A decade ago, the phrases “digital twin” and “virtual reality” might have seemed more like hype than reality. Today, as Chief Executive recently reported, manufacturers are leveraging digitalization to get to market faster and reduce engineering costs.
Now, as digital tools and data become the new currency, companies without a long-term digitalization strategy are worried about being left behind. This was the clear message conveyed by a new study conducted by Longitude Research on behalf of Siemens.
The study quantified what I see every day during interactions with customers around the United States. We serve customers in a wide variety of industries and there is a clear appetite for digital.
As The Wall Street Journal reported recently, this has an impact on productivity overall and on companies’ ability to move quickly on digitalization.
Another barrier is related to skills. As Longitude’s research clearly shows, finding talent with the right skill set can be a concern, especially in industries that face a major wave of retirements in the near future.
Finally, it’s not always obvious to companies how to get started. Digitalization doesn’t happen overnight. Every company must ask itself questions such as: Where can I achieve the greatest competitive advantage? Where is my best business case for digitalization? How can I take a step by step approach to digitalization?
Regardless of your starting point, the benefits for industry are enormous. Only with digitalization will manufacturers be able to meet their toughest challenges.
Reducing time-to-market is critical in an environment where consumers are in charge. Traditionally, the big competitor has beaten the small one – but now the fast one is beating the slow one.
Enhanced flexibility is also key. Consumers want individualized products – but at the prices they’d pay for mass-produced goods. Production has to be more flexible than ever before.
Increasing quality is essential because consumers reward high quality by recommending products on social media – and they punish poor quality in the same way.
Increasing efficiency is a factor as well. Products need to be made with less energy, less water, and less waste of raw materials.
And of course all of this needs to happen in a secure environment.
From automotive and aerospace, to chemical and food and beverage, the benefits of digitalization are clear.
A good first-step is to download the study and take the survey yourself. See how your organization compares with others: http://sie.ag/2qoJVVF.
In addition to the main report, keep an eye out for several vertical market-specific mini-reports, including aerospace, automotive, chemicals, energy and food and beverage.