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Digital Transformation in Manufacturing With a Data Operating System


According to a recent survey of manufacturing industry leaders, 91% increased investments in digital transformation with 77% of those investments being cited as significant or dramatic. Executives recognize that technological advancement is necessary to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing and frequently-disrupted landscape. 

Manufacturers that accomplish digital transformation see vast improvements in manufacturing quality, transparency, and visibility into the production process, and faster development cycles. Data is the lifeblood of digital transformation. The manufacturing leaders of tomorrow will be those who find holistic approaches to data transformation that achieve the highest data ROI.


Drivers for Digital Transformation

The global pandemic brought on many challenges for manufacturers. The same industry survey indicates that as a result, 68% of manufacturing industry leaders see improving supply chain resilience and agility as their number one business priority. Within this goal, 54% aim to increase the speed of product innovation. Another 40% said that reducing their carbon footprint by investing in sustainable manufacturing processes is a priority. A separate academic study found that the main organizational drivers for digital transformation in manufacturing are:

  • Process Improvement: enhancing processes to increase efficiency and decrease errors, using innovations like self-adjustment, proactive maintenance, and process interlock
  • Workplace Improvement: improving the safety, ergonomics, and effectiveness of workers by automating dangerous or complicated tasks
  • Vertical Integration: enabling increased accuracy and variation in production by integrating and powering the bidirectional flow of data throughout the hierarchy of operational sensor-level technology to management level data
  • Management Support: setting up the appropriate structures, hiring strategies, and delegation of responsibilities with clear direction and support from management
  • Horizontal Integration: improving inter-departmental collaboration and unlocking new business models by integrating various IT systems (e.g., benefits of new interfaces for integrating the customers purchasing department systems with sales) and/or several different companies (value networks)
  • Cost Reduction: reducing costs using technological advancements that help to reduce setup times, breakdowns, and improve efficiency and production processes


Concerns and Obstacles to Digital Transformation

Despite the major business, human, and environmental benefits unlocked through digital transformation, many manufacturers still have concerns. In fact, 94% of manufacturing industry leaders reported having concerns about their supply chain that hampers innovation. The following concerns were the most cited by executives:

  • Potential IT security risks associated with an increase in digital operations (55%)
  • The quality of performance from existing suppliers (53%)
  • Overhead costs associated with supply chain management (47%)
  • IP protection risks resulting from collaboration with global markets (42%)
  • Increased risk and uncertainty due to lack of operational visibility (31%)

Additionally, limited talent supply, rigid internal structures, and significant employee time investment have slowed or stalled digital transformation of manufacturer supply chains. In order for manufacturing organizations to innovate and remain competitive, these legitimate concerns and obstacles must be addressed. A solution is needed that can unlock and enable the benefits of digital transformation, while simultaneously answering the needs and concerns of the business. The good news: this solution already exists.

A Data Operating System to the Rescue

A data operating system, like Modern’s DataOS, is an out of the box data ecosystem — and the key to unlocking digital transformation. Features of a data operating system address both the drivers and challenges for digital transformation, such as:

  • Organization-wide data integration, observability, and a global entity and metrics layer that enable both horizontal and vertical integration
  • Full visibility into data before it’s moved combined with intelligent metadata powers right-to-left data engineering, increasing management support through business-driven outcomes
  • This full visibility includes full observability of operational data, reducing risk and uncertainty.
  • Built-in analysis tools empower data teams to treat data as software. Additionally, built-ins allow for fully integrated machine learning, equipping your organization with the tools necessary to innovate processes and improve the workplace, all while reducing costs.
  • Native ABAC-based governance minimizes potential IT security risks, making your data more secure and free to share with all teams (inbound logistics, production, outbound logistics, marketing, etc.).
  • Automated logging and documentation allow for pain-free compliance, and protect valuable IP when collaborating with global markets with built-in sharing mechanisms that allow for granular permissions.

All of this is available out of the box with DataOS from The Modern Data Company. Learn more here. Or schedule a demo

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