There is no denying that today’s fast-paced digital world urges manufacturers to transform and embark on the digital transformation journey. For years, these organizations have been placing their best efforts to recalibrate their systems to produce the best outcomes for their business.
What’s Next for the Manufacturing Industry?
As digital technologies continue to disrupt the business environment, there is more to be done in terms of service and output, especially in the manufacturing industry. I’ll be bold in saying that the future rewards organizations that realize the importance of innovation. Aside from the integration of digital tools, this mindset allows lasting relationships with customers.
Now, the question begs, what things should be considered to thrive in today’s complex world?
The unconstrained factory
Factories nowadays are urged to reconstruct their flows and structures. In their previous versions, they are just boxes where you just make things. But in the digital world, they become so much more than a box—factories of the future would look like a seamless stream of processes and data, starting from its initial position through the final users.
Manufacturers should recognize and address these limitless possibilities as they continue their digital transformation journey while using Cloud platforms and tools. They also need to look beyond the gates of their factories. They need to stop thinking about the points where factories supposedly end and, focus on the flow of the value chain. More importantly, they should not limit themselves to the constraints of an outdated structure.
Creating a feedback loop to the end-user
There have been positive possibilities of an unconstrained factory. But before we venture further, let’s discuss some primary problems manufacturers may encounter when challenging the constraints of an older system.
Information and data keep the flow of relationships moving. Manufacturers must be vigilant in the placement of their data as this affects the end-user, and ultimately, the business. The proper upkeep of data results in better operations, which leads to better engagement with consumers.
The new model of an unconstrained factory focuses on the consumer. The main idea is to generate insights through the proper management of information that people would find valuable. Manufacturers must loop their way around the needs of consumers and convey, accordingly, through a feedback channel. It would be an opportunity for businesses to develop by understanding and addressing the needs of consumers.
The connected technologies of feedback loops mean that enterprises may yet grab the goal of mass-customization. After addressing the needs of the consumers, companies could dive into the specifics to customize their products according to the individual.
Mass-customization is the result of mass-production and digital transformation. Achieving this goal would definitely differentiate an enterprise amongst the rest. When executed effectively, the demand for products and services would rise, resulting in the deviation from competitors. That is the power of mass-customization and the fluid connection that unconstrained factory provides.
Creating an entirely new way of pricing
Data has a dramatic potential in manufacturing. It is a powerful asset so, make no mistake when using it because it will improve the services of our current industries.
The multiple benefits of this concept spread to dimensions of business trends. Perhaps, the most valuable is the one similar top social media platforms. It is the anticipation of the customer’s needs before they’re even conscious of them.
Now that we’ve established the nature of mass-customization and its relation to data, let’s go into the realm of “servitization.” As a tech company, Fujitsu hopes that the cloud “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) models would reach the mainstream and branch across various local companies.
A manufacturer following this model will change its focus on pricing the outcome rather than the product. This servitization model will put emphasis in the hours of continuous operations, instead of the machine.
Co-creating a trusted business
Just like any other industry, manufacturers are faced with the complexity of a more connected and globally integrated world. This complexity is proving that many of the traditional structures and institutions we relied upon are inadequate and breaking down. And, everyone is keeping up with data that grows faster than it can ever be.
As such, it is important for manufacturers, or even any organization, to cultivate a culture of co-creating a trusted business. This mindset urges businesses to contribute to co-creating a more sustainable world with your customers and ecosystem partners.
To achieve it, businesses should take three steps: 1) architect a purpose-driven organization to define what they can contribute to society, customers, and even for the future; 2) build a human-centric organization to ensure that they can empower people to collaborate; and, 3) drive the business with digital to turn their available data into valuable insights while maintaining and empowering its trustworthiness.
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I am excited to see what the manufacturing industry will achieve in the coming years. At Fujitsu, we help manufacturers grow as they tap into the potential of an advanced system that affects both service structure and consumer satisfaction.
Article was originally written by Mark Pandy, Managed Services Business Unit Head, Fujitsu Philippines, Inc.
About Fujitsu Philippines
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 155,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5 trillion yen (US $40 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.