Why is industrial digitisation so important in the manufacturing industry?
Industry 4.0. Industrial digitisation. Digital transformation. Today, as a business leader or manager, you are beaten to death with these kinds of terms. They are important, but at the same time they have been used so often and for so long that they have lost all meaning. However, digitisation is crucial for the industry. Why? We try to make that clear in this blog post via a few clear points. In later blog posts we will discuss the how and what of the digitisation story.
A survey by Agoria among Belgian industrial SMEs shows that 80% of our SMEs believe that digitisation brings opportunities. They see the opportunity, but at the same time remain skeptical: less than half are convinced that investing in digitisation will also have an effective impact. The sense of urgency is lacking.
It is precisely this reticence that can play a role in the long run. (Foreign) competitors will take the lead, and our companies will miss out on great opportunities as a result. At the same time, we are unjustly keeping the paradox of digital transformation alive. So that the mindset that is required for this continues to diminish.
Why start with industrial digitisation now?
There are a number of good reasons to start industrial digitisation today. We list the most important ones for you.
Increase your efficiency
The more insight you have into your production process, the more efficiently you can organise it. Just ask yourself: do you have a clear idea where the bottlenecks are in your process? Which machines are the most efficient? How long do they work and stand still? What is the impact of a breakdown? If you can't answer those questions right away, digitisation is an important tool. By collecting data from your machines and displaying it in real time, you gain more insight into the entire production process. This way you can tackle bottlenecks or problems faster. This translates into greater efficiency and less waste.
Because different machines or parts of the production process become more efficient, your costs decrease, you will produce more and your profit margins increase. The increase in efficiency therefore leads to more profit.
More meaningful work
Companies must dare to question their model and rethink business processes. For example, (too) many people now lose (too) much time on tasks that are not meaningful. Tasks that can be perfectly automated and often even better performed with some technology. This gives employees more time for more meaningful work with more added value, such as product and process optimisation, for example. It is therefore not an argument that automation is at the expense of (little meaningful) jobs. Rather, time is set aside to do meaningful and exciting work.
Digitisation and globalization mean that your location no longer determines where your activities will be developed. The focus is increasingly on what added value you can still offer. And to be able to continue to compete with (foreign) competitors in that area, you need targeted innovation. Analysis of the collected data allows you to make the right decisions and to look better and further ahead. The insight you gain helps to innovate in a more targeted manner and to take a lead on competitors.
Time for a digital ecosystem
What we need is a transformation to a totally new way of doing business. One in which technology is necessary, but where the people, customers and suppliers are heard and are central: the customer experience is important. Technology is key here. It connects a company with its customers, suppliers and partners.
But we have not yet made that switch in our country, or not enough. For fear of the unknown? Out of skepticism? Out of ignorance? The figures are certainly alarming: After all, the above-mentioned study by Agoria shows that barely 10% of Flemish industrial companies score well in the field of digitisation, and can proudly call themselves 'digitally mature'.
So it's time to take action and let the benefits of digitisation prevail over the concerns. Always with one important thing in mind: digitisation should not be an end in itself, but a means underpinned by a vision and strategy. Because what matters is to create added value.
You decide where that starts. In practice, you see that digitising your own processes is often the first achievement. But there are also opportunities beyond that.
We have developed our own technology and our own approach, tailored to small and medium-sized production companies. With limited interventions and step by step, we make digitisation available to every company in an affordable and feasible way. Always with the most important goal in mind: to ensure that what we do also offers effective added value and makes the production process more transparent and optimised. "Start small, scale fast" is the motto. But we'll tell you more about that in a next blog post.
Do a free digital maturity scan
Together with Thomas More, we have developed a free digital maturity scan, specifically for small and medium-sized production companies. With this scan you can easily check how far your company is in the automation and digitisation of your production process. The scan is in Dutch and will take approximately 30 minutes of your time to complete. Afterwards you will receive a personalized report with the results and main points of attention. Curious?
More, more , more…
Would you like even more information about industrial digitisation? Be sure to check out the following pages on our website:
Would you like an informal conversation? We would be happy to look at your concrete business case together. Face-to-face or virtually. Without it having to become a sales conversation right a way.
Just let us know if you're interested..