“Digital Transformation”​ has become a necessity for manufacturer’s to survive into the next decade.

Take the risk or lose the chance.

 “Digital transformation can be defined as the acceleration of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact in a strategic and prioritized way.” CIO magazine 1

As a manufacturing executive, you need to understand that being digital is no longer about stand-alone software such as ERP, CRM, and Salesforce—because software alone won’t get you where your company needs to go to be competitive. Today, will be necessary for you to find a way to integrate your IT and Operations teams in order to develop a digital strategy.

To get started, you must be thinking more like an Amazon, Uber, Tesla, Google, Apple, Alibaba, etc.

Why?

These companies are great models on how to operate a digital business. They have taken everyday products / services and made them easy to buy / order in the palms of the hands via Smartphones and tablets.

You might think well my customers are not complaining that I am not true “digital enterprise” so why should I rush.

They might not be complaining to you directly but they are complaining.

How do I know this?

Standing outside waiting for a taxi last week at the annual AHR (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) show in Las Vegas I overheard three middle aged gentlemen talking. “I wish XYZ company would have an easy mobile online ordering for their energy pumps so while I am on location, I can just click, my customers new pump has been ordered and is shipping tomorrow. I don’t understand why they don’t have this option available yet?????”

Now, this marketplace is considered industrial, not e-commerce. Yet, these gentlemen are expecting them to act like an Amazon or Alibaba.

Plus, 3D printing companies such as MakeXYZ are growing—not as a traditional manufacturer— as digital enterprise. This is making them a serious threat to manufacturer’s.

“MakeXYZ connects people who have items that need to be printed with people who have 3D printers and are willing to print items for others—whether those printers are at local hackerspaces, in private homes, or even in local businesses that have added 3D printing to their list of in-house manufacturing services. “

Digital transformation is not easy. Here are just a few suggestions to help you get started.

1- Get out of your comfort zone-go to non-industry related events. Last year I attended Collision in New Orleans. I walked away from this event with a real appreciation of where I need to go to make my company a truly digital enterprise and I know you will too.

2- Go to a Salesforce Dreamforce Conference or something similar. At tech conferences you will learn what makes up a true digital enterprise and what kinds of products they are developing to support a digital transformation.

3-Attend a local tech Meetup. Just in my home town of Orlando, I have learned about: severless, cloud, AWS, machine learning, AI, SQL / NoSQL, Ruby, Java, Mobile, Salesforce, Cybersecurity, UX, web design and so much more. Best of all, most Meetups are free and you will meet local talent that can help you become a digital enterprise.

I have decades of business experience and can help you develop your digital transformation strategy. Simply reach out to me to start the conversation: Nanette@nsgconsultinginc.com

1-    http://www.cio.com/article/3063620/it-strategy/digital-transformation-why-its-important-to-your-organization.html