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.
All too often there are ramblings about project management being an overhead cost to avoid, along with a litany of reasons why that opinion is being shared. The reality is, project management occurs whether it is formalized or not. Without dedicated project management, processes become burdensome for those involved in the project, often distracting them from their actual role and efficient execution of their expertise. The result impedes success.
Success can be defined in many ways – in the Project Management world the focus is on the accomplishment of an aim or purpose within the constraints of scope, time and cost. Overlooking any one of these constraints and the success of the project will be delayed or difficult to achieve.
What does success look like?
One of the first questions that needs to be addressed when starting a project is, “What does success look like?”
This is important to know for all people involved in a project – Executive sponsors, Managers, End Users, and those involved in maintaining the product once the project has been brought to life. Without this clear vision a project can end up with dissatisfied end users, delays caused by re-establishing intent (and potential for increased cost) or worst of all, the project gets cancelled.
There are (2) primary stakeholders involved in a project: those delivering the project and those who benefit from the project. Their alignment is crucial and will require a representative (Project Manager) that will actively communicate internally within the organization during the project and provide the catalyst for collaboration with all participants. Without these representatives, single points of contact from each organization could make responsibility and accountability unclear, introducing additional risk to the project.
These are the resources that tackle the technical elements of the project. There is collaboration between those delivering and those benefitting from the project, and it is important they understand who to turn to in the event technical issues hinder or block their progress. Having a person serving in the role of Project Manager removes “management of the minutia” from the technical resources so they can focus on the tasks where their expertise can be applied to and benefit the project. As minor as this may seem, maintaining focus on what they do best helps maintain desired timelines and cost constraints and makes them easier to achieve.
Project Managers ask, “What are the risks”?”
Every project has risk potential that needs to be identified and managed in a way that avoids or prepares for risks throughout the project. This is important to be managed by a single point of contact from each stakeholder to keep the risks clear, identify and log the implications for each risk, and develop contingency plans in the event they are unavoidable. One of the more common risks is the resources of those who gain the benefit of the project are also trying to maintain their daily activities. Sometimes communication is lacking on incoming project, giving project managers a short notice on project details. Those delivering the project then end up coordinating their effort around the daily business of those who benefit.
Scope, Time & Cost – the 3 constraints Project Management aims to fulfill. On the outside it seems simple right? The problem is these constraints conflict. If a short timeline is needed, that may require overtime or additional resources thereby driving up cost. If the scope is changed, that typically has an impact on timing, as well as cost. These need to be addressed with an objective eye toward the goal of providing a quality product that fulfills the needs of the end-users.
Scope is the most common constraint that tends to change because of missing detail identification that wasn’t involved when the project budget was established. Project Management then needs to usher all of the resources involved to determine if the change is a necessity or just nice to have. If it is a necessity, finances and management will be engaged to coordinate a change request and communicate the implications. The goal is to re-establish expectations while keeping all the balls in the air to minimize impact on the remaining elements of the project.
Though this brief outline may be common circumstances of any project, each project differs and has a tendency to take their own path – making Project Management even more crucial. EAC has dedicated Program and Project Management in an effort to provide the foundation for success and build the partnership required to not only succeed in the short-term, but to assure strategic business initiatives are kept in sight with all projects existing and future.
1. Why do I need to do regular maintenance on my PTC Windchill system?
Critical systems, like Windchill PLM, must be available to users. This is why it is so important to do regular maintenance on your PTC Windchill system. Windchill system outages can be costly and impact system adoption and usage. Therefore, it is recommended that you complete regular, preventative maintenance to identify and resolve issues before they cause performance problems or service interruptions.
2. What is included in the Alliance program?
We start by assessing your department and company’s needs. We combine the assessment results with our understanding of successful Windchill implementations and deliver recommendations and a plan for a stable, high-performance Windchill instance. The flexibility of the Alliance program allows us to configure an engagement as needed. This gives us the ability to tailor the program specifically to your company.
3. Can my staff complete the Windchill maintenance activities?
Certainly! Keep in mind that preventative Windchill maintenance tasks are commonly an afterthought, and other projects are likely to take precedence. As the staff becomes busier, their dependence on a functioning Windchill system increases. These would be times when a system outage during a critical project could prove to be disastrous.
4. Can you train my staff to complete Windchill maintenance tasks?
Yes, in fact we would love to help train your staff how to complete Windchill maintenance tasks. EAC has PTC certified instructors that are available to deliver all of the Windchill Business and System Admin training courses offered by PTC. After attending these classes your staff will be ready to take on their new Windchill responsibilities. Additionally, we can provide mentoring with our Windchill experts to answer all of your Windchill maintenance questions.
