A Guide to Digital Transformation for the Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing has entered the digital age with technology leading the call for automation across all facets of the industry. While some companies were there as soon as the term digital transformation was coined, many others were left behind. However, accessibility to technology has become more affordable. Digital transformation has become a necessity for manufacturers poised to enjoy growth in today’s changing markets. This guide offers valuable insight into the most valuable digitized tools available to aid in your digital transformation efforts.  

Automated production line in modern factory

Benefits of Digital Transformation for Manufacturers

There are four key areas of manufacturing driving digital transformation:

  1. Productivity: Today’s manufacturing facility keeps teams better informed with easier access to vital data from maintenance to safety and processes that will prevent malfunctions and optimize production.
  2. Quality control: Machine learning, automated production and production data all contribute to improved quality control from the production line to the AP department.
  3. Cost reductions: Digital transformation initiatives automate and streamline all manufacturing processes from the production line to inventory and accounting to shipping, reducing labor costs.
  4. Safety: In dangerous environments, instant alerts can be shared regarding potential hazards, accurate records can be kept tracking injury claims and best practices can be shared to mitigate risk for accidents.

INDUSTRY REPORT: Top digital transformation innovations changing your industry

Document Scanning Services

Converting paper documents to electronic files allows important intellectual property to be securely searched and accessed. You can integrate all forms of schematics whether they are product specs, datasheets, engineering documents and plans, microfiche, large format blueprints, or standard-sized paper documents. Your team can then:

  • Gain access to your valuable information to increase efficiency
  • Reduce expensive physical storage costs
  • Reduce compliance risk
  • Increase data security
  • Increase your commitment to paperless sustainability practices

Your intellectual property is your bread and butter. Using scanning services allows you to store your information in a highly secure environment and determine who has access to those files. Your privacy and confidentiality are ensured so that you only allow those with authorization to view your documents.

DocuWare provides secure archiving of business documents that are linked electronically. You access them on the terms that work best, allowing you to fully automate your process.

If you prefer you can purchase your own Kodak Alaris document scanners to allow your team to scan documents when required.

NEW GUIDE: How to become a paperless company in 90 days

Reduce Compliance Risk

Manufactures across many categories are facing increased regulations. Ensuring you remain compliant can lead to management issues, especially when more than one department is affected by regulations. Information Governance gets information to the right people more efficiently so you can feel safe knowing information is shared with minimal risk.

Using the right software such as Mercury, can drastically improve issues by ensuring policies are consistently applied across disparate systems and content types. This allows you to retain your documents according to their appropriate retention schedule. You can also ensure sensitive data remains secure and you can administer access control, so the right people see the appropriate information.

Information is accessed easily during discovery that will reduce costs and you will be able to retain records showing you are administering policies consistently in the case of an audit. Information is captured at the moment of creation and can be analyzed and classified ensuring that sensitive information is instantly stored in the appropriate location. This reduces risk and improves security both in the short and long term for archiving purposes.

Complete Digital Transformation

Manufacturing companies can automate business processes through the use of document scanning, business process outsourcing, and ECM (enterprise content management). This allows you to reduce costs and compete globally. With the right technology, you can greatly improve the coordination between vendors, customers, partners and your manufacturing. Digital transformation can touch all aspects of your business making improvements to accounts receivable, accounts payable, engineering, logistics, human resources, plant inspections, forms automation, and much more.

Complete digital transformation strategies in manufacturing can include:

  • Electronic forms and self-service options for HR
  • Mobile technology for inspections and data collection
  • Case management systems
  • Contracts management
  • Solutions to support employee health records
  • Compliant repositories for Soc 2, Sarbanes-Oxley, ISO, HIPAA, and more
  • Information Governance platforms
  • Business Process Outsourcing
  • Digital mailrooms

Data Management Solutions

Industrial manufacturers working on a large scale have even more specified digitized needs if they want to ensure higher productivity gains. Now is the time for industrial manufacturing companies to look into increasing digitization of information. This will allow you to share critical information in the most efficient and secure manner using data management solutions that analyze communications that happen outside of your ERP. Workflow automation solutions ensure the approval process remains secure and efficient to save time and money.

Digital technology in manufacturing is improving the customer experience. By streamlining the process, costs are reduced creating savings that are passed on to the consumer. Business models that adopt digital transformation projects can experience growth through improved efficiencies across all departments.

INDUSTRY REPORT: Top digital transformation innovations changing your industry