Digital technologies: The great growth enabler

Posted on 7 Nov 2018 by The Manufacturer

Why do some companies last and some die? Why do some grow and some struggle to survive? The answer lies in the constant quest for growth.

Almost by definition, the companies who The Manufacturer meets are those who are excited by the opportunities we provide to learn about new digital technologies and new methodologies, and to mix with like-minded manufacturers in the knowledge that sharing ideas is not a threat but an opportunity.

They are hungry for whatever it is that will enable them to move forward. They know they must constantly be scanning the horizon – not just in the UK but globally – to see where the next threat or opportunity lies, so they can pivot to stay one step ahead.

They formulate a vision of what they want and then use whatever new tools are made available to them to enable that vision to become reality.

By contrast, we hear of companies, mainly small ones, who regard ‘steady as she goes’ as the way to carry on. It worked in the past, but all the evidence suggests it will not work in the future.

We recently met with Smiths Group, the British instrumentation manufacturer that has products on spacecraft and most aircraft and cars. They invented the first speedometer for King George V and have an RF attenuator on the Mars Rover that helped keep it in touch with Earth for years longer than expected.

Smiths believes that the only way to stand still, let alone move forward is to innovate. Today 15% of their turnover comes from products they have innovated. By 2025, they intend that figure to be 40%. They believe this is what it will take to keep them a global player.

As their chairman, Sir George Buckley, is fond of saying, “All companies are dying.” What matters is how long that fateful day can be postponed. Smiths have been around since 1851, so they must be doing something right.

We have discovered this same attitude among the individuals who have been nominated for The Manufacturer Top 100 and companies who enter The Manufacturer MX Awards.

There is a restlessness, and an energy that brooks no complacency. They combine a thirst for perfection with a desire to develop the next new thing that will enable them to grow.

They also:

  • Invest in the digital technologies that will enable that growth
  • Develop an internal culture that binds teams to the common growth cause
  • Focus relentlessly on training and skills
  • Seek out and heed expert advice

What these companies also do is recognise that whatever external challenges manufacturing faces, everyone is broadly in the same boat. It is how they react that sets them apart.

Although technology isn’t the only solution to these challenges, those organisations embracing the cloud are adapting to them much quicker than their competitors.

Microsoft Azzure IT e-book - Made of More: The operations guide to discrete manufacturing growthIf you’d like to find out how you too can take advantage, then please download your copy of a new e-book – Made of More: The operations guide to discrete manufacturing growth – from Microsoft and Azzure IT.

The e-book explores each of the three challenges and offers some recommendations on what your business can do to overcome them.

Taking control of your Discrete Manufacturing operation?

Webinar - Microsoft Azzure IT - Take control of your Discrete Manufacturing operation?Have you ever wondered what you could achieve if you could gain greater control over your sales and purchasing process? Or how you can streamline your operations to reduce costs?

Find answers to these and more key manufacturing challenges in this upcoming webinar on 28 November at 2:00pm

In this FREE 60-minute webinar you’ll learn:

  • How to gain transparency on your production and streamline your operations to reduce costs
  • How to gain greater control over your sales and purchasing process
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So, if you’d rather work smarter than harder, then click here to register.