The challenges of the future are upon us and only digital-ready companies will be primed to survive
The world is changing fast – but there’s a risk of being left behind for companies that don’t adapt to the digital future. Since 2000, more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies have been acquired, merged or declared bankruptcy, being outcompeted by more innovative firms. The causal factor is digital transformation, according to Tom Siebel of McKinsey Quarterly.
“Digital transformation offers an opportunity for businesses to tackle three primary business priorities that exist across the globe,” says Dave McDermaid, director of business consulting at aPriori. Through his work with aPriori, McDermaid talks to scores of customers at different steps in their digital transformation journey, understanding their problems. His analysis in this article covers different industries, different manufacturers, and the issues they face.
Whatever stage a company is at in their digital journey, aPriori can help. The company automatically generates manufacturing intelligence that helps manufacturers collaborate across the product development process to make better design, sourcing and manufacturing decisions – yielding lower cost and more sustainable products delivered in less time.
“The journey of digital transformation creates a framework of valuable digital data we can analyse” he says. “We run simulations of future design, manufacturing and procurement scenarios that support critical decision-making much earlier than before.”
By doing that, aPriori helps manufacturers and suppliers tackle what McDermaid calls the “three enormous challenges” they face today and in the very near future.
“Companies have to think today about how they are going to address sustainability in the very near term,” says McDermaid. That transition can be eased by creating a digital model of the future, which will help proffer solutions and a path to follow, heading off issues that will soon come down the line. “As far as product sustainability is concerned, two of the key elements to consider are one: what is the product made of? and two: how does it get made?’” says McDermaid. Companies can and should start roadmapping strategies for sustainability today.
Volatility and resilience
Resilience is the number one priority for businesses post-pandemic, according to Deloitte’s 2021 Insights Survey. McDermaid points to the pandemic’s butterfly effect, using the following example to illustrate this priority. “Shifting supply chains over the past two years resulted in the inability for a handful of nuts and bolts to be shipped to the production line of an engine plant. Because of this, the automotive OEM could not build their vehicle. Fleets of cars can’t be built if we can’t get enough bolts, wire harnesses, silicone,” he says. “The problem is huge, and supply chain volatility and resilience is now a guaranteed concern for the future.”
Adopting a digital transformation within your company allows you to utilise data to strategise around different future scenarios – and plan for how you will overcome them when they happen. Could I design to reduce supply chain risk and complexity? What happens if material prices rise? At what price point do company profits disappear? “Exploiting digitalisation today allows us not just to predict the future impact, but to find indicators that allow us to plan better now,” says McDermaid.
Whether it’s losing your best talent or not getting the right people into the workforce in the first place, a lack of brain power can hinder a company’s development – specifically in engineering. That said, it’s an issue for every company in every sector, and one that will become more prevalent as more work is automated, and collective knowledge becomes more limited. According to that same Deloitte survey, 50% of businesses anticipate more than half their current processes will be automated by 2025. Digital transformation ensures your company will never lose that institutional memory, capturing years of intelligence in manufacturing while also making the process more efficient. “To prepare for this, aPriori can help companies to maintain a digital thread of manufacturing processes and design knowledge,” says McDermaid.
Digital transformation provides organisations with the added speed and agility they need to remain competitive. By tying product design and manufacturing operations together, key phases of the product development lifecycle are propelling new products to market 20% to 40% faster.
To start your digital transformation today, visit aPriori.com/contact or call +44 (0)78517 91322 to arrange a demo
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