In today’s market, business isn’t easy. Fierce global competition has US-based businesses large and small facing tighter margins and shrinking revenues. But while the big guys have the resources to respond and adapt, smaller businesses are forced into a race to the bottom line.
In many cases, the squeeze on smaller businesses is avoidable. It’s not only the extra resources that keep larger businesses growing while smaller businesses fail. It’s that these larger businesses have fully embraced technology.
More specifically, they’ve adopted digital transformation.
Need Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a broad strategy that’s applicable to any business in any industry. While digital transformation strategies vary based on businesses and industries, the core is to solve traditional business problems and create new opportunities with digital technology.
For manufacturers, in particular, digital transformation provides the technology to significantly reduce costs, maximize revenues, improve quality and deliver the agility a business needs to identify opportunities and take advantage of them.
It also means keeping up with the rapid changes across the industry. Competitors with digital transformation initiatives have a razor-sharp edge over those still tracking data with paper tablets and Excel spreadsheets.
IDC forecasts that global digital transformation initiatives will eclipse $2.8 trillion by 2025. In other words, things are moving quickly. To stay competitive, digital transformation for manufacturers is existentially critical.
Opportunities With Digital Transformation
A lot of smaller companies think of digital transformation as something for bigger businesses. That may have been the case a decade ago, but not any longer. Innovative cloud and software solutions have paved the way for even the smallest businesses to transform into technological powerhouses with minimal costs.
Incidentally, the foundations put in place with digital initiatives lowers the cost of future transformation strategies. Manufacturing businesses with the right digital approach in place can lower their custom software development costs by up to 74%, according to a Microsoft study by Forrester Consulting.
That same study shows that businesses with digital transformation strategies in place saw a 188% ROI over three years. Put simply, industry 4.0 is here, and it’s digital. Small US manufacturing companies need to heed the call and move to even footing with global market leaders.
Manufacturers that choose a trusted partner to create a sound digital transformation strategy stand to benefit in nearly every realm of business. The right software solutions, for example, address some of the most pressing needs in manufacturing, including:
- Growing Revenues
- Reducing Costs
- Improving Quality
- Field-to-factory Communication
- A Focus on Safety
Strategy and Innovation
One of the biggest benefits of digital transformation is the collection of data both inside and outside of a business. Manufacturers often have multiple systems disconnected from each other. Moving information from one to another without disrupting records is time-consuming and costly.
With a custom software solution, businesses can take advantage of easily-accessible business intelligence dashboards that draw data from every corner of the business. Being able to see every detail of a business granularly and on a wide scale is how you identify new opportunities.
It's how you innovate. Which is what digital transformation is all about.
Consider the challenges in hiring new employees. It's costly from several different angles, but your business needs more workers to meet demand, right? Not necessarily. Embracing digital innovation means thinking differently about business problems. Could a custom software solution reduce the number of worker hours needed?
For small and medium manufacturers, the answer is most likely yes.
From a technology perspective, one of the biggest pain points in manufacturing is repetitive workflows. Workers perform the same tasks over and over. With the right partner, a manufacturer can save up to 25% workflow time by automating one of these workflows.
And automation offers a wealth of other benefits, including:
- Increased worker efficiency and reduced process times
- Automation of manual processes such as data entry, reducing employee hours and paperwork
- Process improvements of up to a 50% gain, reducing a one-hour workload to 30 minutes
There are plenty of retail solutions that chip away at this kind of innovation, but they're often focused on a particular industry. If the software doesn't match your processes, your business has to adapt.
But digital transformation has changed software. With minimal cost and effort, your business can take advantage of custom solutions that automate the way you work. Not the other way around.
Choosing the Right Partner for Your Digital Transformation
More crucial than digital transformation itself is choosing the right company to help usher your business into the future. Digital transformation is no easy endeavor — you need a trusted partner that understands your business and its needs.
Hub365 is a Microsoft Partner that leverages Power Apps to rapidly build custom software solutions for manufacturers. Our team has years of experience working with executives and businesses owners in manufacturing. We’re experts in leveraging digital initiatives to improve manufacturing operations and boost business productivity.
We also focus our expertise and efforts on small and medium manufacturing businesses because we want to help build a more competitive manufacturing sector in the US. By focusing our expertise in digital transformation, we’ll do exactly that.