5. What are some benefits of using the EAC Alliance program?
One of the core benefits of the EAC Alliance Program is the ability to take a proactive approach to maintaining your Windchill system – ensuring high availability and performance. By completing regular system maintenance and software updates you are able to better leverage your PTC investment. You can also eliminate the need to maintain a staff of Windchill Administration experts by assigning these system and business admin tasks to our EAC’s expert consultants. Our Windchill consultants have years of experience and complete these same activities on a daily, weekly and monthly basis for many Alliance Program customers.
6. Are Windchill system updates and upgrades included in the Alliance Program?
Yes, the EAC Alliance Program can be structured to include Windchill system updates and upgrades. When you include this in your Alliance Program you can easily budget a fixed cost over the upcoming months and years.
7. Can you support my Global company?
Yes. While EAC is based in the United States, we are part of the PTC Strategic Partner network giving us access to many additional resources overseas. We call on these partners to help with implementation, training, and support services local to international facilities.
8. Are you able to provide 24/7 Windchill support?
Yes. We can provide your company access to our support case submission system, which will allow your Windchill users to log cases at any time of day. If emergency Windchill support is required (noted by the priority level assigned to your case), our team will be notified immediately and begin support. If you require overseas support, and international support is included in your Alliance Program agreement, we will coordinate with a local PTC partner to address the issue.
9. Doesn’t my PTC Maintenance agreement include similar Windchill services?
No. Your PTC maintenance agreement covers all Windchill updates to software that you have purchased as well as technical support should you have a problem that requires resolution. It does not include the services necessary to update, upgrade and maintain your Windchill system.
10. How much does the EAC Alliance Program cost?
This varies based on the complexity of your Windchill environment and the level of support you would like to include in your service level agreement (SLA). This can be determined by having a quick conversation with your team and proposing a solution that correctly addresses your needs. Contact us today for further information!
From industry experience we know how difficult it is to get projects done by end of year – especially when most manufacturing facilities close on average for two weeks during the holidays. When your company is shut down for the holidays who wants to return to all of that work at the beginning of a new year? Let me answer that for you. You don’t.
Our solution? We would like to gift you more time this season. Time, that is, to not have to work on engineering projects that will push back your project timeline into next year and into next quarter. No, we are not work-aholics. Our CEO gives us our holidays off but we do not do a hard shutdown during the holidays like some manufacturing plants do. And we’d like to see you get a head start on your 2018 year goals.
So what does this mean for you? Less work. We would love to offer our engineering services to you when you need it the most. We know you value your time and you’re eager to enjoy some downtime around the holidays.
Want to learn more about our design and engineering services? Check us out here.
You probably have a checklist for what to do when your company shuts down for a few weeks, but if you need a refresher -here are a few steps.
3 Steps to Take if your Company is Closed During Holidays
If you are shut down for the holidays – here is a short checklist you may want to double check to make sure you’re ready to leave for the holidays.
Notify Employees, Customers, Vendors, and Hospitality Services
Notifying employees may be the obvious one but you can imagine that with everyone finding the time to get everything done by the end of the year – it’s easier to plan your to-do list around the time that you actually have when the office is open. So notify your employees internally via email, calendar, Facebook Workplace, or by another platform you’ve set up for internal communication.
Make sure all of your customers and clients know all of the days that you will be closed. This is especially important for those that are trying to get a hold of your business during office hours when you are typically open. Make sure that you have a personal out-of-the-office voicemail set up in case they didn’t get that email you sent. Think about setting up a calendar or a list of all of the holidays and pre-planned office shutdowns to be available on your website so there is no confusion.
Vendors may have reoccurring delivery schedules that need to be notified via phone, text, or email to put a hold on deliverables. And sometimes it may be easy to forget about your hospitality services that come in the middle of the night once or twice a week to clean your office – don’t make the janitors and clean-up crew come in when you aren’t at the office to make a mess.
Turn off Office Equipment & Turn Down the Thermostat
Don’t just say that your business is green – take actions to preserve energy by turning off all of the office lights, any office machinery that won’t be used, and turning down the thermostat for the shutdown. Not only will you be saving energy – you’ll be saving a lot of money in energy costs too.
Prepare to Start the New Year with a Bang
Your customers are going to want to hear from you at the beginning of a fiscal year. What better way to do that than write a refreshing handwritten card to send when you get back into the office from your holiday retreat? If you don’t have time to do a handwritten card because you have a longer to-do list than expected, then at least send an personal email out that wishes farewell to 2017 and a warm welcome to 2018.
Also, sending a letter out is an opportunity to inform your customers of any upcoming and exciting events or products that will hit the market at the start of the new year. They’ll want to hear about what you’ve got in store for them.
Don’t forget to take advantage of our Design and Engineering Services this holiday season – as we would like to help you get a head start on the new year with your engineering projects.