Products & Solutions
Why DriveWorks
How to Buy
Log InTry Demos

Overcoming the Barriers to Digitalization

There are challenges in all industries and consumer expectations are changing. Now is the time to leverage digital, automate and be more efficient. Businesses are using technology to work smarter.

In manufacturing, technology is improving traditional processes, driving the industry forward and addressing inefficiencies.

Manufacturers who don’t embrace and plan for digital transformation will be left behind. As with any change, going digital can seem intimidating and scary. There are misconceptions and fears around digital transformation. Over the past year, our digital transformation series has taken a look at the key information manufacturers need to know and we’ve shared advice, tips and tricks.

The most important thing to embracing change is educating and understanding. Organizations that are well-informed about the possibilities of digital transformation are more likely to succeed.

Here’s a round up of our series in case you missed anything!

We’ve identified the barriers and misconceptions that manufacturers face when approaching digital transformation and offered useful tips and advice on how they can overcome these challenges.

Lack of budget for digital transformation

The prospect of digital transformation can seem expensive and out of reach. However, it’s important for companies to embrace digitalisation to reap the the benefits digital technologies bring, and keep up with consumer expectations. Whilst there are initial investments, companies are quickly seeing a good return on investment. Follow our tips to embrace digital transformation in a scalable and profitable way.

Read about you can manage the cost of your digital transformation implementations:

Making time for digital transformation

Sometimes, with what feels like a ‘big problem’, it can be easy to assume it needs a big solution, requiring a lot of time, money, and change. This doesn’t need to be the case. The key is identifying an appropriate and achievable goal and then breaking it down into small steps. This reduces the time and cost required to plan and implement the strategy but also helps with employee engagement.

Read our tips to learn how to approach digital technologies without huge time commitments:

Workforce resistance to digital transformation

Manufacturing companies are going through a time of transformation, with opportunities created by technology. Traditional operations are being replaced by more efficient processes, and workforces are learning and evolving too. Learning new skills and keeping up with technology will lead to benefits for all. Investing in digital also means investing in your workforce, creating opportunities for employees.

Read about how digital technologies can create and accelerate jobs within your organization:

The fear of change within organizational processes

The most important thing to embracing change is educating and understanding. Organisations that are well informed about the possibilities of digital transformation are more likely to succeed.
Educating yourself and your workforce about what digitization could mean for your company helps alleviate fears, debunk misconceptions and increase acceptance and engagement.

Find out how you embrace the change that comes with digital transformation:

The unknown possibilities of digital technologies

There are many options for digital transformation and benefits to implementing digital strategies. Understanding what’s possible is key to mapping out your strategy. Understanding the benefits digital brings for business processes, workforces and customers, and knowing when and how to get started will give you the best start for your digital transformation journey.

Understand the possibilities of digital technologies for manufacturers:

Being unaware of the benefits of digital technologies

Digital transformation improves communication and promoting collaboration. These benefits are resulting in increased efficiency, more productive workforces, and improved customer experiences. The benefits of digital transformation are crucial to businesses levelling up if they are conscious of not wanting to fall behind as the world shifts to a technological-based future.

Discover the key benefits of digital transformation for organizations:

As technology changes the way consumers and businesses research and buy products, manufacturers can leverage the capabilities of digital technologies to meet expectations- building resilience in the current market.

Here are some key takeaways to remember when planning your digital transformation:

Adopt a scalable approach to digital transformation

No matter the goal for digital transformation, the key is to pick a suitable strategy. One that suits your organization’s current and short-term aims, with the ability to scale when appropriate. Digital transformation is not one-size-fits-all. You can do as much, or as little as you like. Small changes could feel like minor adjustments but they often pay off quickly.
When analyzing digital technologies, one of the key considerations for businesses should be: are they scalable and future-proof?

Read about how to make digital transformation scalable and futureproof:

Measure the impact of digital technologies

The prospect of creating long-term goals to digitally transform can feel intimidating. Measuring the success of technologies is critical to ensuring that your organization is adopting the most appropriate tools. Monitoring and measuring are key to knowing what is working and why. Measuring the success of your implementations goes further than numbers. Understanding that different types of feedback from workforces and customers can help you to measure success and accelerate digital within your businesses.

Find out some of the ways you can measure the success of digital technologies:

Make the most of existing resources

Factors like rising costs, increasing customer demand, and more specific consumer needs mean that organizations need to find ways to meet expectations whilst accelerating productivity, being as efficient as possible, and maintaining quality and service. The power of technology is helping manufacturers to save on costs, increase productivity & efficiency, accelerate company agility, and increase stakeholder engagement. By achieving this, employees can dedicate more time to doing more innovative tasks.

Read how technology has the power to reduce the challenges that businesses face today:

Digital technologies help build resilience

Leveraging the available digital technologies enables businesses to enhance communication and collaboration, combat uncertainty, optimize processes, make data-driven decisions, engage customers effectively, increase agility, and strengthen stakeholder engagement. All of these benefits make an organization resilient in the current technological climate. By using digital tools to their full potential, businesses are able to respond to emerging trends and changes in the industry quickly. This type of proactiveness sets companies apart from their competitors.

Read about how you can use digital technologies to build resilience:

Make improvements to your existing processes

Adding more digital tools doesn’t mean an entire overhaul of your current efforts. When considering how to add to your current digital transformation efforts, you should review the technologies you’re already using. Consider how these technologies are performing in relation to your goals. Identifying gaps and bottlenecks is a good way to gain clarity on what types of technology you should look to add next. Digital technologies have the power to improve processes for employees and customers, resulting in better performance and long-term success for businesses.

Read our tips on what you should consider when adding more digital tools to your processes:

Tailor digital strategies to work for you

There are many reasons why you may be planning a digital transformation strategy – you may be struggling to keep up with demand, you might want to dedicate more time to research and development or you might be looking to set your company apart from competitors. Whatever your challenges are, and whatever your goal is, it’s important to make sure the digital technologies you implement work for your organization. Whilst you don’t need to do everything all at once – it is still important to think about your potential future needs when choosing your digital tools.

Read our tips for ensuring your approach to digital transformation is tailored and achievable:

Adopting digital and overcoming the barriers to digitalization gives manufacturers the power to stay competitive and create sustainable growth for the future. Manufacturers should be open to new ideas, experiment with tools, embrace opportunities, and constantly seek feedback and insights from customers and stakeholders.

How are DriveWorks customers using digital technologies to overcome barriers?

A graphic summarizing the benefits Extronics have had thanks to DriveWorks. Text reads: “Bringing wireless technology into hazardous areas isn’t easy. Extronics made a conscious decision to invest in technology to streamline this process.”, Extronics have integrated DriveWorks with their existing ERP solution, so the Sales Team can generate quotes directly within the ERP system, At the point of placing an order, sales are able to give documents to the customer to confirm what they have ordered. The engineering of the solution is automated and rules-based, With DriveWorks, Extronics were able to do new things with their products, and allow customers to configure solutions in a way that they couldn’t do before.

Extronics are headquartered in the UK, and operate around the world. They specialize in developing and manufacturing equipment for use in hazardous areas.

Since implementing DriveWorks, Extronics has achieved a number of goals:

  • Providing products faster, without compromising quality.
  • Have more time to focus on product innovation.
  • Driving product and operational consistency.
  • Simplifying complicated assessment processes.

Read more about Extronics’ success with DriveWorks here.