How to make the digital technologies shift in your business
A growing number of businesses across industries are adopting strategies to transform and empower themselves in
implementing Industry 4.0. There are four key strategies that work best for organizations for getting businesses started in adopting digital technologies.
1. Focus on customer needs
One of the key benefits of digital technologies is an enhanced capacity to deliver value to your customers. This may take the traditional form of less expensive, higher quality products. However, customers increasingly value products that allow them to work better, save time or enjoy life more.
- Start by striving to understand what your customers currently find valuable about your products. Once you have discovered customers’ true motivations for buying from you, you can find digital technology that will help you increase that value.
- If you are in a price-sensitive industry, technology may help you drive down your costs, making you more price competitive. However, customers don’t always buy on price. Often, they find installation services, delivery time, product quality, warranties, and other services more important and are willing to pay a premium for those features. For example, a kitchen cabinet manufacturer that uses tracking technologies to provide fast and accurate deliveries to its customers will be more successful than competitors that cannot.
2. Be strategic
- It’s important to evaluate your current digital maturity, decide where you need to be in the coming years and make a plan to get there. Start by reviewing the work you did to determine what your customers value the most from you. Then, develop a digital strategy for using technology to create and deliver that value to the market.
- Be careful not to focus on a specific technology at this stage. Instead, consider your customers’ wish list and identify the digital technologies that could meet those requirements. You can then evaluate the digital maturity of your equipment and computer systems, and plan for changes to your IT infrastructure and employee skills.
- It is often valuable to integrate your technology implementation plan into a broader productivity enhancement program. Adopting operational efficiency best practices and a culture of continuous improvement are key to a successful digital transformation.
Empower your employees with digital technologies
It’s critical to find and retain talented employees, especially in the digital technologies age. As our survey shows, access to skilled employees is the main challenge facing technology adopters.
Another key challenge is the employees’resistance to change. Therefore, your ability to hire skilled staff and manage
your team effectively when introducing new technology will be a key factor affecting your success.
- Involve your employees from the outset in selecting the technology you want to implement. Share your vision for why this choice is important to the company, how it will enhance the value you deliver to your customers and how it will affect employees’ jobs. Some employees may fear the impact technology will have on their jobs or even that it will displace them. Whether this is the case or not, you need to address these concerns head-on. An open and honest discussion about the technology will help lessen concerns and get the staff excited about the new direction the company is taking.
- Of course, the discussion is not enough. You need to offer the appropriate training for employees who will be using the new technology. You may also need to devise a plan for each employee who will be significantly affected by the new technology.
Walk before you run when adopting digital transformation
Introducing digital technologies does not mean you have to turn your company into a high-tech start-up. Rather, successful businesses start with small projects to build skills, iron out problems and prove return on investment.
This is important, especially considering the uncertainty many entrepreneurs feel about the value of investing in these technologies. An early win on a pilot project will help demonstrate the value of digitization
to you and your team.
- If you’ve so far made only limited investments in technology, start with a small pilot project. For example, connect your equipment to capture the information needed to measure key performance indicators as part
of a program of continuous improvement.
- Once you have successfully implemented a pilot project and become more confident in implementing and using technology, it’s time to build on that success. A second step could be to share key performance indicators with an electronic dashboard displayed on the shop floor, measuring where each order is and whether that order is on time, ahead of time or delayed. As employees become more aware of order flow, they will be more inclined to improve operations and become more efficient.
- You can then use these early wins to demonstrate the value of digital transformation and continue to implement other Industry 4.0 applications.
It’s time to get started with digital technologies
The digital age has arrived. New digital technologies are changing the way products are developed, manufactured and delivered to customers. Those that have adopted these technologies have reaped impressive rewards, including
higher growth, improved productivity, and better product quality.
If you’re among those who still haven’t started, it’s not too late. In fact, there’s never been a better time to get involved—technologies have matured and become more affordable and user-friendly. What’s more, there are tried and tested ways to make sure you choose the right technologies and implement them in a way that makes your company more competitive, profitable and growth-oriented.
The time is right to join the Industry 4.0 revolution. Contact Musato Technologies to learn more about how our innovative ICT solutions and products can help your organization with the implementation of digital technologies.