Author: Jim Brown, Tech-Clarity

My name is Jim Brown and I founded the independent research firm Tech-Clarity in 2002 to make the business value of technology clear. Since then, I have been heavily involved in researching the business impact of software to improve performance in manufacturing. I’m excited to join FactoryEye in a series of events to help manufacturers understand their opportunity to “bounce forward” as they recover from recent market disruptions. My company and FactoryEye are aligned in the goal of educating manufacturers on how they can improve business performance through digital transformation and smart manufacturing and we look forward to sharing our insights as a team.

Industry Disruption is the New Normal

Today’s global manufacturing industry is more susceptible to global disruptions than ever. In the past decade, we’ve had to recover from earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, political uncertainty, and a global pandemic. These events have led to demand volatility, supply chain disruptions, and workforce impacts. Consequently, our research finds that about three-quarters of companies have experienced an increase in business risk and disruption over the prior five years. 

Responding to Adversity by Bouncing Forward

The manufacturing industry, however, did not give up. Instead, our research shows that 86% of companies increased their focus and attention on digital transformation as a response to disruption. In a similar way, 49% of companies accelerated technology adoption. In short, we’ve seen many manufacturers “bounce forward” from recent disruptions, coming out of the turmoil in a better position to succeed long term. For example, about one-half of companies increased corporate agility and collaboration capabilities. Unfortunately, we also saw companies in the heart of the COVID disruption reduce focus on environmental and social responsibility. This appears to be recovering, and will be a key part of long-term business success in manufacturing. 

Top Performers Get More Value by Acting on Digital Data

One of the keys to success is digitalizing data and processes. Our research shows that Top Performing companies are 50% more likely to have fully digital design data than poorer performing companies. They are also over three times as likely to have fully digital design and development processes. These digital advantages don’t end in design, they continue into manufacturing. In fact, Top Performers are three times as likely to integrate IT and OT data and systems. They can also put this data into action, for example Top Performers are more than three times as likely to be able to provide access to manufacturing data in time to impact performance. That’s a big deal! 

Time to Adopt Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing

Smart manufacturing as a part of digital transformation is the key to survival in the face of disruption. It increases agility and allows manufacturers of all sizes to increase equipment efficiency (OEE) and resulting business profitability. It’s time for manufacturers to improve the way the collect and act on data. Technology adoption is the key. Our studies show that companies now recognize that advanced technologies like the cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and online platforms are important to the long-term success and profitability of their companies. Larger manufacturers have been embracing Industry 4.0 ideals and technologies for some time; now is time for mid-sized manufacturers to adopt these techniques. 

Interested in More?

Tech-Clarity is an independent research firm dedicated to making the business value of technology clear by analyzing how companies improve product innovation and manufacturing performance through digital transformation. Our mission is to educate manufacturers how to improve business results with smart technology. We look forward to sharing our insights and learning from other presenters and attendees. I hope you can join us.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn how to navigate your smart factory initiatives at our exclusive event on April 28th 12:00pm-4:30pm at the Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, OH.

The jam-packed agenda includes industry expert panel, a networking Lunch, a deep dive roundtable session, and a happy hour (where the real secrets are revealed)!

This is your opportunity to learn how industry leaders took advantage of the emerging technology and lowered costs while simplifying operations. Register now to network with industry peers and experts. Limited seating at this intimate event!

Click here to register – seats are limited!