Anshita: Hello and welcome to another episode of our digital transformation podcast series. My name is Anshita Solanki, and I am a Senior Content Writer at Softweb Solutions, an Avnet company. I am delighted to welcome Pushpak Parmar, Business Development Manager to talk about digital transformation in the manufacturing industry.
So, in today’s podcast on digital transformation, we will have a discussion with Pushpak on how digital transformation is changing the face of businesses across diverse industries. But before that, if you are new to the channel, I recommend you check out the line-up of our previous episode on ‘Time to move beyond digital transformation’. And if you are an existing listener, I would like to thank you for joining again.
Hi Pushpak, it’s great to have you here. I’m excited to discuss a few use cases related to the manufacturing industry, but before we do that can you just give us a glimpse into the significance of digital transformation across the manufacturing sector?
Pushpak: Yes, sure. To start with, as we know, there’s a lot going on in the current times. We have observed that digital adoption is accelerating in almost every industry, and the manufacturing space is no exception. And Anshita, if you look at the manufacturing industry, it is so broad and diverse. And the issues that have plagued the world recently are highly unprecedented. So, embracing digital transformation has become a necessity for businesses to stay competitive in this rapidly changing market.
Pushpak: Also, another thing is… I think that…um… digital transformation in manufacturing is beyond tools, people and processes. Rather, it is the transformation of systems. I mean legacy systems, industrial products and services. I think it offers a smarter way to overcome modern manufacturing challenges. So that’s kind of the big banner of what it means.
Anshita: Yes. Interesting! I think, you know, people kind of talk about digital transformation in the context of just tools and processes. But of course, as you said, it is more than just that. So, you mean that digital transformation is now on the path of digital acceleration.
Pushpak: Yes, that’s right.
Anshita: So Pushpak, let’s break this down a bit further. According to you, what are the key factors that are driving this digital acceleration in the manufacturing sector?
Pushpak: That is a great follow up question, actually. So, there are about four to five key driving factors or accelerators of digital transformation in the manufacturing industry that I would like to mention.
- The first one is the current scenario of the world, the challenges and how to mitigate them with innovative technologies.
- The second accelerator is the ever-changing customer expectations and market dynamics.
- Next is the rise in the adoption of Industry 4.0 which reflects a greater trend in automation.
- Also, increasing competition puts a whole lot of pressure on organizations to reduce costs and improve overall CAPEX.
- And the last one I think is the increasing use of advanced technologies and shortage of skilled manpower.
Anshita: These are some good points. Are there any other, say, less obvious driving factors?
Pushpak: Well, I think that the biggest catalyst that has enabled digital transformation in manufacturing has been the COVID-19 pandemic. You know, as per the 2021 Digital Transformation Assessment study, conducted by IBM, approximately 67% of manufacturers have accelerated their digital transformation ventures after the crisis. So, we can say that it mostly forced their hands.
Anshita: You touched on a couple of key points there. So, moving on we’d like to understand how Industry 4.0 is contributing to this transformation and revolutionizing the foundation for the next industrial revolution? Do you think we are already there?
Pushpak: Industry 4.0, now that’s an interesting topic. The concept has been around way before the world saw any of this. It offers a more interlinked and holistic approach to the manufacturing industry by connecting the physical and digital worlds. The thing is that the definition will continuously keep changing with the rapid advancement of these technologies. So now we may wonder, what are these industry 4.0 technologies? I’ll say, there are a number of innovative technologies like the Internet of things (IoT), data science and analytics, cognitive computing, extended reality and even newer ones like blockchain and metaverses. So, a mix of these technologies enables manufacturing firms to revolutionize their foundation for the fourth industrial revolution and beyond.
Anshita: Well, that’s so on point. It is important to think about the evolution of these technologies. So now, Pushpak, I would like to talk about your experience with digital transformation. Can you share some use cases or examples or the kind of projects that the company has worked on?
Pushpak: Yes, indeed! We have worked with a lot of manufacturing companies over the years. I can talk about one such case for a manufacturer of beverage dispensing machines. They relied on traditional processes and wanted to change the way they carried out monitoring and tracking of their beverage dispensing machines.
Actually, they were facing several issues with their traditional monitoring system. The major problem for them was sending someone regularly to a distant location for checking minute things in the dispensers, just like checking a site status alarm or so. So, what I mean is such processes were quite time-consuming and error-prone for the company. But, you know, as we live in the digital era, when we look at companies facing such issues because of their traditional monitoring system, the first thing that comes to mind is remote.
That’s why we proposed them a solution that would enable them to perform remote monitoring without any delay or disruption via a web application. So, now they can receive the alerts and reports remotely based on real-time data of dispensers. And you know what, this IoT-based dispenser monitoring solution also helped them to manage their customer’s user hierarchy. So, what we are seeing now is enterprises, you know, large and small, around the world are taking a serious look at these kinds of automation technologies.
Anshita: That sounds great. And it proves that digital transformation is an absolute necessity.
Pushpak: Yes! Of course, this was just one such example that talks about digital transformation from an IoT perspective. I want to mention that digital transformation isn’t just about installing sensors or going remote. Software implementation and automation are also key drivers for the same.
Also, you know, digital transformation is all about dealing with the change as an ongoing reality. Let me talk about one such case of embracing change for a limited liability company. They provide support, management and consulting services to their clients. And for this, they were using a legacy application, which was preventing them from changing their business processes. Also, they had this paper-based manual document system that was labor-intensive and took a lot of time. So, the only solution to this was modernization.
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And so, we proposed them an app migration transformation solution. It’s all about transforming legacy apps to a cloud-native modern solution. And you know, this app modernization solution helped them remove all those old redundancies, be more flexible and ensure better customer satisfaction. Also, the cloud-based app enabled them to store documents on a central platform which helped them to save a lot of time.
So, what I am trying to say here is, digital transformation is not just about setting up advanced hardware products. You see, legacy app modernization is also an enabler of digital transformation.
Anshita: There are, of course, more benefits of digital transformation than meets the eye. So, how would you sum up – like, how can digital transformation be beneficial to manufacturing companies?
Pushpak: Yeah, it’s a great question. I would say that digital technologies act as a driver to improve operational efficiency and the quality of products in manufacturing. If you look around, today several organizations across industries are enjoying the benefits of digital transformation. It helps them to modernize their legacy systems, improve profitability, strengthen security, identify new opportunities that can increase revenue and so much more. And to reap the benefits of digital transformation, I think technology has to be more than just a check-the-box thing – It needs a holistic approach.
Anshita: Those are some wonderful insights! We can say that digital transformation is no longer an option. It’s a must have.
Pushpak: It definitely is.
Anshita: Right! So, thank you for your time, Pushpak. With this, I would like to end the podcast. I thank all of you for joining us, and I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you have any questions or queries, you can drop an email at Info@softwebsolutions.com. We would be happy to answer your questions. And for more information and helpful resources on technology, you can visit our website at www.softwebsolutions.com.
Lastly, if you find this conversation insightful, please hit the like button and subscribe to our channel. Join us again soon for the next episode in our digital transformation series.
Thanks again for listening!