Confronting Digitization Challenges Today
Digital transformation is changing manufacturing operations and measurements of success. While many business leaders are deploying new technologies to bring their plants into the future, the process itself can involve unique challenges that pertain to data integration, standardization, culture and the measurement of key performance indicators (KPIs).
Integrating new technologies into already established systems can be a costly challenge. Most legacy operations already have material requirements planning (MRP) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in place. New solutions can run the risk of making the outdated processes redundant.
Meanwhile, employees who are used to old systems may have trouble accepting new technologies and revert back to cumbersome methods. Companies that have experienced growth through acquisition, in particular, have a higher risk of these data integration challenges—especially if they have multiple systems in place.
Next, the lack of standardization within a business can significantly impact efficiency metrics and the bottom line. Without standardization efforts, collected data is difficult to understand and cannot be utilized to drive actionable changes. While manufacturers can pilot digital solutions to see whether or not employees will use them, this approach can lead to a lack of engagement. Additionally, without guidelines to follow, a plant may experience high turnover rates.
In turn, this leads to a lack of a strong company culture, which can be a major obstacle to the return on investment (ROI). Plants, no matter the number of employees, can face the difficulties associated with not accepting automated data collection. Individuals may be more familiar with the manual collection of data and, therefore, file key information away and take a significant amount of time to find it again. When employees are comfortable with reading data that’s automatically collected alongside being comfortable about acting based on the data, then digital transformation efforts are more likely to work out.
As for the measurement aspect of enterprise-wide transformation, the act of transitioning to new KPIs can be difficult if employees are used to ineffective and outdated methods. While digitization efforts can increase the amount of data accumulated by a plant to make the metrics more meaningful, employees may not have a full understanding of the information due to it being more complicated. Sudden moves to new KPIs can lead to employees being at a loss of how to drive actionable changes.
How to Overcome Digitization Challenges
One of the most reliable ways to ensure that data is accurate and reliable is to embrace the use of new technology entirely. This would allow for full integration, taking care of unknown and underutilized systems. Making new technologies and systems as part of the day-to-day procedures is crucial, as it will also aid in the overall standardization of an enterprise.
When it comes to standardization, proper training is required among employees. This will aid in the transition of old methods to new and effective ones as well. Standardization across an entire plant helps with rapid deployment, allowing leaders to access key information across the manufacturing network. Leaders can begin with a simple capability that gets deployed more broadly. Once the new metric is in place, then more capabilities can be added on top.
Of course, culture is integral in terms of leveraging digitalization. Leaders should begin by measuring both the adoption and operational improvements of a plant. At the same time, they can also give early adopters some positive feedback, fostering an environment that champions action, excellence and accountability. Doing this can be as simple as reviewing the information from key meetings and including it in day-to-day procedures.
Moreover, to ease the transition into new KPIs, business leaders can incorporate the new KPIs into the daily procedures. By making this review of new KPIs mandatory to the everyday operations, business leaders can reinforce the measurements among employees while helping workers understand the information better. That being said, it’s also helpful to remove old KPIs in order to avoid any confusion.
Cost of Challenges
To mitigate the cost of challenges, it is crucial for business leaders to get ahead of the game before issues become real problems. There are multiple factors that can slow down digital transformation efforts. Examples include the lack of engineers, automation professionals, information technology (IT) staff members and other forms of skilled labor.
A lack of adoption due to a company culture that hinges on manual data collection can also increase the amount of time and money spent in the digitization process. Therefore, if a plant continues to increase capital investment without getting a true representation of tangible ROI, then it can lose the support of both the floor employees and business executives.
How Shoplogix Can Help With Digital Transformation
With the help of Shoplogix, manufacturers can overcome data integration, standardization, culture and measurement challenges. Shoplogix has several powerful solutions that can transform an entire plant, allowing for improved ROI, effective KPIs and increased revenue.
This is accomplished through the Shoplogix Smart Factory, Shoplogix Analytics Platform, Shoplogix Digital Whiteboard and Shoplogix Digital Andon solutions.
The Shoplogix Smart Factory, which consists of the Shoplogix Analytics Platform and the Shoplogix Digital Whiteboard, champions standardization and data visualization. Meanwhile, the Shoplogix Digital Andon feature engages employees across an entire plant thanks to advanced tracking capabilities, multiple escalation levels and scheduling capabilities.
Since 2002, Shoplogix has been putting the success of our customers at the heart of our business. Our cloud-based platform has been providing manufacturers with real-time data, user-friendly dashboards, innovative features and opportunities for continuous growth.
We have become a leader in the industry by consistently helping our customers reduce their operational costs while increasing their profitability. By deploying our revolutionary software in over 32 countries, we have standardized business processes for clients worldwide. Shoplogix has worked with local packaging and food companies to renowned businesses within the automotive industry.
On a daily basis, we complete more than 5 billion transactions.
To learn more about our solutions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.