Managing Digital Risk - for many manufacturers, the big stumbling block is the new technologies
“Just one in three companies say that Brexit has had no impact on their plans”, according to the manufacturers’ organisation, EEF, and Santander Annual Investment Monitor, published at the end of October 2017. The report also revealed that a similar number were only investing to “satisfy current plans” while waiting for clarity, and nearly one in eight (13 per cent) of companies were found to be “holding off investment altogether.”
The results appear to reinforce the fears of an “investment slowdown in the manufacturing sector”, as highlighted early in February by the EEF’s annual survey of manufacturing executives’ views, which showed that “nearly half of companies see more risks than opportunities” in the year ahead. Our latest Edgewater Fullscope Whitepaper has also identified “fear and uncertainty as commonplace” and a “need to embrace change” for those manufacturers wary about making long-term plans for growth. Download here
Brexit uncertainty is not the only cause for deepening concern among an increasing number of manufacturers. Political and economical changes ahead may indeed be driving the ‘wait-and-see’ approach, and the avoidance of unnecessary ‘perceived’ risk. However, for many manufacturers, the big stumbling block is the new technologies.
Questions about the capacity for longer term survival
Rapidly evolving IT is completely transforming CRM capability for fully integrated communications and interoperability. New and dynamic ways for manufacturers to drive efficiency and deliver value right across their entire business operation are being created, and new models of collaboration developed between customers. Manufacturing firms are also now able to collect, analyse and leverage data in meaningful ways across product development, sales and operations, and multiple devices.
Increasingly referred to as Industry 4.0, today’s manufacturing executives face a landscape that is changing around them, which ultimately asks questions about the capacity for longer term survival let alone consider predicting future profitability margins.
It is not unexpected that in times of uncertainty, there will be a tendency for some manufacturers to just “carry on doing what they’re doing” and fail to see the priorities they now need to take. Today’s new wave of IT-savvy start ups deliberately operate as “disruptors’ and are fast outmanoeuvring traditional customer-oriented sectors. Either manufacturers adopt new digital business models, train or employ staff with the skills needed to take advantage of the new technologies or they will be simply left behind.
Manufacturers must focus on developing their technology platforms and new operating models capable of integrating products and services with their customers’ changing engagement and service demands. For some manufacturers using legacy systems, it’s clearly a daunting prospect. “Managing Digital Risk” – the title of the latest Edgewater Fullscope whitepaper - provides relevant research analysis, invaluable insight, and signposts strategic solutions for forward thinking manufacturer decision makers not risk-averse to embracing the new CRM and ERP technologies. Download here