No manufacturer can afford to ignore the concept of Digital Transformation. Yes, there continues some small need for manual lathes, but don’t plan your future on that.
In the past several editions of this podcast I discussed several business-side categories of digital transformation, from machine health to connected employees to using blockchain to create and maintain internal quality records.
That information was intended to help you envision the future you are trying to create through digital. It was also intended to help you prioritize.
Now it’s time to act.
No manufacturer has all the information and capabilities needed to design and implement a digital transformation — not even the Siemen’s of the world. They too reach out to external experts.
It’s possible you’ll choose to start slowly with a small company helping you get your arms around machine sensors, data collection/quality/storage/security, and the information you can gain. But that company will not be the best one to lead you through your full transformation.
Research systems integrators, talk with your peers, and visit several executives of manufacturers ahead of you on the journey. Attend trade shows and manufacturing conferences to gain a foundational understanding of the opportunities and challenges you will face.
This electronic data world is rapidly evolving. Whomever is best today may well not be even among the good tomorrow.
When choosing your partners, examine their history of staying in front of the pack, explore their investments and their financial commitments to the future of technologies, and reduce the chances of getting someone whom you outgrow in your first few years.
This is an important choice, and not an easy one. It is no place to focus on lowest bid, but rather on most informed and most driven to stay informed.