Digitalization – The Pot of Gold
at the End of the Rainbow?
“For companies, digital supply networks and the digital networking of the entire life cycle of products and services offer considerable business potential. This ranges from productivity increases via innovations in products and services to new business models.”
The promises made in the area of digital transformation are keenly reminiscent of the Irish legends in which dwarves hide their hoards of gold in a pot at the end of the rainbow. To claim this treasure for your own all you have to do is follow the dwarf to the end of the rainbow …
Much has been and is still being written about the need for digital transformation and the success it can deliver. By contrast with these theories, however, for many companies this transformation is as distant and unattainable as the end of the rainbow. The digital vision and strategy exist to some extent in rudimentary form only and frequently the necessary capacities are lacking to realize them.
The basic prerequisite for a successful digital transformation is the readiness to embrace change and the courage to tear down existing structures. Cooperating with a partner who has the knowledge and the necessary project experience helps companies to successfully execute their digital transformation.
Product innovation – 4.0 Ready
The technologies for realizing innovative ideas are there but they must first be combined in the right way. “An interconnected system, open for the integration of new services, reproducible in the digital factory”, or “4.0 ready” are statements that promise a lot. However, the continual process of product innovation requires new and customized combinations on a repeated basis in addition to a holistic system approach that examines such diverse elements as the human factor, technology/IT, organization, strategy and processes and brings them together in an appropriate manner.
Data analysis is a powerful tool, “big data” an equally powerful word. When new products are developed the data are rarely “big” at the outset and must first be collected and evaluated. This process involves a lot of work but is critical for the success of the project. For this reason it makes sense to begin analysis at an early stage in order to capture the data efficiently and thus ensure their optimal quality. If a project involves image recognition, for instance, external factors that influence image quality and recognition rate must be taken into account at the data collection stage. The best learning algorithm is no substitute for good data and a targeted data capture. It requires knowledge of both engineering and data analysis. This specific know-how is not automatically available in sufficient amounts at every company.
Digital Factory and Digitalized Business Process
Digitalizing the supply chain is one of the success factors in digital transformation. These include:
- Holistic planning, control, and continuous improvement of all major factory processes and resources
- An integrated supply chain
- Digital support from marketing through to after sales service
New technologies and tools such as augmented reality, bots, MES software or machine learning are useful applications but they need to be employed properly and require experience and specialist capabilities.
The Agile Company
An agile company recognizes early on that markets are changing and thus reacts faster than its rivals. This means that the corporate culture and organization are adapted, while continual shifts in customer needs and technological trends are identified and integrated into a new value chain. By setting up a continuous improvement process after the initial transformation phase, companies can considerably shorten the time to market for new ideas and developments. The exchange of knowledge between know-how carriers works and the company’s resilience is bolstered for the long term.
With our combination of capabilities in engineering and consulting we can support our clients in all these challenging projects, thereby contributing significantly to the implementation of their digital transformation.
Valuable through Innovation