Covid pushes more than half of manufacturers towards digital transformations to enhance operations

With manufacturers rebounding from the impact of the pandemic, new research reveals more are now actively looking to invest in digital transformation initiatives

Following the concerns bought about by the Covid pandemic, more than 50% of manufacturers now have their sights set on digital transformation initiatives to enhance their operational performance, according to research from InfinityQS.

IIOT (industrial internet of things) text displayed on screen of modern frameless smartphone. Hand holding smartphone.

The company’s 2021 Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey reveals that 52% of respondents have already, or are exploring the option of adopting a digital transformation initiative, with advanced analytics (24%) as their top priority.

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

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 It brought into sharp relief where legacy systems and outdated processes exacerbated the problems that manufacturers faced alongside new challenges such as the rapid shift to remote working, and supply chain disruption.”

Mr Chester continued: “Prioritising digital transformation initiatives is the key to 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. InfinityQS says it is understandable that IIoT and cloud computing would be at the top of the agenda, as they help manufacturers to leverage real-time data to make “pro-active decisions”, respond to fluctuations in demand, ensure flexible operations, and even build resilience for future ‘black-swan’ events.

Mr Chester concluded: “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 transformation to increase their agility and maintain competitive edge, as companies that do are better equipped to improve their operations at a faster speed and even anticipate changes, before they occur.”