual shop-floors and various planning departments to optimize the material flows. Virtual Commissioning is a modern day tool to analyse and validate a product design, even before the product is actually manufactured. Just with the help of suitable software design, the manufacturers can know, whether the entire system, with its mechanical, electrical, and automation components, is working together as planned or not. The digitized shop floor drastically reduces the risks associated with unexpected product behaviour such as delays and increased costs in redesigning and reproducing from the scratch. It also enables manufacturers to digitize every landscape of production, but also minimize their inventory costs by optimizing and harmonizing their manufacturing processes.
- Digital Product Design– Today there is a lot of emphasis on responding to dynamic market scenarios, hence digital tools are adopted to speed up stages of ideation, product development and testing to shorten time to market and reduce costs at the same time. The concept of Digital Twin is employed in the case where every product is unique and is designed keeping in mind the minutest customization requirements. The new product is quite similar to the basic core design but has some performance changes as per the customer’s need. The original product is first created virtually over the system as per the defined design and further tested for feasibility, simulation and validation of its performance. It needs the combination of advanced mechanics, multi-physics, electronics and software management to prior try and test a product before it’s released.
- Digital Supply Chain Management– Making a shift towards a completely digital supply chain provided manufacturers with the ability to integrate vendors, external suppliers and even outsource entire functions of the value chain dynamically. Digital analytics help manufacturers to reduce working capital costs to a great extent. Thereby, eliminating interdepartmental dependencies and allowing them to operate and access data independently. Even managing Omni-channel of sales has become a child’s play for every manufacturer and every retailer. Digitally managing global supply networks to enable capacity optimization and load balancing across the entire supply chain. The digital touch of advanced analytics over logistics movements have facilitated new possibilities for manufacturers to connect and address global customers and offer localized products and services at even much-reduced cost.
- Digital Marketing– Due to uninterrupted connectivity and digital market analysis tools, online marketing, social media promotion and e-commerce integration has transformed the business across the globe. Digital channels such as email marketing, web promotions, and online advertisements play a major role in creating a positive customer experience. Intelligent marketing insights help manufacturing companies in building long-term profitable customer relationships, thereby aid in building a clientele beyond boundaries.
- Digital Sales & Services– When the production facilities of manufacturing units can be analysed digitally in real time, the manufacturers can easily provide feedback insights into the entire value chain for continuous sales optimization and improvements in post-sale services. Product benefits and promotional plans can be easily shared with customers via sophisticated social media platforms acting as sales podiums. Digitally integrated sales & services aid manufacturers in leveraging cross-selling opportunities and focus on customer solutions. Managing silos of customer data digitally over your smartphone or tablet have become a cakewalk for the sales team. Moreover, complex product demonstrations can be given by advanced mobile devices by your field sales force.
Roadmap for Digital Feasibility
Now is just the right time for companies in the manufacturing industry to identify and exploit the potential in digitalization for sustained growth and development. With the Digital Enterprise Resource Planning software, all the technical prerequisites are taken care of. Effective use of digital tools might help organizations in realizing a high product value at lower costs of ownership through an integrated channel of product design and predictive maintenance. This wave of digital innovation is capable of providing companies of all sizes and from all industry verticals, the power to innovate dynamically and effectively.
Cloud-Based ERPs are the elementary enabler of digital transformation in the process manufacturing arena. The cloud offers the scalability and speed that is needed for businesses to focus on digitized automation. In fact, cloud ERPs are one of the most convenient and affordable modes to attain business excellence by simplifying the complexities of manufacturing and also having a bird’s eye view on your shop floor, production unit, marketing and sales subdivision and even your entire value chain. Cloud ERP helps in leveraging the opportunities of digital innovation to attain the right degree of localization in products and specialization in services.
BatchMaster Software is a leading name in the ERP arena of process manufacturers for making their business simpler. The dedicated team of expert professionals gives shape to our product design based on the current business needs and industry practices that help you attain the next level of digital innovation. Contact us for a free demo at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist you.