Digital transformation has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. Companies that embrace digital technologies are more likely to stay ahead of the curve, differentiate themselves in the marketplace, and meet the evolving needs of their customers.
The benefits of digital transformation can be far-reaching, from improved customer experience to cost savings and increased efficiency.
In this blog, we will explore the various benefits of digital transformation, and why it is essential for companies to embrace this trend in order to remain competitive in the digital age.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a term used to describe the process of transforming an organization’s business model and operations through the use of digital technologies. It’s important because it can help you stay ahead of your competition, improve customer experience and attract new customers.
The benefits of digital transformation include:
- Improved customer experience: Digital transformation can help you better understand and meet the needs of your customers. With the use of data analytics and other digital tools, you can gather insights into customer behavior and preferences, and tailor your products and services accordingly.
- Increased efficiency and productivity: Digital transformation can automate many processes, reducing manual labor and freeing up staff to focus on higher-value tasks. This can lead to increased efficiency and productivity across your organization.
- Competitive advantage: By embracing digital technologies, you can stay ahead of your competitors and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. This can help you attract new customers and retain existing ones.
- Cost savings: Digital transformation can help you reduce costs by streamlining processes and eliminating unnecessary steps. This can lead to significant savings over time.
- Innovation: Digital transformation can open up new opportunities for innovation and growth. By embracing new technologies and ways of working, you can develop new products and services that better meet the needs of your customers.
See how JR Automation saved seven figures with embarking on their digital transformation journey:
Creating a Digital Transformation Roadmap
The first step to creating a digital transformation roadmap is to identify the scope of your transformation. What are you trying to achieve? What are the goals and objectives of your business? How will you measure success?
Once this has been determined, it’s time to set up a timeline for achieving those goals.
Once these steps have been completed, it’s time for action! You should now have a clear idea of what needs changing within your organization and how long it will take before those changes become visible.
Building a Digital Transformation Team
When you’re building your digital transformation team, it’s important to define roles and responsibilities. You’ll want to make sure that everyone understands their role in the process and what they are expected to do. For example, if someone is responsible for monitoring the performance of shop floor machines, they should know what the ideal OEE is of each machine, how they are going to collect that data, and how they are going to distribute it to enterprise decision makers.
It’s also important that you select team members who have complementary skillsets and experience levels. If one person has extensive knowledge of augmented reality while another knows nothing about it at all, this could lead to problems down the line when it comes time for them both to collaborate on projects together – and no one wants that!
Finally, creating a culture where collaboration happens naturally between team members will help ensure successful outcomes throughout your digital transformation project(s).
Adopting the Right Technology
The first step in digital transformation is choosing the right technology. You’ll want to consider:
Software: What are your current needs and how will they change over time? Will you need additional features or functionality?
Hardware: Do you have enough computing power and storage space for all of your data, or does it need to be scaled up or down depending on usage patterns at different times of day/year/etc.? Do you have sensors to track data that you need for production insight?
Tools: What tools do developers use to build applications on top of this platform (e.g., Creo vs. Solidworks)? How easy is it for them to integrate their code with existing systems like databases and messaging queues? Are there any security issues with using these tools – and if so, how can they be mitigated by using another tool instead (e.g., switching from MySQL database server software to Microsoft Azure).
Developing a Digital Transformation Strategy
The first step to developing a digital transformation strategy is to define the scope of the project. What are you trying to accomplish? What are your objectives, and how will you measure success?
These questions can help guide your organization through its transformation journey by setting realistic goals for both short-term wins and long-term gains.
Once you’ve defined what needs changing, it’s time for step two: defining how those changes will happen. This involves creating an action plan that includes timelines for each phase of implementation as well as resources required for each stage (e.g., time from IT staff).
Some companies may choose to tackle multiple projects simultaneously; others might choose only one area at a time depending on their resources available in terms of money/manpower/etcetera).
Implementing the Digital Transformation Plan
Develop a timeline. The first step in implementing your digital transformation plan is to develop a timeline with milestones that will help you track progress.
Set goals and objectives for each milestone. Once you’ve established your milestones, it’s time to set goals and objectives for each one of them so that everyone involved knows exactly what needs to be done at any given time during the project.
Track progress regularly by reviewing dashboards or reports generated from data collected during testing phases of development projects (if applicable). It’s important not only for managers but also employees on lower levels within organizations who may not have access
Monitoring and Evaluating Performance
Monitoring and measuring performance is an important part of the digital transformation process. It allows you to identify areas where you are successful, and areas that need improvement.
Monitoring can be done using a variety of tools, including:
Data Analytics Dashboards (e.g., Thingworx Analytics)
Real-time Data Share (e.g., Windchill, EAC Productivity Apps)
Digital Twin Performance (e.g., Augmented Reality)
Adapting and Adjusting the Plan
As you progress through your digital transformation, there will be changes in the market that you need to respond to.
If a competitor introduces a new product or service, or if something happens in the industry at large, it may change how you approach your own strategy.
You might also find that your goals and objectives have changed since they were first set out; perhaps there’s been an increase in customer demand for something specific that wasn’t previously considered important enough for inclusion on the list.
The best way to handle these situations is by reviewing them regularly with other members of your team – and making sure everyone has input into decisions about how best to adjust course as needed.
Communicating the Benefits of Digital Transformation
In order to communicate the benefits of digital transformation, it’s important to understand who your stakeholders are and what they want.
If you’re working in an organization with a large number of stakeholders (such as a government agency), then there may be multiple groups that need convincing. For example:
The board wants to see results from their investment in IT infrastructure. They’ll likely be interested in metrics such as ROI and cost savings.
Executives want quick wins that will help them achieve their goals, but they also need proof that this new approach will work before they can commit time and resources to implementing it throughout the organization.
Employees want something tangible they can hold onto when explaining why this change is important for them personally (and why it matters).
Digital transformation is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your business goals. It’s important to remember that digital transformation is not just about implementing new technologies, but also about changing how you work and think as an organization.
Digital transformation requires commitment from everyone involved in the process – from the C-suite down through every level of your organization.
To be successful, it must be an ongoing effort rather than a one-time project or initiative. You will need to continuously innovate and improve what you’re doing if you want to stay ahead of competitors who are also pursuing digital transformation strategies.
In conclusion, digital transformation is becoming increasingly essential for companies to stay competitive and meet the needs of their customers in the digital age. However, the process of digital transformation can be complex and challenging, which is why EAC assessments can be extremely helpful.
By conducting an assessment of your organization’s current digital capabilities and identifying areas for improvement, you can develop a roadmap for digital transformation that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
EAC assessments can help you identify gaps in your digital capabilities, streamline your processes, and develop new products and services that better meet the needs of your customers. By embracing digital transformation and leveraging the expertise of EAC assessors, you can position your company for success in the digital age.
We have seen many of our customers use EAC assessments as the first step to open up a world of opportunities for their company to grow and evolve its processes.
JR Automation has been an EAC customer for over a decade, and when we first started working with them, the first action was an EAC assessment. We were able to provide them a customized roadmap for success and prove how JR was going to achieve it. EAC has helped JR Automation find ways to save time, save money and increase efficiency – with savings over $1.4 million every year. JR took the first step with EAC helping them to find that starting point. Today JR continues to find new ways to innovate and evolve with growing customer demands in a highly competitive marketplace.
What to Expect from an EAC Assessment
Assessments can seem daunting at first. You may be asking yourself questions like, “Are they going to come in and tell us all the things we are doing wrong?”
In reality, our goal with assessments is to identify your current state and production/manufacturing processes, assess the maturity of your operational technologies, and work with your team to pinpoint an ideal future state. Making transformational changes to a company can be a sizable cultural shift and we help companies prepare to make that change. There are risks you take when you don’t assess your current situation, and we want to help you minimize those risks.
Functional Group Assessment (FGA)
The EAC Functional Group Assessment provides an objective format for your functional groups to truly understand their creation, consumption, and delivery of product data. These groups could consist of any cross-sectional team members from engineering, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing, or management.
During an FGA, our team of subject-matter experts will work to understand how your key team members work daily to complete the product development process. After the evaluation is complete and our experts have uncovered your current processes and technology usage, we will help you establish a roadmap that will lead your company to higher productivity and savings across the board.
After our findings have been documented and studied, we will lay out new possible methods and functions to improve overall productivity. These recommendations could include ways to improve capability gaps, business policy improvements, procedures that ensure efficiency and alignment, or strategies for training to maintain efficiency.
The benefits of an FGA could span from understanding your Functional Group alignment to business objectives and initiatives and their use of existing toolsets to examining processes and daily tasks that reflect your current state. We also uncover overall awareness of opportunities for improvement and bring alignment to Functional Vision for your desired future state.
Ultimately, we help you create a plan to achieve that desired state so you can spend less time wondering how to grow and more time-saving money through innovation. Companies like ITW Paslode and Nordco have taken advantage of the FGA and have seen the financial value in getting started on the transformational journey.
Product Development System Assessment (PDSA)
Similar to the FGA, a Product Development System Assessment is an EAC-provided service that explores an organization’s product development system functionality. Our experts look at an organization’s operations and provide broad insight into improvement initiatives and establish a strategy for achieving operational improvement of a Product Development System.
When working through this assessment, our team has candid one-on-one discussions with your team members where we uncover what is working well, any occurred costs, and evaluate optimization opportunities.
The results that stem from an EAC Assessment are unmatched. Companies are discovering data they never knew were siloed, teams that were frustrated with processes, and many other disruptions in production. After uprooting and addressing these issues, companies like JR Automation, HyrdaForce, DRS, Merrick, and Systems Control are able quote more business and respond to customers faster – increasing their profit as well as employee and customer satisfaction.
Streamlined Product Development System Assessment (SPDSA)
Similar to the functional PDSA, the Streamlined Product Development System Assessment focuses on the interviews and direct inputs from your team members. However, it does not include an online survey and corresponding metric output. This assessment is offered as one variation of the Product Development System Assessment to fit your specific needs.
This assessment is a great fit for companies that have the desire to optimize their product development system, have the approval to move forward with the optimization, but are unsure where to start or what to focus on first.
While there are a few exclusions from the full PDSA in this assessment, our team still coordinates select participants to plan and schedule the execution of individual interviews with participants involved in the assessment. This process will be a higher level approach than a full PDSA, and may not include as many details or metrics. This assessment is still an excellent tool to explore your current business functions and define a roadmap to success.
Digital Manufacturing Assessment (DMA)
The Digital Manufacturing Assessment evaluates the overall state of your current product development systems regarding IoT initiatives, provides broad organizational visibility to improvement initiatives and identifies an IoT solution roadmap to help you determine the very first steps you should take on your digital transformational journey.
After evaluating your current manufacturing practices and operations, our experts will identify the best opportunities for growth that align with your corporate goals. When Kimray did a DMA with our team, they were able to recognize technology and solutions that would integrate with their current processes and also propel them to the next level in production. Together we developed a strategic roadmap that enhanced their processes.
The opportunities and pathways are endless to how your company can achieve digital transformation in the same way – a DMA is a great place to start.
Value Stream Mapping Assessment (VSMA)
A Value Stream Mapping Assessment consists of documenting the key action steps during production, gathering information from inputs and outputs, examining the systems used to manage that information, and pinpointing key optimization opportunities at each step. After, our experts work with your team to define an ideal future state of your product development process. The future process documentation outlines key improvements needed in business principles, policies, processes, and procedures utilizing the latest systems available to you to facilitate those improvements. Our EAC experts then defines a high-level roadmap and guidance on how to achieve those improvements.
During a VSMA, your team can expect to receive an important strategy that documents your current state including process documentation, pains, and what those pains are costing your business. With this information, together we will curate the vision of your future state – what your development could be – and create a roadmap on how to get there.
The company MEANS had EAC come in for a VSMA and was able to get a roadmap on system integrations that opened up the opportunities for better processes to connect their company. With an EAC roadmap, MEANS was able to realize a future state of streamlined processes to get their product to market faster and with less downtime.
When to Start
Now that we’ve answered the “what” and “why” of EAC assessments, the next question is “when.” Knowing you want to take your business to the next level, but feeling like you don’t how or where to start is the perfect time to invest in an assessment. Our ultimate goal is to understand your unique enterprise, your corporate strategic goals, and its current state, define your ideal future state, and plan an achievable way to get there together. EAC’s Assessment services can be the stepping stones for long-term company success and digital transformation.
Want to hear more testimonials or see which assessment would fit your company best and see how we could transform the way you do business? Connect with one of our experts!