Research reveals only nine per cent of manufacturers are to invest in digital transformation projects over the next 12-18 months

New research by InfinityQS, a global authority on data-driven enterprise quality, has revealed that only nine per cent of manufacturers are planning to invest in digital transformation projects over the next 12-18 months. This was closely followed by 20 per cent of manufacturers that have disclosed their plan to invest in waste production solutions over the same period.

The survey obtained responses from 118 global manufacturers to understand their level of digital maturity, gain a deeper insight into their existing digital infrastructure and determine their IT expectations over the next 18 months. Furthermore, the survey also shows that 78 per cent of manufacturers are to invest in data collection and process automation solutions to improve their shop floor.

According to Jason Chester, Director of Channel Programs for InfinityQS: “The survey results highlight manufacturers’ lack true understanding surrounding the benefits of digitalisation projects. According to a survey by PWC, manufacturing companies who embrace the digitalisation drive can expect to reduce operational costs by 3.6 per cent p.a. while increasing efficiency by 4.1 per cent.

“Yet, instead of focusing on digitalisation, manufacturers are prioritising spend elsewhere – for example, waste management and data collection as our survey shows.

“Waste reduction has been a priority amongst manufactures for many years, which consequently means any advancements are increasingly becoming even more marginal, delivering fewer returns for firms. Any progresses in waste reduction lays in digitalisation projects that unlock significant improvements by enabling manufacturers to monitor and respond to the causes of waste more clearly.

“Additionally, almost 50 per cent of manufacturers say that they are going to invest in data collection, but that alone only represents one part of an organisations digital transformation journey. If that investment is being made, it makes economic sense to use that data for manufacturing and quality intelligence.

“Implementing quality intelligence technologies is critical for manufacturers as it enables real-time data collection and analysis that would have gone to waste. By automatically harvesting production data from across the entire manufacturing process, manufacturers can benefit from a real-time and holistic view of the operations across different process, lines, sites or regions to unify the quality control processes. This enables all staff to monitor and examine production process, instantly identifying and reporting shop-floor issues to save time, reduce wastage and conserve power, resulting in substantial cost savings.”

Chester concludes, “Long-term what would benefit manufacturers is to fully understand what digital transformation means, the benefits to their organisations, and to have a coherent roadmap for how to achieve it. This will allow manufacturers to identify where the big opportunities are to decrease costs (efficiency), increase value (quality) and reduce uncertainty (risk).”

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