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Why It’s Critical for Manufacturers to Embrace Digital Transformation Now

October 2, 2017

Running a manufacturing business is not easy: complying with strict industry regulations, consistently producing quality products, and responding to a rapidly fluctuating customer demand. And your IT team (or person) doesn’t have an easy job, either. Their days are spent fighting fires, manually consolidating from paper-based processes, keeping point solutions running, creating reports, and tackling hardware and software updates.

While there are many strategies to stay competitive, there’s one that can have a huge impact on how you do business: digital transformation.

The tried-and-true way of doing things is no longer sustainable. Manual processes are inherently error-prone. Doing everything on paper means you can’t be as responsive as your customers expect you to be. By automating manual processes, you enable consistency and efficiency throughout all operations, and you can monitor how its working because you have a digital record of everything. Going digital means you:

Manage Quality with Ease

Your reputation depends on the ability to reliably produce high-quality products. If you’re still managing quality control manually or through siloed programs and tools, you really don't have visibility into your compliance challenges or even know how much waste and scrap you're producing on any given day, shift, or line.

When you go digital, you “operationalize” quality control with digital control plans that automatically initiate in-line quality checks. By replacing cumbersome manual processes with error-proof, digital quality control, you are able to deliver more predictable and repeatable products while streamlining compliance with industry requirements.

Gain Visibility Across the Organization

In the absence of end-to-end, cross-organizational visibility, it’s difficult to make informed decisions at the right moment. Documents are dispersed across the company, and the right hand often doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Once you’ve automated processes and digitize information, you gain real-time visibility. With insight into inventory, you can reduce stockouts, drive down carrying costs, and free-up space for more production capacity. Audits are no longer a challenge because all transactions are captured in a database and you simply login to view compliance documentation.

Control the Shop Floor

If your shop floor is operating via manual processes, you likely see waste and rework a cost of doing business. It doesn’t have to be that way. Going digital eliminates wasted manual effort, making more lean manufacturing from production to order to delivery. Operators can easily oversee production from an intuitive control panel that connects them with everything they need, from any device. Digital data collection for recording production and consuming raw materials replacing paper processes and automating manual processes, resulting in fewer errors, waste, and rework.

Digital transformation delivers a single source of truth from the shop floor to the top floor. of focusing on mundane tasks, IT can pivot more of their resources to strategic projects requiring technical expertise. The Plex Manufacturing Cloud gives you a single version of the truth that delivers visibility, production control, and from the shop floor to the top floor.

About the Author

Stu Johnson Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems