When Investing in New Tech, Consider Systems Flexibility and Experience with Manufacturing Systems

Having been an industry analyst for over 25 years, one of the activities I most often help end-users with is product selection. It may take the form of a 30-minute call just to get ideas on which suppliers to consider. Or it may be a multi-day consulting effort to run a bias-neutral, scorecard-based effort to shortlist the top one to two contenders. In most cases, there are multiple factions within an organization, all with their ideas as to which type of solution and which vendor would best solve their problem. Regardless of the outcome, one of the lessons learned when investing in new technologies has been the importance of picking adaptive systems that can evolve as needs and priorities change. No matter how much we all like to think we can see the future, something always seems to come along and alter expectations, causing the need for change. 

Many organizations start their software selection journey by turning to one of the analyst industry ranking tools such as the Forrester Wave or the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Most often on the initial list of vendors they consider are the incumbent, as long as there is a solution in place and it is time to upgrade or replace. Next consideration is given to other key application providers – those in the upper right quadrant of the analyst firm’s market positioning chart, the vendor that most recently came calling, or the solution provider that did a great demo at the last trade show attended. 

Companies that are radically disrupting their market tend to look at suppliers who are the most cutting edge as well – often new startup vendors that have little industry experience but a lot of new technology. These new market entrants usually gather attention early, positioning the strongest reason for adoption being the benefit of investing in new technologies. This approach can then drive a selection decision to be in the far right of any quadrant-based tool. Ironically, this might be one of the worst things they should do.

Disruptive Companies Need to Move Fast

As a mentor in several university entrepreneurial programs, one of the things that we emphasized most often is the 10X factor.  The key to gaining market traction, once a minimum viable product (MVP) is produced, is to grow the number of downloads, sales, or other measures of product growth by a factor of at least 10 for each of the first three years.  Your odds of success are greatly reduced if you can’t approach that kind of growth factor.  

This means you need a reliable production process that can quickly scale. The other thing most disruptive companies learn is that the MVP must also adapt quickly. Products that are on the cutting-edge will constantly be testing existing limits and often need to change to accommodate the market reaction to the disruption.  One example of this is the need to comply with regulations in multiple industries when introducing a cross-industry product.

Consider the long-awaited introduction of a viable flying car. Ever since the 1950’s there has been the promise of a hybrid car-airplane that would revolutionize travel. Early attempts proved technically doable but not commercially viable. A Slovak company appears to have finally beaten the odds and produced a car that could prove viable. After obtaining an airworthiness certificate comes the hard part – trying to get the vehicle accepted across the global regulatory challenges. Needing to comply with both vehicular and aircraft standards, the future iterations of the vehicle will undoubtedly need to quickly evolve as they move into new markets.

Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast

Trying to be quick often entices many organizations to embrace speed at all costs. In the selection of software, this can sometimes lead to picking a solution just based on investing in new technologies but overlooking other important selection criteria.  The problem is that placing too much emphasis on disruptive technology can lead to future issues when launching new products that are undergoing rapid change.

The advice I always gave clients that were in fast-growth markets was to select a package that is both established in the industries you are trying to disrupt, has the latest features to support future needs, but is also highly configurable so it can adapt as you grow. In operations, this means your manufacturing execution system/ needs to have relevant domain expertise embedded in the workflows and record-keeping but also be configurable and capable of handling numerous engineering change orders (ECOs) as your product evolves. 

The expression “slow is smooth and smooth is fast,” attributed to the US military special forces but has been adopted by numerous other disciplines, applies in this case. Any racecar driver will tell you that the fastest way around a course is to maintain a consistent line and avoid sliding. This also applies to your business. By putting technology in place that allows you to be consistent and smooth, you will operate at a pace that will support rapid growth. 

It is easy to get caught up in all the hype believing that the only way to succeed is to invest in disruptive technology. With a “smooth is fast” approach, your best option is to pick a supplier that has a track record of domain expertise as well as an adaptive technology foundation.

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Driving a Digitally Determined Manufacturing Culture

Does your organization have a digital culture?

Changing a culture is a complex challenge, made more so by the fact that every enterprise has its own culture and goals. I won’t presume to tell a company what its culture should be, but there are ways to evaluate whether or not your enterprise has embraced the digital revolution from top to bottom and is taking transformation seriously. Infusing a culture that supports the change while sustaining the company’s overarching strategy takes a clear methodology and a disciplined approach. Here are some things to consider:

Do you have a Chief Digital Officer (CDO)? CDOs are new executives at the table, but they are increasing in number. Their job is to guide digital transformation so that it creates value and real change. Note the responsibility for a CDO is not technology-focused – that is still the role of the CTO. According to LinkedIn, CDOs “put a special focus on creating new value through the smart use of digital tools, platforms, technologies, services, and processes.” Some companies may place this responsibility with the CFO or CTO, but in general, the larger the organization, the more likely it is to need a CDO.

Do you have a Digital Center of Excellence (CoE) to manage your digital transformation? To have applications that people will embrace and use with confidence, enterprises set up Centers of Excellence where updates, upgrades, and new technologies can be tested and refined before deploying in a managed way to the entire organization. A CoE does more than vet and test technology, it also keeps watch over users and their needs. Making the experience a good one for employees and partners goes a long way toward building a digital culture.

Do you have a game plan? Has your company addressed how much you should change, and how much you should keep? You don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Many processes and organizations may not need changing. That will depend on each organization and what the leadership wants to achieve. But the question needs to be discussed at the highest levels, with the goal of creating a plan with concrete steps and changes. Otherwise, your transformation will be inconsistent and incomplete. 

Do you have a solution to the talent problem? Much has been written about the Great Resignation and the growing shortage of skilled employees. Digital technology could be key to solving this problem, but it requires discussion and planning. Should you undertake large-scale retraining and reskilling of your current workforce, or should you outsource more to external partners? Also, consider how you can leverage your digital transformation to attract more talent. The newer generation of workers has already been digitally transformed in their daily lives. The more you make your transformation people-focused, the more attractive you will be to younger talent.

The question every executive should ask

When confronted with a technology decision, I think the most important question an executive can ask is: “How will this technology make it easier for our people and teams to transform what they do and how they do it?” Every technology decision should promote your goals for cultural transformation, not just solve the function at hand. This is being Digitally Determined. Here are some more specific questions you can ask along the same lines:

  • Is this automating the same old silos and departments, or are we breaking down barriers?
  • Does this solution provide streamlined UIs and good workflows?
  • Are we providing easy accessibility and mobility for our workers?
  • Are we being consistent across our enterprise? 
  • Can workers communicate with each other globally in the same User Interface (UI)?

The point is that you don’t have to be a technology expert to make sure the enterprise stays on mission. But you do have to stay focused on your goals.

Start at the top

An essential element of cultural transformation is being able to take risks and try new approaches, and for many companies, this is the hardest thing to change. In fact, McKinsey cites “fear of taking risks” as one of the biggest deficiencies in enterprises that are trying to digitally transform. 

This is easy to understand, but the whole point of cultural transformation is to be more agile as an organization, to empower people with information and tools, and to take advantage of opportunities in a fast-changing world. You can’t do that by avoiding all risks and minimizing change. Digital transformation makes it possible for an enterprise to change direction more quickly and smoothly than without it, and to change back just as quickly if necessary.

Do you feel overwhelmed? The digital transformation that is impacting our world is a big change. No industry is immune. For manufacturing, there is a benefit to being a follower. Much has been learned, and much can be outsourced. Several managed service options now exist for smaller manufacturers to stay on par and achieve most of the benefits their larger competitors now enjoy. The cloud has been an enabler of cost-effective operations performance improvement – and can do so with very few internal resources. 

In the digital world, not changing can be a bigger risk than changing. It’s up to corporate leaders to create a culture throughout the enterprise where people understand that and are empowered and willing to act. Are you Digitally Determined?

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Dealing With IIoT’s Firehose of Data

In the previous post, The Problem of Too Much Manufacturing Data, we examined the problem with treating the flow of data made available through the growth of smart devices — as manufacturers pursue a fully transformed operation.  Viewing data in silos can lead to serious misperceptions about current performance and drive bad decisions.  The solution was to look at the totality of data to see the bigger picture but that presents the challenge of how to actually “see the forest for the trees”, especially as manufacturers turn to automated systems to alleviate labor and skills shortages.  

Humans have an innate ability to process overwhelming large volumes of data by focusing only on relevant information.  If you think about driving a car, we constantly are processing thousands of pieces of data related to the car’s position, performance, direction of travel, surrounding environment, weather conditions, and dozens of other factors.  This is why it has proven so difficult until recently to have autonomous vehicles except in tightly controlled scenarios.  Manufacturers must approach their push to autonomize their operations in much the same way as humans have learned to drink from the firehose of data that we constantly process performing our daily tasks.

Classifying What is Important

The key to handling any crisis is the process known as triage.  Anyone who has seen a medical drama or disaster film is familiar with the concept of triage where limited resources such as those with medical skills, are assigned to care for patients based on the severity of their injuries.  Those with life-threatening injuries are tended to first while those with serious but non-threatening injuries are treated second while those with minor injuries are relegated to being seen last.  The word tirage derives from the French term trier which means “to sort” or “to separate”. 

As manufacturers design their operational-systems architecture they need to build in the capacity to triage the flow of information.  This will enable them to deal with the “firehose of data” that IIoT enabled devices make available to our manufacturing systems.  This means that data needs to be triaged as it is generated so only the most important and critical data is passed along. This is performed in a “push” fashion such as via alarms, alerts, or other critical forms of messaging.  Second-tier data needs to be made available via broadcast so systems that can use the data have it available as needed.  Third-tier data needs only to be made available on request.  Simple in concept but doing this correctly requires systems and software that can contextualize data so that data is processed correctly.  Just as in medical triage, where a patient can quickly change status, such as a person with internal injuries can suddenly crash and require immediate attention, in manufacturing operations there can be data that suddenly becomes much more critical if there is a major process upset.

Contextualize Data on the Fly

Your manufacturing execution system (MES) needs to interact with your operators the same way a modern car’s electronic control module (ECM) works.  The ECM is constantly monitoring fuel flow and current fuel levels to provide an estimate of the distance until your fuel runs out and typically displays this information somewhere on the dashboard.  Most of us look at the fuel level occasionally to judge when we need to refill the tank and occasionally glance at the DTE number.  Rarely do we monitor actual consumption in current and average miles per gallon (MPG) which is usually a display several levels down in the display menu.  However, most of us immediately seek out this display if the “low fuel” light turns on and we get the loud “ding” that we have an alarm.

In manufacturing, you need to structure your MES the same way.  The MES must display the information to the operators that is relevant to maintaining production at the proper speed, quality, and performance. But in the background, it should be monitoring machine performance data such as the energy a machining center is using. And by utilizing an AI-based background processing system, an anomaly alerts the operator that the machining center is operating abnormally and gives the option to display critical parameters such as current draw, speed, tool vibration, etc. This helps the operator diagnose the problem.

You Have the Data. Use It, But Use It Wisely

The key to successful use of cascaded data from smart devices can support manufacturers:

  1. Don’t waste the data. Make sure to collect it if it is available.
  2. Use intelligent (AI-based) processing to triage the data and recognize that not all the data is valuable all the time
  3. Make sure to present data in context.  Showing an operator detailed data without including other information that illustrates why the data is important will slow down their ability to make meaningful decisions.

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Empower the Digital Worker. Become a Smart Factory.

There is no questioning today’s need to do more with less. In the name of efficiency and automation, it makes sense why manufacturers today are investing in digital systems to increase productivity. Whether driven by a desire to adopt a digital process planning and execution system or just trying to cope with the challenges brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic and ongoing geopolitical supply chain issues, manufacturers are embracing technology to move forward. 

The challenge for many manufacturers though is where to begin their digital journey and what to focus on first. It is widely accepted that manufacturing operations are based on the combination of three critical elements:

  • People
  • Process
  • Technology

When pursuing a transformation to digital systems, the technology aspect is a given. Before you can begin to look at process improvement, however, you need to first focus on the “people” element. This applies to every manufacturer. For smaller companies, it is especially important since companies operating in this space often need to phase their efforts over several business cycles. By initially focusing on how to remove the paper from operations processes, smaller and mid-sized manufacturers can effectively start their Smart Factory program quickly with minimal upfront investment.

The Data Story – A Case for Paperless Transactions

The success of any process improvement program is dependent on everyone “rowing in the same direction, from the same boat.” When asking workers to become “digital,” they need to understand how they will benefit. This applies to everyone from the shop floor to the executive suite. 

By getting rid of paper and becoming a data-driven organization there are four immediate benefits:

  • Achieve greater standardization with production processes
  • Unlock data that has been traditionally siloed and hard to access
  • Gain visibility to the real-time data quickly so you can make better decisions 
  • Improve traceability with faster access to the right intelligence
  • Avoid manual errors or rework, to cut scrap and waste

Better Decision Making

Within limits, more data means better decisions. It is possible to monitor a process such as a machining operation with only feedback on the feed speed. But if you also monitor current draw, working temperature, and vibration you can better control the quality of the machining process as well as optimize the production rate. By collecting information automatically throughout the process and aggregating it, smoother production flows are possible with higher quality and reduced energy consumption. 

Leverage Previously Unusable Paper-based Data

When data is collected on paper it is hard to share beyond the immediate vicinity or shift. In other words, for those not physically onsite, the information will rarely be available across all operations. Until it is transcribed, often with a risk of transcription errors, it remains available only to the creator. This siloed data cannot be used to optimize the entire process. Siloed information is the most common problem cited when companies are asked what prevents them from optimizing their production lines.

Make Decisions in Real-time

The objective of any continuous process improvement project should be to get the right information to the right person at the right time. It is far better to focus time and energy on avoiding a process upset using real-time information than analyzing why an upset occurred using historical information. 

Automate Problem Solving

The tribal knowledge of how to run a factory efficiently is often held by a small fraction of the workforce. By collecting data, making it available to everyone, and allowing them to emulate the best of the best, the entire organization benefits. Understanding what works well and then using that as the basis going forward allows production to focus on continuous improvement.

By focusing on the Digital Worker as your initial Smart Factory goal you will see immediate benefits. Mid-market manufacturers can realize immediate gains which will help smooth the way for future Digital Transformation efforts.

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Paper vs. Digital: A Side-by-side Comparison of a Production Process in Complex Discrete Manufacturing

“Change is the only constant in life.”

-Heraclitus, Greek philosopher ~500 BC

Why do so many manufacturers still rely on paper processes for much of their communication and record-keeping? It is no secret that digital options exist in the form of applications for product design, business management, and production planning. I have been talking about the Paper vs. Digital comparison for years – and it continues to be a relevant topic. 

Experience tells me that emotion and culture must be at the heart of the issue, as well as fear of the unknown. Few managers want to be risk-takers when it comes to production output or job security, so it makes sense why there is a reluctance to change. To help overcome the fear and concerns, what follows is a Paper vs. Digital comparison to show how life can be easier and better in the digital world – and what can be expected post-transition. 

The Increasing Need for Adaptive Operations

Taking a look back, in the Paper vs. Digital comparison, if you manufacture in an environment where little changes – including production processes, supplier selection, and customer needs – there is little need to invest in anything more than a paper-based approach. The challenge is that the world has changed. Complex discrete manufacturers must embrace the fact that frequent Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) are a way of life.

So, for this Paper vs. Digital evaluation, let’s take a look at how an ECO is managed with both approaches. The goal is to shed light on what potential productivity and performance improvements are possible when making the shift to a digital strategy. 

Paper vs. Digital Evaluation of an ECO

Specifics will always vary, so let’s take a generic example. Say an engine component has an overheating problem. Manufacturing engineers can fix the problem with a minor design change, a different part, and a slightly altered manufacturing process. Straightforward, right? Except it isn’t. 

A long list of departments and individuals needs to be notified of all changes. Updated work instructions must be sent to every production line, often in different regions of the world. Suppliers must be notified and new part shipments arranged. Warehouses must be restocked. Price lists must be updated. And critically, production lines sit idle until the changes are complete.

The Paper Response

  • Reliance on spreadsheets
  • Information stored in different places
  • Product records are not up to date
  • Communication via email, phone, fax
  • Manual entry of data

Paper, spreadsheets, and email are the “analog” tools at hand. We’ll assume the manufacturer has a formal ECO process, but even so, it may take days to execute the changes. Getting approval for the design and process changes requires multiple reviews and signatures, meaning the information is changing hands – physically in many cases. Only when approved can the new orders go out to plants and suppliers, and it will be some time before new delivery schedules can be arranged. Any delays along the way will have a ripple effect on the whole process.

Hopefully, everything goes according to plan. But suppose the purchasing department slips up and reorders the old part instead of the new one. The mistake may not be discovered until days later when the wrong parts arrive at the plants. At that point, the ECO has become a much bigger and costlier issue. 

This is just one example. Several other issues come with a manual or paper-based approach, such as: 

  • Paper change orders get lost, creating gaps in traceability records
  • New documents must be printed with each change, which makes it hard to maintain a clear history or know what the latest version is
  • Paper-based ECOs can only be reviewed by one person at a time, or if there are multiple copies they must be consolidated and reviewed at each step; management by email can also be difficult when different review strings occur resulting in siloed comments and requests
  • Some data entry between departments will be done manually, leading to mistakes or confusion as to what is the “single source of the truth”
  • It can be difficult to manage and track every document from different locations, and the people who were involved, each part of the product’s lifecycle

As should be clear, while the ECO process can be managed with email, spreadsheets, or a paper-based process, it isn’t an easy path to go. It doesn’t scale, has a high probability of errors, and has an inherent risk that increases in scope as products continue to get more complex while impacting the associated compliance and regulatory reporting. 

The Digital Response

  • Real-time visibility to the single source of the truth for all product metrics
  • Mobile accessibility for a global, more technology-focused workforce
  • A single interface simplifies the ECO process, providing a standardized communication portal connecting everyone to the process  
  • Real-time updates to any change in the production line or quality testing
  • As new work instructions are needed, new visual or video support tools can be provided to every workstation
  • New schedules can be easily arranged and synced with all parties – changing as often as needed

The digital response, as you can imagine, is much more controlled, effective, and timely. Employees can communicate modifications internally and externally in a single, shared environment. Engineers can quickly review and approve the design and process changes using the same source of information. Multiple people and departments review and respond to the change order online – from anywhere. Any edits they make are uploaded to a single version, so there are no conflicting documents. 

The moment the ECO is finalized, all suppliers, warehouses, and plants can be notified with full documentation attached. Purchasing automatically knows to order the new part instead of the old one, at the right price. Digital systems can synchronize delivery and production schedules at every location. What results is a scenario where virtually no time is wasted with every party on the same “digital” page.

These positive effects can ripple throughout your organization. Every workstation receives fully updated instructions with documentation. New incoming parts are digitally verified at multiple stages – shipment from the supplier, arrival at the warehouse, and delivery to the production line. Every worker in every plant that is working on a specific component not only has full instructions, but the system can verify that the new instructions have been properly executed.

Meanwhile, throughout the process, managers can view the impact of all these actions, perhaps even modeling various supply routes and production schedules to make the optimum choices. The performance of continuous improvement programs will typically increase post-implementation of a new, modern manufacturing system. 


Managing change in one plant is difficult. Larger companies with distributed operations face even greater challenges. Complex discrete manufacturing can involve hundreds or even thousands of parts, components, and assemblies.

This article took a closer look at what is involved each time an ECO occurs, and what the repercussions might be for such a change. But this was just one example. Consider the increase in unexpected changes today, leading to unplanned downtime. It is for this reason that so many manufacturers are now re-evaluating prior “analog” decisions in favor of a digital approach. And, with new affordable options available from cloud-based managed services, the transition to digital might not be as scary or expensive as previously thought. 

The ability to act quickly and effectively to standardize production is more important than ever before. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is in their ability to manage change.

Resilience is not a buzzword, it’s a survival strategy for the future, and the future is digital.

becoming a digital enterprise starts with a digital thread

Manufacturing Maturity: Don’t Forget the Importance of Cultural Transformation

I’ve been writing about the disparity in digital transformation progress among countries and regions. Those areas that are earlier in their journey, such as many European nations, can learn from the U.S., which is further along with its digitalization path. As you consider your transformation, this article will focus on one of the most important lessons to be learned: the need to transform culturally, not just technologically.

Digital transformation is usually discussed in terms of issues like streamlining processes, gaining insights, improving customer relations, or whatever the case may be for each company. But there’s more to digital transformation than just moving information faster. Or at least there should be when a manufacturer understands and commits to both digital and cultural transformation.

What is cultural transformation? We can start with what it isn’t. It’s not throwing technology at the processes and organization you have now, because that’s just automation at best or “paper on glass” at worst. Rather, cultural transformation means rethinking the productivity of your people, processes, and organization by augmenting them with technologies that improve efficiencies and develop a connected environment.   

Cultural transformation is instilling a culture that supports the change while enabling the company’s overarching strategy. Embedding a digital culture in an organization is doable, but it takes a clear methodology and a disciplined effort.

Simply put, there are new ways of doing business in a digital world that most manufacturers should be cashing in on but aren’t because they haven’t transformed themselves culturally.

The limits of digital transformation

Take data monetization as an example. A survey from NewVantage Partners found that only 50% of the F1000 executives said they treat their data as a business asset. In other words, digital technology has provided opportunities for making more money and expanding their business at little risk, yet half the executives haven’t done anything about it. Those who have are Digitally Determined and those who have not are Digitally Distraught.

It’s not that technology transformation alone doesn’t yield benefits. It certainly does, and a good example is Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is now widely used for big data analysis and reporting. A few years ago, most companies said they had realized little or no value from their AI investments. But this year, a new survey reports that 92% of companies have seen positive returns on their AI investments. Digitalizing information systems has a lot of inherent value.

Nevertheless, despite the progress, many companies that have advanced their technology are still leaving money and opportunities on the table because they’re bumping into the limits of digital transformation. And according to MIT Sloan Management Review, cultural changes are what’s holding them back.

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Rethinking Digital Transformation: More Than a Smart Factory

It can be surprising to learn that when it comes to digital transformation, European countries like Germany and the U.K. are lagging behind the U.S. and China, the global leaders. As I noted in my last post, it’s especially surprising because so many European companies were early adopters of digital product design and smart factories.

There are many reasons for this delay, but one is a lack of commitment to true digital transformation. For example, an IDG survey found that 36% of UK organizations were focusing on maximizing returns from existing IT infrastructure, rather than undertaking new digital initiatives. While that’s a minority, it’s still a big number. 

If the goal of digital transformation is not simply to automate what you have, then what is it? I’d say the goal is to create a manufacturing enterprise that is agile, resilient, quick, and well-informed. It’s one that is able to draw on resources as needed to accomplish tasks, while reducing risk and optimizing profits and business opportunities—doing it from shop floor to top floor

Along these lines, this article will be of interest as it addresses an important question that manufacturers must be able to answer every day, Are You Having a Good Day?

Achieving this is far more than an IT or OT project. It’s a rethinking of how you do business, and that’s where many manufacturers fall short. As McKinsey states, “companies often fail to modify business processes or optimize IIoT solutions to enable broader application, leaving significant value on the table.”

Here are four factors that manufacturers should be rethinking as they move beyond smart factories and toward true digital transformation.


“The impact of Industry 4.0 has been enormous, as digital changes to operational activities drive performance gain now—and over the next five years.” MPI Group, “Industry 4.0 Drives Productivity— and Profitability— for Manufacturers

1. Mastering Information

Data from manufacturing and design can be used for more than improving designs and factory efficiencies. With the help of the IIoT, the Cloud, and data analytics, it can be used to inform executives of today’s numbers in real-time—and how different decisions will impact tomorrow’s numbers. It can provide insights and reveal opportunities in operations, processes, suppliers, or materials that improve your financial performance. It can even be monetized, not only internally by saving money, but externally by offering digital products and services. 

For example, Three UK, the fourth-largest telecoms provider in the United Kingdom, is rolling out 5G to explore new data monetization opportunities to deal with the changing field of competition. “You’ve got to understand how you’re going to compete in the future and how the nature of the industry’s competition is going to change because of digitization,” says Gillian Tomlinson, Director of Data and Analytics for the company.

2. Improving Processes

Digital transformation is about improving both the products and the processes behind them. Manufacturers are using Industry 4.0 technology like data analytics, manufacturing intelligence, and digital twins to continuously examine and model processes across the product lifecycle. Manufacturing data can be integrated with ERP and supplier information to understand the impact of process changes on the workforce, financials, and production goals. Manufacturers who are truly transforming don’t just automate the factory, they evolve their processes and everything related to them.

All these benefits are amplified in complex discrete manufacturing environments such as aerospace and defense, where there are sometimes thousands of parts to manage and track across a global organization.

3. Changing the Organization

Organizational change could be considered the most important part of digital transformation. Without it, technology spending is just that. The goal of organizational change should be to empower workers and upgrade the tools at their disposal at every level of the organization, from line worker to CEO. This may require rethinking what an enterprise is. A digital enterprise extends beyond the four walls to suppliers and customers and may include the ability to participate in the emerging digital ecosystem where enterprises are fluid, not fixed. This approach certainly fits with the trend of remote workers and the shortage of skilled employees in many industries.

4. Shifting the Culture

Changing an organization “on paper” is one thing but doing it, in reality, is quite another. The fact is, we’re talking about people, not organizational diagrams, and people usually resist changes when the old way seems to work. Change is hard, even when it’s good. Yet without a real buy-in from management and an understanding of how planning and execution systems benefit everyone, digital transformation will not yield all the benefits it could, and it might even fall short.

To accomplish meaningful change, organizations need the right leaders to drive the transformation and provide a unified vision for the business. In a survey by MIT Sloan Management Review, 88% of respondents agreed that having digitally savvy leaders was important “to their organization’s ability to win in the future”. 

Cultural change is so important and challenging. The people in your company will be the key to whether your digital plan succeeds or not.

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iBase-t Successfully Completes SOC 2 Type 1 Certification

Rigorous audit validates iBase-t as a trusted provider of cloud-based solutions

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. – April 5, 2022 – iBASEt, the company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained, today announced the successful completion of its Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 certification. Completion of the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 audit ensures compliance with the leading industry standards for managing and securing enterprise data.

SOC 2 compliance certifies that iBase-t meets best practices in data protection and has all the appropriate safeguards and procedures in place to control who can access sensitive data, which provides industry-leading protection for customers that continue to accelerate manufacturing transformation efforts.  The comprehensive audit followed strict adherence to the standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and found no deviations based on the Trust Services Criteria for security and confidentiality and the controls to meet these criteria. 

“iBase-t is committed to earning our customers’ trust, and we demonstrate this by maintaining their security and availability within our platform,” said Dr. Sung Kim, Chief Product and Technology Officer of iBase-t. “This certification marks an important milestone in the deployment of iSeries and validates our long-term investment and commitment to ensuring the security of our customer’s valuable data and intellectual property as they continue to modernize operations.”

The iBase-t Digital Operations Suite, powered by Solumina iSeries, is an ideal way to drive a paperless strategy that improves productivity by removing manual, error-prone processes from the shop floor. Resource-constrained manufacturers and their suppliers now have an affordable option to accelerate the adoption of new digital technologies that can quickly drive business value when deployed as a cloud-hosted, managed SaaS solution.

About iBase-t
iBase-t is a software company that simplifies how complex products are built and maintained. Founded in Southern California in 1986, iBase-t solutions ensure digital continuity across manufacturing, quality, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations on a global scale. The iSeries, powered by Solumina, is a cloud-native platform that establishes a digital ecosystem to drive innovation and improve operational performance. With offices in the U.S., UK, France, and India, iBase-t customers include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and Textron. Learn more at iBase-t.com.