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Digital Transformation for Manufacturers: 4 Steps

Written by Laura Schomaker

April 7, 2022

Industry 4.0 is here, bringing with it a new future for manufacturing companies. Modern manufacturing companies need to transform their operations digitally to keep up. With such a comprehensive undertaking in front of you, what are the steps you should take to achieve digital transformation for manufacturers? It should involve careful research into options, internal alignment of workflows and processes, creating ERP plan and implementing said ERP.

Step One: Building a Foundation of Digital Transformation for Manufacturers

Your first steps taking stock of what systems align with the company’s digital world. You may have some digital solutions in place, but how many integration options do they offer? Will your existing solutions “play well” with others? If not, is it time to put them away and implement a new one? If you are going to spend much of the next five years maintaining integrations between multiple applications, you may waste time, effort and money and miss many of the benefits of digital transformation in manufacturing.

Step Two: Addressing the Gaps

Once you know how big you want to go with ERP, it’s time to create a detailed manufacturing assessment to see which features your current applications provide and where there are functional gaps for future needs. Then, conduct a thorough business process review to identify processes you can improve through automation. You will need to investigate your existing capabilities and identify where modernization will take place. Ask your team:

With this information, you can then identify new technologies, including ERP.

Step Three: Developing a Plan for ERP Implementation

Once you know where your gaps are, you can create the technology plan designed to address them. Develop a plan that defines the desired goal, supporting technologies, and a timeline and process for implementation.

Working in partnership with the right ERP consultant is a key part of this process. They can guide you in projecting and phase timelines, establishing contingency plans, and offering support and training during implementation, so that your team is up and running as quickly as possible. 

Step Four: Supporting Ongoing Improvements

Post-implementation, ongoing support of digital technologies is key to successful digital transformation for manufacturers. Your ERP team can help you with application upgrades and other issues, helping you to stay current on the latest updates of your ERP and connected technologies. You can also set up a sandbox for testing these upgrades to ensure optimal performance. Look for ways to use existing features to improve processes and automation further. Go back to original technology implementations and implement more advanced features or tweak setups to get value and streamline additional processes.

Are you ready to explore your ERP options and transform your manufacturing business for the digital era? Get in touch today.

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