There has been a growth in the number of manufacturers looking to enhance their manufacturing operations by leveraging digital transformation, despite a challenging year for the industry, which has seen many put their strategic agendas on hold while they contend with unprecedented operational challenges, as well as market volatility and economic uncertainty.

Over half of manufacturers now have their sights set on digital transformation initiatives to enhance their operational performance, according to research from InfinityQS. The  survey reveals that 52 per cent of respondents are exploring, or have already adopted, a digital transformation initiative, with advanced analytics as their top priority.

“One thing that the pandemic did was expose significant and often widespread operational weaknesses within incumbent manufacturing environments,” Jason Chester, director of global channel programs at InfinityQS, said. “It brought relief into where legacy systems and outdated processes exacerbated the problems that manufacturers faced alongside new challenges such as the rapid shift to remote working, and supply chain disruption.

“Prioritising digital transformation initiatives is the key in helping to address these new challenges. Data for example, is a great way for manufacturers to increase visibility into their operations as it can provide important insights into each stage of the production process. These valuable insights can then be leveraged to help make more informed and tactical decisions to secure long term resilience and growth.”

In addition to advanced analytics, the other most popular technologies on the priority list include Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud computing.

“It is understandable to see IIoT and cloud computing at the top of the agenda,” Chester continued. “Manufacturers want to leverage real time data to make proactive decisions which can maximise performance, respond to fluctuations in demand, ensure flexible operations, and even build resilience for future ‘black swan’ events, all while maintaining high levels of product quality and safety.”

“For manufacturers to stay ahead of competition and remain at the top of their industry they need to constantly adapt to their environment by making tactical digital investments. It is great to see the majority are rebounding from the pandemic and embracing digital transformations to increase their agility and maintain competitive edge. Companies who do are better equipped to improve their operations at a faster speed and even anticipate changes before they occur.”

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