How to strategise your digital transformation at scale

Posted on 10 Aug 2022 by The Manufacturer
Partner Content

Defining the right strategy for your Industry 4.0 journey will provide you with the necessary vision and steps to be taken to achieve it for the plant and the whole enterprise.

Across the manufacturing industries, things are moving at lightning speed. Now more than ever, enterprises must keep pace with an ever-expanding portfolio of strategic choices. Manufacturers face multiple and complex challenges that need to be tackled to achieve a successful digital transformation. There is tremendous pressure in the plants for continuous margin improvement and customer-centricity.

Even top-tier manufacturers have a hard time catching up with new technologies. The strategy consulting process is slow, expensive, repetitive, and resource intense. The manufacturing industry is siloed with limited knowledge sharing. The vendors’ ecosystem of Industry 4.0 is highly fragmented, and solutions are hard to find.

The five steps for an Industry 4.0 Roadmap

The first step to building a bottom-up and data-driven digital transformation strategy is to undertake a digital maturity assessment and perform a loss analysis. Those two will help you identify the specific value creation opportunities and find out where your plant stands versus the enterprise and the industry. The combination of the results from both the maturity assessment and the loss analysis will cater to the individual needs of specific plants and the enterprise.

The second step is the definition of the optimal organisational interventions, as well as technological ones (software, hardware, and automation solutions) that will directly drive value by recovering the plant’s losses and define the sequence of steps that will successfully drive the plant’s digital transformation.

DEFINE - Digital Transformation article

Moving to the third step manufacturers should focus on obtaining a complete business case on the Industry 4.0 potential for the plant’s operations. This detailed cost-benefit analysis of the roadmap steps ensures the accuracy of the plan.

The fourth step focuses on detailing the roadmap and fleshing out the business case associated with identified use cases in the previous steps.

The final step is the size of the prize that will provide the key figures of the overall Industry 4.0 Roadmap.

Scaling up

Once the plant-level strategy has been defined, manufacturers can proceed to create an enterprise strategy, to enable the platformisation and integration of applicable technologies with a seamless data architecture that will amplify value generation. This is achieved by extrapolating from a scientifically selected plant sample representing a minimum of 30% of the manufacturing cost of each different cost structure product category. The SmarterChains Industry 4.0 framework enables manufacturers to design the digital transformation strategy of the enterprise network at scale, based on bottom-up insights and findings while engaging all the manufacturing stakeholders.

Once the enterprise-level strategy is in place, manufacturers need to consider the best enterprise-wide plant expansion strategy by planning various scenarios driven by financial performance as well as technology applicability to rapidly enable scalable value. Scenarios are developed following the core elements of value creation of digital manufacturing which are Opportunity, Investment, and Pay-Out.

To enable successful digital transformation strategies manufacturers need a standard and platformised, easy-to-use framework, that creates a common language across the organization’s functions and decision makers and enables pursuing and scaling value. By committing to this transformational mindset and approach, manufacturers can share learnings, progress faster, create value and jobs, and enable new levels of sustainable prosperity.

Find below some useful tools to start your digital transformation journey: