Manufacturing 2020: Integrated Data, a Slingshot to a Resilient Future

September 1, 2020 Melissa Beuc
 
Manufacturers are the backbone of the economy. In all situations, yesterday or today, they’ve always stepped up to the plate. Always.
 
It’s been tough. There has been no clear roadmap. According to NAM, 35% of manufacturers face supply chain disruptions. But manufacturers are resilient and up to the task. With supply chain teams leading the way, businesses have intelligently prioritized and streamlined which products to manufacture.
 
Moreover, to do the right thing, manufacturing supply chains have adapted production to meet the needs of their countries, their customers and their employees. 
 
How have some done this so quickly? 
 
By using technology platforms, such as Salesforce, many manufacturers have been able to harness data that provides 360-degree views needed to quickly respond to global supply chain issues.
 
Integrated data and technology platforms have helped manufacturers pivot quickly during COVID-19. And it will be these platforms and integrated data that act as a slingshot to launch manufacturers to a better future beyond the current pandemic.
 

A Sound Digital Strategy Is Essential to Successfully Transitioning Service Models

Developing a digital experience that maximizes scalability, flexibility, and forward-thinking is key to the success of any digital strategy. Transitioning service models from product centricity to a focus on client needs has become the modern model. A sound digital strategy is a necessity for virtually all companies looking to stay afloat. Some key considerations:
  • Data is now a strategic asset. Manufacturers must have access to useful, relevant data to derive insights to run their factories, keep employees safe, and collaborate with partners and customers. Today’s integration solutions are critical to unlocking data in legacy systems so that supply chains can make better decisions.
  • Process digitization as a competitive advantage. Although other industries, such as retail and consumer products, have a head-start in digital transformation, manufacturers can succeed as fast followers. Now is a great time to accelerate digital transformation projects and use the learnings from other industries, keeping the customer at the center of any process digitization upgrade. The complexity for manufacturing lies with defining the customer: Is it the end customer? The distributor? Partners?
  • Short-term measures will lead to permanent changes throughout the ecosystem. Never before has global manufacturing been affected at the same time with respect to supply, demand and workforce ability. Manufacturers must build agility into their digitized processes to allow for continuous improvement.
  • Manufacturers need to coordinate production across the physical shifts and the back office shifts. With COVID-19, some shifts became virtual and remote. Real-time data has enabled hybrid production as some roles become remote, yet physical production safely continues.

How to Handle the Data Boom

COVID-19 has amplified one of the biggest challenges facing manufacturing: the exponential growth in volume, velocity, and distribution of an organization’s data.
 
How do companies solve for that?
 
To begin with, treat that data as a critical business asset. Companies should then connect the data in real time through seamless flows between your processes and systems, provide access to the data at the right time, and base insights on it — all in an automated fashion.
 
Equipped with data, supply chain experts will be prepared to manage supply chain disruptions and steer their businesses to meet their customers’ needs, now and in the future.
 
 
This article was originally posted on Spend Matters, August 18, 2020. 

About the Author

Melissa Beuc

Melissa Beuc is a Global Director of Strategic Marketing for the Manufacturing, Energy, and Financial Services at Appirio. She’s a big fan of Speed Racer and proud Hoosier transplant.

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