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Manufacturing companies today have to overcome an array of challenges – external competition, changing regulatory frameworks, a shortage of skilled workers, cybersecurity issues and a smarter customer base that’s highly demanding (to name a few).

Manufacturing innovation is occurring rapidly but some companies are lagging behind due to the lack of resources or trained individuals to make the leap into the digital age.

The digital transformation in the manufacturing industry is already a fact. It’s driven by customers and the focus has shifted to a comprehensive client experience. Today, customers are looking for more bespoke, tailored and individualized solutions. Naturally, manufacturing businesses have started working on ways to anticipate these needs and demands, addressing new market dynamics as soon as they’re born.

While digital technologies today are more accessible and affordable than ever before, the manufacturing industry is still lagging behind in terms of adoption. Three primary reasons slow down adoption – economic, geo-political and consumption uncertainties. 

At the same time, other factors accelerate the process.

More complex and connected supply chains make effective and quick data processing imperative. A highly competitive landscape is also pushing for change, rewarding early adopters and those who become disruptive. Finally, a long-term and holistic manufacturing growth approach obviously focuses on digital transformations and the power of the intelligent enterprise.

Those who invest in new smart technologies reap massive benefits both in terms of in-house operations and customer-centric processes. Adoption of the intelligent enterprise ensures long term manufacturer stability and sustainable growth because staggering operational improvements are observed in more than one area.


The Importance of Intelligent Enterprise in the Realm of Manufacturing

A 2018 study of manufacturers is indicative of an overwhelming belief in the power of intelligent technologies to digitally transform the industry.

When asked about the importance of different intelligent technologies for the accomplishment of digital transformation, 98 percent of innovative manufacturers and 79 percent of other manufacturers say that big data and analytics are important. In addition, 94 percent of innovative and 70 percent of other manufacturers understand the power of the internet of things (IoT). Blockchain, machine learning, augmented reality and voice recognition are deemed the other key technological developments for the accomplishment of an overall digital transformation.

According to manufacturers, intelligent technologies have a massive impact on the company’s ability to grow revenue, increase customer satisfaction, enhance data analytics and reduce operational expenses. So why is adoption rate particularly weak for manufacturing enterprises? There are an array of key benefits for the manufacturing industry, but four fields in particular stand to reap the most from an intelligent transformation.


Governance and Security

An intelligent enterprise is one that prioritizes the integration of technologies into organizational processes for the purpose of guaranteeing and streamlining desired outcomes. Goals can be achieved in a number of ways: through the automation of repetitive tasks, enhanced communication, higher levels of transparency, and visibility across the business to name just a few.

Due to these transparent processes and effective reporting practices, governance becomes more effective and straightforward.

Enhanced monitoring and relevant reporting also ensure security of operations. When real-time reporting becomes possible, trust-based partnerships with customers, business partners, employees and even regulatory agencies become easier to form.

The intelligent enterprise also puts data security in the hands of the organization, allowing for the flexible introduction of the right safety measures. Access control to vital information is also easy to achieve, protecting trademarks, corporate secrets and other vital types of data that result in competitive advantage.


Business Agility

The adoption of the right digital technologies also increases business agility exponentially.

Access to the right types of insights and flexible business processes work together to deliver massive advantages in the world of manufacturing. Due to this level of flexibility, manufacturing companies become much more capable of responding to change rapidly.

Achieving business agility today in the manufacturing world depends on a combination of processes, the introduction of the right technology and the appropriate training of staff members. Through such moves, businesses become much more capable of reacting to and overcoming roadblocks.


Customer Engagement and Experience

We’ve already mentioned the fact that a digital transformation is customer driven, and it can result in higher levels of engagement, as well as a better client experience.

Through the adoption of the intelligent enterprise, manufacturers gain a deeper understanding of their customers. They gain the ability to run a responsive supply chain that ensures customer-centric manufacturing, effectively speeding up delivery through workflows and automation.

An intelligent enterprise manufacturer has managed to connect all the dots, figuring out what customers want and determining what’s the best way to deliver.


Innovation: An Essential Element of Staying in the Game

In the past, intelligence and digital innovation were viewed as elements providing competitive advantage, rather than essentials for surviving and thriving.

Today, the manufacturing landscape has changed.

The intelligent enterprise leverages a vast array of technologies – from blockchain integration to machine learning, artificial intelligence and the internet of things. Together, these technologies give manufacturers a comprehensive overview of their processes, their workforce and even their weaknesses.

The influx of new data and all the new ways to process it inevitably transforms a manufacturing business. Innovation has become a necessity to stay in the game, ensuring long-term survival and the adaptiveness required to respond to a rapidly changing market and a rapidly changing world. 

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