Though the rise of Industry 4.0 in the last few years has encouraged manufacturers to digitally transform, the latest global events have made it more of a priority than ever before. It’s become clear that manufacturers need to change the way they implement operations, use data, engage with customers, and create an overall more sustainable and resilient ecosystem. And all this can be done with a cloud-based strategy.
The truth is that many manufactures are not adequately prepared for disruptive events. Disruptions are caused by a number of different reasons:
- Advancements in technology can cause strong disruptions in the way of doing business.
- Disruptive innovative competitors can affect your business; therefore, having the right insights can avoid investing in the wrong ideas or products.
- Customers’ tastes and behaviors continuously influence the company’s strategies forcing them to adapt production to be able to quickly react.
- Economic volatility leading to changes in customer behaviors. Think of the automotive industry during this global pandemic; if you’re locked at home you don’t need access to a car.
The good news is that digital transformation is still top of mind for most manufacturers in many areas. Trends that have been found include:
- 40% of manufactures will use IoT sensor data to diagnose issues and reduce downtime, which requires predictive maintenance1
- 50% of new IT infrastructure will be deployed outside of data centers1
- 35% growth in digital twins to create a virtual factory2
- 20% of G2000 manufactures will employ IoT, ML, and AI to automate decision making3
The pandemic pushed us towards the future of manufacturing by almost five years. Before many companies had already started or had plans to start a digital transformation. Suddenly, a new unforeseen critical factor was added: staying in business.
Since the pace of digital transformation won’t slow down, the question is if today’s manufacturing industry is agile and innovative enough. And more importantly, is it resilient enough to survive the next disruptive event and outpace the competition?
The future of manufacturing leverages the concepts of cloud manufacturing to create a sustainable ecosystem to navigate through the next major event by successfully implementing these five core principles or 5Cs:
- Customer focused
- Continuous improvement
In order to achieve the 5Cs, you need to implement a cloud-based strategy that utilizes the following:
- Integration to support SaaS providers and an API-first strategy.
- Low-code approach to speed up the time to market, create newer services, and innovate faster.
- Power back to the people to empower all levels of users and create more synergy with processes and technology.
- Hybrid architectures to decide what data to migrate and when.
- Scaling and deployments to support out-of-the-box scaling to increase service availability and speed up the release cycle of new services.
- Processing at the edge to allow more edge IoT, 5G, and serverless computing patterns.
Cloud also enables modern event-driven responsive architecture. With a responsive architecture, you can process critical factory events and support your operations with immediate actions. You gain the necessary agility for the so-called “new normal”.
Here are a few of our customers who have implemented cloud manufacturing:
- Campari is one of the largest spirits beverage producers in the world. Since 1995, Campari has made 27 acquisitions so it needed to integrate with all different kinds of systems. The beverage producer had the pressure to minimize the time to market. Only by moving to the cloud was Campari able to gain the necessary business agility to sell the newly acquired products as fast as possible on the market and to sustain future acquisitions.
- Cosentino is a family-owned business founded 40 years ago in Spain and active in mining hills for granite and selling unfinished slabs to stonemasons. It completely transformed its business when it went digital to become a leader in high-end kitchen and baths finishing. But with the expansion, Cosentino had to face challenges to scale operations and keep running many different business processes. By integrating their global IT systems in the cloud and adopting a cloud-native architecture, a customer is now able to see in real-time if a product is available in two to three days compared to three to six months.
Manufacturing isn’t going away any time soon. But, if manufacturers want to remain competitive in this new environment, they have to look towards digital transformation, specifically with cloud. This will give manufacturers the necessary sustainability, agility, and resiliency to be prepared for the next disruptive event.