The digital transformation is reaching the upper levels of industry, and it’s causing a lot of shakeup. Industry had previously been somewhat insulated from the disruptive effects of Internet-based business plans, but now even industrial leaders are having to look towards bigger and wider things. Simply relying on old business contacts and inertia are becoming less effective, in a world where economic borders are vanishing.
The future of global business is data-based, collaborative, and centered around the creation of ecosystems – both physical and digital. The manufacturer cannot stand alone anymore; they need to create systems where full vertical slices of industry are welcome to work alongside them. Sales partners, trade schools, independent support contractors, and more – these will all be working in collaboration with the top-level manufacturers to bring better value and flexibility to everyone involved.
Preparing Your Operations For The Coming Digital Transformation
1. Prepare your data
Data is a cornerstone of the modern digital economy, functioning as both commodity and currency depending on the situation. It needs to be ready to be utilized as needed. This means cleaning up the data of as many bad records as possible, then centralizing it in databases and other systems which are capable of interfacing with most common software solutions on the market.
In particular, if your data is still spread out across multiple databases, running on multiple systems, centralizing everything should be a top priority.
2. When implementing projects, start small
Digital transformation is not an overnight activity. It should be conducted slowly, step by step. For any given goal, find a “scale model” where you can implement the idea on a small scale in a way which is not critical for operations. If the experiment fails, it needs to be isolated enough that it doesn’t affect core operations.
For example, if implementing a shared cloud system to share documents and knowledge across your ecosystem, don’t throw it open to everyone at once. Start with a couple trusted partners, then expand from there.
3. Execute from the top
Ultimately, the changeover will affect every area of your business – but it needs a firm guiding hand at the top, viewing all potential changes in terms of the overall impact on operations. It might be tempting to, for example, let your IT department or CIO try to handle it themselves, but it’s almost guaranteed they’ll lack the perspective to do the job effectively.
Technology investments and long-term strategy must go hand-in-hand.
4. Consider partnering with IT companies
There’s rarely going to be a reason to hire a lot of new talent when undergoing digital transformation. Instead, survey the market and look for a reliable IT firm to partner with. They’ll already have their own ecosystem of technology and software partners, allowing you almost instant access to a huge range of talent and tools to aid in your own transformation.
This can also serve as an excellent example of how digital ecosystems will be able to aid your own operations in the future!
FUSE is at the forefront of digital transformation
For years, we’ve been one of the leaders in creating systems which allow indirect sales ecosystems to grow, expand, and respond flexibly to market changes. Now, we’re expanding our scope with new initiatives intended to make digital transformation as easy as possible for anyone within a larger manufacturing ecosystem.