Digital Transformation for Manufacturers
As part of the international VISUAL User Conference named VISUAL Focus we try to bring new courses to the Infor VISUAL community. At this past conference in October, I had the opportunity to present a new course on an exciting new wave of technology called Digital Transformation or DT. DT is simply defined as “the application of digital technology to enhance our consumer, business and social experiences”.
As consumers we now expect to order just about anything through our phones, make choices about how we want it and see the status of when it will be shipped. As manufacturers we need to look at every experience our customer has – such as ordering a part or checking to see if we have a part in stock – and enhance that with DT. We can also look at internal processes and apply DT to make it a better experience for our employees.
For example, one of our very first experiences that changed by applying DT was at the supermarket. In 1974 the first bar code scanner was installed in a supermarket in Ohio and the first item it scanned was a 10-pack of Juicy Fruit gum. That one technology wiped out all push button cash registers and made checking out a whole new experience.
Fast forward to 2019 and we now have a wide and exciting array of digital technology that we can apply to improve every aspect of our business. These include technologies such as:
- Mobile Applications
- Location Services (GPS)
- Data Analytics
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
- Virtual Reality
- Augmented Reality
Applying this technology to improve things like our customer experience requires that we change the way we think of things. It is fundamentally a shift in our culture that includes new and creative visions of the way to do things. In 2020 Synergy will be offering our customers webinars that can help you get started with DT initiatives. A basic starting plan should include:
- Get a Team going to think about how you might change a process or create a new one
- Be Creative!
- Have fun with it – think way outside of the box
- Develop the new experience in phases – from simple (like using texts) to more complicated (like using mobile devices, GPS services, etc.)
- Think about how to apply different Digital Technologies
- Build a full visual “Use Case” that shows what the process will look like and what technologies will be used
- Get feedback from the people you expect to use it (customers, suppliers and employees)
Need help or advice getting started on your Digital Transformation journey? Contact us to speak to one of our Digital Transformation Experts.
Gene Caiola, President & CEO