The value challenge
Change is rarely easy. When it comes to complex manufacturing operations that have generated revenue for many years, making sweeping changes is even more difficult.
Even where specific opportunities have been identified and validated, such as introducing greater data analytics capabilities to quantify production performance, unanticipated challenges can emerge. Common issues include compatibility between systems, commitments with legacy equipment suppliers and requirements to upskill machine operators.
Yet, pushing through these challenges is where the real value is found. It may require bold decisions, awkward conversations and educated bets on what your organisation will need tomorrow, but by tackling these challenges head on you can make significant steps towards becoming a digital manufacturer.
Based on our experience of working with the industry, here are some key pieces of advice we’ve gleaned to help organisations face these challenges.
1. Blend technical measures with business objectives
Industry 4.0 offers a remarkable depth of detail into the performance of almost every aspect of the manufacturing process, including areas such as equipment performance, effectiveness, downtime, maintenance and repair. While it’s tempting to place firm focus on these layers of detail, don’t lose focus of softer, non-technical measures of success.
Businesses need a story by which they can get a broad stakeholder base on board with the (often uncomfortable) change process. By tracking metrics around the speed of order fulfilment, customer satisfaction with order process and broader energy use/environmental targets, and building them into your case for change, you can help to demonstrate the real impact of the transformation.