A new report has found that initial development costs and lack of expertise are the main barriers to implementation or continued use of connected technology for manufacturing firms.
The Manufacturing 2020 report published by Raconteur Digital includes contributions from technology providers including Microsoft, as well as insights from manufacturing firms from small to multi-national including JJ Churchill, Caterpillar, Sofa Brands International and Weetabix.
The report was produced to help manufacturers consider their strategy for connectivity. Thomas Honoré, Chief Executive from Columbus said:
“Accenture reports that 95 per cent of Chief Executives expect major strategic challenges regarding disruption and the fourth industrial revolution – and yet only 20 per cent of their organisations are prepared for this.
“Making clever use of the Internet of Things presents a huge opportunity for manufacturers to get closer to the customer, but it only works if you have the organisation, processes and systems to make sense of that extra data.”
In the report experts are asked in which technologies manufacturers should invest. Answers include developing a web presence, increasing visibility and removing manual processes. A common recommendation across the report is for manufacturers to maximise their use of data. Andrew Churchill, Executive Chairman, JJ Churchill – a small aerospace firm based in the Midlands said:
“By using data analytics, we have been able to cut our cycle time for one of our products by 40%. The immediate benefits of this include reducing cost per part and increasing capacity and this adds up to higher productivity.”
The report also includes insights from Kris Oldham of Field Service News who argues that creating a pool of digitally savvy talent should be a priority in the face of the sector losing experienced operators to retirement over the next decade. He says that “training and retraining your employees becomes key”.
From a manufacturers perspective, Churchill says:
“We find that the staff who have the right mentality and skills to work in this world have often gone through the apprenticeship process.”
Subscribers to The Manufacturer can download the report for free via The Manufacturer website.
Theme: Digital & Technology
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