Some of the Common Digitization Challenges in the Manufacturing Industry

by | Published on Dec 22, 2020 | Document Conversion / Scanning Services

Today, the manufacturing industry is aggressively pursuing digital transformation with the help of document scanning services to improve process efficiency and empower innovations. They no longer rely on paper sheets and 2D drawings. With digitization, manufacturing firms have transformed to a digital setup that uses digital records, 3D drawings etc.

Digital transformation helps businesses focus on new business value from digitizing to optimizing business operations. It also helps gain a competitive advantage by exploiting emerging technologies. The journey towards digitization may sound daunting but it does not take that long. It improves efficiency, productivity, customer experience and also adds value to your business. However, the manufacturing industry faces some challenges in digitization:

  • Investment in Capital: Having a proper digitization strategy for manufacturing operations is essential, otherwise it can lead to huge investment costs. This is especially true when considering the cybersecurity aspects of a digital environment because the investments can become reactive if not thoughtfully prepared for in advance. Once you have your digitization plan ready, manufacturing firms can invest in advanced manufacturing technology capabilities over time to deliver ROI benefits like improved operational efficiency and minimize downtime.
  • Cybersecurity: The manufacturing industry handles a great deal of sensitive data and when any technologies are implemented, cyber security is essential to improve current security protocols and also to manage future risks. Business managers and employees must find out the most critical information assets to protect, figure out how that information flows through the organization, and determine the level of risk if the information was compromised in any manner. Having a strong cyber security plan helps to address and minimize any risks.
  • Learning Curve: This is one of the most common digitization challenges that many of the industries face. This is due to lack of relevant knowledge to implement advanced manufacturing technologies in a safe and secure manner. But this problem can be resolved with proper guidance. Outside experts can provide immediate implementation guidance and training to help organizations take advantage of innovations such as the following, AI / machine learning, advanced data analytics, augmented / virtual reality, and cloud computing.
  • Employee’s Reluctance: This is a common issue found in manufacturing industries. Any minor error in any of the functions in an organization can lead to safety-, quality-, and cybersecurity-related risks. Configuring machines incorrectly or insecurely, forwarding unprotected business sensitive information to outside parties for quoting, mishandling equipment, or, opening unknown attachments are some of the human errors possible. Digitizing the manufacturing sector may require new processes and re-training on equipment. However, employees are often reluctant to any change in the organization. So, the digital transformation process and change in the organization should not be imposed but, it should be the outcome of a continuous discovery phase that empowers employees to test current processes and identify room for improvement. The change should begin with the company’s president or leader and then continue through key multi-departmental staff, including decision makers at every level of the organization.
  • Privacy Issues: Digitization in manufacturing firms is a window into every aspect of manufacturing operations and this can lead to privacy concerns. These firms have several data like employee details, customer information, as well as the data collected by certain IoT sensors, cameras, or biometric authentication devices. Data from any one device may not be a problem but information from different devices can be a privacy concern.
  • Obsolete Systems: With every year, technology keeps on growing and changing. The older a technology infrastructure is, the more difficult it is to make it compatible with a digitized manufacturing environment. In a digitized setup, accurate data needs to be shared among a variety of systems. But if the business platforms and technologies are over five years old, they may not be able to read, write, or share data as needed. So, updating technology can be extremely challenging. A carefully tested parallel, phased, or piloted implementation approach can be used to upgrade systems without impacting the production line.

Digitization is an ongoing process and it is vital for all industries to prosper in the present digital world. But industries should not digitize just for the sake of doing it. They should have a proper digitization plan and be able to be aligned with every aspect of it with specific business outcomes and carry it out efficiently and cost effectively. Document scanning companies allow processing of data in digital format for the manufacturing industry that enables them to stay strong in the competitive world and also earn profit. They use both skilled workers and the latest technology to bring quality output that helps to improve their efficiency and workflow. It is also important to ensure that you build a rapport with your vendor to help them provide error-free and quality data.

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