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Is Your Company Ready to Make a Digital Transformation?

Companies implement technology for one of two reasons:

1. It’s part of the long-term growth plan

2. There’s been a shift in the market

Neither are bad reasons, but it’s better when you’re planning instead of reacting. Adopting new technology for business can be complex. If you push ahead too quickly, you may find yourself with a $100K software package that no one in your company really knows how to use. Before diving into technology upgrades, consider the digital capabilities of your capital: machines, materials and humans.

Tech company Insight notes in their “Become a Factory of the Future” guide that, “Industry 4.0 envisions a connected factory where all devices and elements are able to communicate, facilitating enhanced visibility into every process, from planning to shipment.” Such a digital transformation can be even more difficult for small or medium sized companies who do not have “teams” available for research, assessments, implementation, etc. Much of this will fall on the shoulders of the company owner or other senior manager. To make some of the heavy lifting a little lighter, consider the following:

Have an Open Ecosystem. Front-line production staff are critical to successful organizations. However, when they are working with outdated materials or don’t feel they have a voice for concerns, it can make them less engaged and even less productive. Open yourself to collaboration and rally your workers to provide input on what THEY need instead of what you THINK they need.

Evaluate and Observe. When you are meeting with your workers, assess the current processes and system to find the slowdowns. Are they stopping to find a paper manual when a machine breaks down? Are they writing down notes on paper? Watch what happens for an afternoon shift, then watch again. Look for those signs when things slowdown. Automating routine tasks can increase efficiency and reduce operational complexities.

Don’t Limit Your Options. Finding the right solution for your company can be difficult. Assemble a go-list of what you need and what you want. Take the time to meet with various providers. Gather some insights from your own customers and/or vendors regarding what works for them. It may seem time-consuming but it’s better than winding up with that $100K software no one can use.

Encourage Continuous Improvement Strategies. Your boots on the floor employees are going to know whether the technology is working or not. Give them a process to provide feedback and welcome new ideas when presented. Those improvements should include providing your workers with skills to make them more adaptable to the new technology.

Don’t fall behind in getting your company up to speed on IIoT and Industry 4.0. Contact SEWN’s Work-Tech© Program for a no-cost consultation to help build your company’s technology roadmap. Using an employee-driven collaboration strategy, we work with you to advance digital literacy in your company. Creating a company of the future means giving your workers the tech-skilling to succeed for you.


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