Manufacturer senior management may be forgiven for sometimes feeling they are in the eye of the Industry 4.0 storm they see tearing at the fabric of their own IT eco-environment. As a result, the current handy business phrases of sensible fiscal caution, such as “the weakened pound” and “uncertainty over Brexit” may find themselves all too easily shoe-horned into bi-annual budget planning meetings.
But what if the reluctance to invest in IT was more to do with a lack of “digital awareness by senior management?” There is now a huge and continually growing array of ICT technologies rapidly transforming every aspect of supply chain and customer delivery expectations. On the plus side, new surveys reported in the Annual Manufacturing Report 2017 show that nearly half (42 per cent) of manufacturers say that “ERP had been their most significant investment” in the previous twelve months and just under 1 in 8 (13 per cent) identified CRM as their biggest investment. Read more here in the latest Edgewater Fullscope Whitepaper “Guide To Managing Digital Risk”
Quarter of manufacturers admit they “did not have sufficient knowledge”
The figures paint a cosy picture of an industry appearing to be steadily stepping up to the new digitised plate of customer experience and servitisation. Unfortunately, this is often far from the reality. Small and mid-size manufacturers with fewer resources can be naturally reluctant to make any perceived, hasty changes and spending decisions are delayed “for the time being”. But there can be clear risks. Prudent though it may seem, by just sitting back and waiting can often mean falling behind as the customer landscape continuously remodels itself in realtime.
Strategies must now be rolled out in a much shorter timeline than ever before or manufacturers risk losing the competitive advantage. New wave, hyper agile digital disruptors have the ability to hit the marketplace with new dynamic processes of instant customer engagement. When asked to rank their “top 3 barriers to investment and implementation of ICT”, around a quarter of manufacturers admit they “did not have sufficient knowledge” with which to evaluate whether Industry 4.0 was right for their business. Three-quarters of manufacturers simply admitted an “inadequate understanding.” These topics and more are discussed in Fullscope's upcoming manufacturing webinar Managing Digital Risk In Manufacturing, Nov 23rd, registerHERE
Digital strategy starts with gaining a real insight into how different technologies can help
So while cost of IT has often been usefully flagged up as the No.1 barrier to investment, the reality can often be more problematic. The clues are likely to be found in existing business models and ICT software, typically, limited strategies of using ‘bolt on’ digital enhancements to legacy operating systems and customer communications. Forrester warns that those organisations who “fail to capitalise on the full potential of digital to create new sources of customer value, risk losing customers.”
Manufacturers of all sizes and operational scales need to overcome a mindset, which they readily admit can be preventing them from understanding how their product / service value proposition can be realigned within the new digital order. Development of a comprehensive digital strategy starts with gaining a real insight into how different technologies can help individual companies achieve their business goals.
Ironically, in new surveys, nearly all manufacturers say they rank CRM as the second highest of importance and more than two thirds (67 per cent) say they rank ERP as their highest priority.Find out how manufacturers can use new survival techniques in the latest Edgewater Fullscope Whitepaper “Guide To Managing Digital Risk”