5 steps for an efficient digitalisation of your production

Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 have long been on everyone's lips, it is no longer news that businesses today need to digitalize their processes and working methods to maintain their competitiveness. But it's not that easy in practice. Many companies struggle to get started with their digitisation and even more with actually getting the value they intend by digitalize. So what is it that companies should consider when starting their digitisation journey?
Digitisation helps businesses to make the most of the information in their business by working smarter. By collecting, analysing and visualising information, employees in all departments of the business can act on it. They can make the right decisions faster. Which in turn both increases efficiency and improves results. Below are five areas that may be worth focusing a little extra on to succeed with your digitisation.

1. The objective

The majority of manufacturing companies today are under great pressure to improve efficiency. That is, a standard to be competitive both in the way they work and in the quality they deliver. The pursuit of these efficiency pressures is often what drives digitalisation. It is important to think about how companies can achieve the high efficiency they are striving for by having clear goals for their digitisation efforts. Digitalisation has great potential to be a significant step in the development of a manufacturing company. However, achieving the desired effects requires having a clearly formulated problem to be solved or a clear improvement to be achieved.

2. Take a holistic approach

Successful digitization is very much about a company daring to see the big picture. Many companies are interested in digitalize but do not know where to start. A common mistake is that many digitization projects are carried out as several, smaller, initiatives. This means that the various initiatives do not always support each other and that it becomes difficult to achieve a flow and an overall picture. Questions should be asked from a holistic perspective, i.e. based on what you have and what your processes look like to be able to adapt your operations in the best way. Furthermore, the possibility of using an upgraded version of existing systems should be examined, as well as which processes you are willing to change. Finally, it is about seeing the possibility of adapting the entire business from a larger perspective.

3. Make your data available

In order to drive effective digitisation work, data availability is needed, from many different parts of the business, which is achieved by retrieving data from equipment and systems. Furthermore, these need to be stored in a logical way. For example, an advanced planning system, where with a direct overview of the whole chain, production plans can be created and changes can be seen in real time. This makes the data available to everyone in the different business areas, which can be a revolutionary solution. Getting the right information at the right time instead of having information scattered in different islands of information with missing or incomplete integration between the islands. This can be a critical solution to overcoming your challenges, which is why it's important to dare to dream big too!

4. Meet data collection requirements with digitisation strategy

In production and manufacturing operations, there are requirements to save and collect their data, which can range from environmental to regulatory requirements. However, good data collection is not just about archiving information, but also how diverse information can be linked between different segments of the business. Often, the reality for companies is a complex process; with multiple production lines and equipment that must interact in an optimal way to maintain and improve quality and delivery reliability. A good digitisation strategy can meet these requirements, which many companies operating in regulatory environments need.

5. The journey of change

Without a clear picture, it is more difficult to verify the benefits of an investment in digitization and thus also more difficult to implement the change journey that digitization entails. You need to change your working methods to benefit from digital tools. That is why it is of the utmost importance to get all employees on board. While a good goal for the change journey is to adopt a change in its entirety, there is no general advice that applies to all companies, which depends on the organization, experience and much more. Therefore, you should dare to see digitization as a change journey for the entire company, i.e. to permeate the entire line between management and operators and allow the various projects to interact to a large extent. When you get the digitization work to work together, the change leads to the desired effects for all groups and employees. Working in a smart and efficient way encompasses many different parameters such as digitization, cloud services, machine learning and automation, etc. These five general, but at the same time absolutely crucial points are about being able to steer the digitization work to achieve the best effect with our exciting and new technologies. A strong development direction today shows that one step to take is to follow the global digitization trend and also dare to do it in big ways, not just small initiatives. Digitization does not only include the benefit of having less paper to keep track of. It creates a great opportunity to make information more accessible, utilize skills regardless of geographical Location and improve availability and efficiency in production. In summary: Remember to set clear goals, dare to see the digitization work as a whole, collect data, get all employees involved and use skills regardless of Location.

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