Manufacturers are experiencing a changing business landscape since the pandemic.
People are investing more in IT in order to function flexibly, competitively and more transparently. The global pandemic, geopolitical tensions and climate change can disrupt the chain of which an organization is a part. Companies need to adapt their strategy with the aim of becoming more robust. The workforce, overall planning, analysis, risk management, and intelligence of today’s overall business chain ultimately determine the organization’s resilience and flexibility over competitors.
Global crisis is driving companies to change
The pandemic created a desire for digital connectivity. An ecosystem that enables real-time insight into the chain. Markets have changed due to the many worldwide disruptions and imbalances between supply and demand, lack of materials, declines in quality staff and digital work. Companies should reconsider whether they comply with this and how this can be managed.
Investments in IT provide new opportunities for companies
Companies are investing in cloud solutions, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), automation through robotics and data sharing to accelerate partnerships. They want to be able to analyze, predict and understand the behavior and possible disruptions in the supply chain.
Data is required, both from the internal organization and surrounding organizations. Any disruption in the chain will affect the overall supply chain. A simple example concerning a trading company of insulation material; if gas prices rise, the products of insulation material will lower production or make it smarter. This leads to stagnation in the wider supply chain, with the result that there is a shortage of eg PIR insulation boards on the construction site. It is necessary to be able to predict risks and to develop strategies for this. Using a combination of cloud, edge and digital twin technology, companies are transforming themselves into a digital twin of the entire chain. People are enabled to be informed at an early stage of changes and disturbances in the chain so that they can anticipate them.
By integrating autonomous processes, events can be analyzed, mutual relationships can be made transparent and it is possible to prioritize the actions to be taken to solve a particular problem. The cloud makes it possible to share and analyze large datasets, enabling companies to visualize, model, predict, manage and share their decisions and approach with third parties. An example of such a system is, for example, Azure or Microsoft Dynamics. A platform that enables the creation of a digitally connected supply chain where real-time insights, analyzes and predictions can be made. To be able to form models that contribute to a circular economy in the design, production, distribution and recycling of materials. For example, if materials such as XPS insulation boards remain during the construction of a house. Thanks to a broad digital context in the chain, it will be possible for companies to adapt the new demand for such materials to this. It makes it possible to recycle raw materials and reduce the purchase of new ones.
Securing this data is also an important factor to consider before getting started. Addressing system vulnerabilities and combating threats such as ransomware attacks. It can affect the entire chain up to the suppliers of the raw materials.
When working with systems, the human factor must be taken into account. The tools should encourage collaboration with and between people. The lack of staff, talent and competencies is a problem that is growing day by day. In addition, organizations must learn to work externally and manage their operations externally. A problem-free collaboration with remote control must be established as an option. It requires in-service training, tools that support employees to work more efficiently, and a knowledge management system that helps the organization and its people. Cloud-based capabilities, virtual reality, mixed reality training tools and AI-based knowledge management could play a role here.