What we do today, will reflect on various aspects in the future
Published by : Industrial Automation
Ninad Deshpande, Head of Marketing, BandR Industrial Automation.
After a decade of Industry 4.0 what is the extent of digital transformation in the manufacturing space in India?
Today, the amount of digitisation and the extent to which IoT has affected our lives in consumer space is unimaginable. We as consumers are demanding connectivity and ease of doing things in all aspects of our daily lives right from switching on lights to driving cars. However, until recently, comparing consumer space scenario one might think that the same effect would have been observed in manufacturing space. Unfortunately, even after almost a decade since everyone started talking about Industry 4.0, digital transformation, Make in India and Digital India its impact in manufacturing operations and practices is still rising slowly and not comparable to consumer space. No doubt, over the years many have evaluated various technologies and market trends. Yet only a few have taken their first steps in their digital transformation journey. We find more manufacturers and factories whether big, small, MSMEs and SMEs looking at moving forward in their transformation journey. We expect a slow yet noticeable growth in years to come.
How should an enterprise begin the process? Is there an ideal roadmap to follow for companies beginning their digital transformation journey?
As rightly said, digital transformation is a journey and it should not be mistaken for a plug and play kind of implementation. A good strategy and a roadmap with milestones are key factors enabling industries to achieve success. Yet an essential part of success depends on selecting the right partner in the transformation journey. In my opinion, those wanting to embark on their digital transformation journey should follow five basic steps while creating a roadmap. Firstly, they should identify gaps in their existing processes and operations and which areas that could be digitised. The next steps is to evaluate various technologies and understanding what each next generation technology of solutions has to offer and what kind of problems will it solve. The next steps is to make feasibility studies and map these technologies against the identified gaps. The fourth steps is to prioritise technologies for implementation, which will be done with a prerequisite understanding of investment needed and what would be the perceived benefits, RoI and the estimated timelines for achieving returns. Last but not the least, choosing a right automation and digitisation partner guaranteeing your success.
Thus, it is essential for any organisation to follow these basic steps. They can further have many more milestones as they navigate through their journey. Importantly, they should not follow the crowd or just implement technologies and solutions because they are available or someone has implemented them.
What is the role for various stakeholders in the organisation in this endeavour?
Three very important aspects – Vision, analysis and buy-in from all stakeholders. Vision about the result and what is expected out of the planned digital transformation. A clear vision and an understanding of goals is essential before starting the project. At the same time, it is important of get views of all stakeholders while forming the vision and goals. All team members need to contribute and provide a critical analysis on various gaps in existing processes and possible technologies, which could be leveraged to bridge these gaps. It is essential to get a buy- in from various stakeholders – management, individual execution teams and its members as well as automation and digitisation partners. There should be complete transparency about vision and goal to all stakeholders involved. A successful implementation will only be possible if all stakeholders collaborate and move towards the goal together.
In general, what are the key challenges to overcome in the process?
The key challenge remains for all is the investment and resources needed for such digital transformation journey. However, there are low hanging fruits, which might be beneficial to look at for organisations, enabling them with a short time to success with minimal investment. It is therefore essential for everyone to understand that nothing is free and some amount of monetary investment and a lot of time investment is needed. Thus, eventually the challenges are to have an understanding of return on investments and knowing that it is a journey. It is necessary to overcome conventional mind-set and know that investments made will take some time to provide returns and be effective. However, it is important to celebrate each milestone. This not only gives a change to savour success and keep motivation high but also to look back learn from mistakes, tweak strategy and move forward.
Will the current scenario act as a catalyst, or rather the companies use this opportunity?
What we do today, will reflect on various aspects in the future. Thus, thinking about what is not in our control is futile. However, today situation in my opinion can be looked at as an opportunity to deliberate on and build concrete strategise for your digital transformation journey. In case you already have taken steps towards your digital future then this would be a good time to look back and evaluate if you and your organisation are headed in the right direction and will accomplish your goals. This can also be an opportunity for an organisation to sit down with their automation and digitisation partners to know more about leveraging innovative and advanced technologies for further success. If you are focused on such activities, no doubt your organisation will get a head start once normalcy is restored. It is a great opportunity for all organisations to build on their existing plans, further develop, optimise or even tweak their next steps.
Ninad Deshpande has made it a mission to get to know the needs of internal as well as external customers and understanding their unfulfilled desires thus, being able to provide extraordinary experience. Whether it is executing an exhibition, seminar, conference, implementing a campaign for print or social media, delivering a technology oriented presentation, implementing a branding campaign, or internal and external branding, Ninad takes pride in providing best in class service and experience in record time while always leading by example.
#July 2020 Magazine Cover Story
Digital Transformation – The Next Wave The Covid-19 pandemic has achieved what CEOs and CTOs failed to do – struck a blow for Digital Transformation like nothing else did The only constant in life is change, wrote Heraclitus of Ephesus (circa 500 BCE), who famously asserted that Life is Flux, and to resist change is to resist the essence of existence. Yet, most people spend a better part of their lives resisting change. The concept of digital transformation dates back to the time PCs became mainstream and digitisation began, paving the way for digitalisation and then, transformation. To read the full cover story Please click here