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Four ways manufacturers can embrace digital transformation with limited resources

Oct 04, 2021

It’s clear that digital transformation is the future of manufacturing. Manufacturers across the spectrum are finding that investments in Industry 4.0 technologies are reducing waste and cost, improving supply chain resilience, driving higher profitability and creating a world-class customer experience.

However, despite its numerous advantages, digital transformation has been slower to gain traction in small and midsize businesses. To be sure, the market is growing, and investments are making Industry 4.0 capabilities more attainable and affordable. This is particularly true of industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies, where economies of scale are beginning to drive down costs. However, the onus is largely on manufacturers to do the market research and determine where and how to invest in innovation for the long term.

Naturally, this is challenging for companies that have numerous investment objectives but limited human and financial resources. The digital transformation journey touches all aspects of the business, from staff to technology infrastructure to cybersecurity. Moreover, it’s not a one-and-done task. In other words, there is no one place to invest or one-time capital expenditure to make. Digital transformation is an iterative process that can take years to fully realize.

How to start creating your digital transformation strategy

Here’s the good news: digital transformation is not an all-or-nothing undertaking. There are tremendous benefits to be gained even at a smaller scale — provided the investments are prioritized according to an overall strategy. You may even have the building blocks in place to get started without realizing it.

Here are four ways that you can embrace innovation with limited capital, staff and time.

Wipfli can help you prioritize next steps

Industry 4.0 offers exceptional potential for manufacturers. It can also be a disorienting landscape to navigate. As a digital transformation consulting firm, Wipfli helps businesses of all sizes develop unambiguous strategies for digital transformation that support their long-term goals.

Learn more about how we can help you transition from being a manufacturer that uses technology to a technology-mindset company that does manufacturing. It’s time to create your digital transformation strategy, and we can help.

Next up, we dive into the top areas where manufacturers should invest to create an innovative customer experience. Don’t miss out on that and our other thought-provoking articles just for manufacturing leaders. Sign up using the form on the righthand side of this page to receive articles and our manufacturing newsletter directly in your inbox.

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Jake R. Rohrer
Senior Consultant
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