Two Must-Haves for IIoT Success at Your Factory
Technological transformation in the manufacturing industry is essential in today’s climate, but integrating IIOT takes an innovative culture and wealth of technical talent to reap the rewards.
Over the years many of us seasoned manufacturing veterans have read article after article about how transforming your factory to include the latest smart technology will increase productivity, reduce operating costs, provide greater access to data, and allow for better decision making. In fact, a recent google search on “Technology Transformation” produced 48.5 million results, most of which highlight the positive impact a technological shift will bring to the plant floor. And for the most part, I agree. However, such a transformation will only be worthwhile if your operations strategy includes these two things:
- A culture that encourages employee innovation and change
- Tech-savvy talent
Without these, you may find yourself eating the cost of a technology that is highly under-utilized, turning your technological transformation into an uphill battle.
A Truly Innovative Manufacturing Culture
Technological transformation is more of a corporate strategy than a scattered implementation process. The success or failure of your technological investment will be attributed to the digital IQ of your organization’s leaders and their teams. They must first promote a culture of innovation and change, encouraging employees to focus on continuous improvement, innovation and on-going training. There are many transformation strategies to choose from, but your leaders must be on board with this type of cultural transformation or they will have no use for the information the technology transformation will provide.
Technical Talent for the 21st Century
In light of a recent skills gap study by Plant Engineering, it is clear that many companies continue to struggle selling the younger generation on a career in manufacturing. In order to combat this, manufacturers looking to benefit from a technology transformation will need to revamp their talent strategy to include attracting the next generation’s workforce of tech-savvy millennials as well as invest in their current workforce. Bridging the talent gap will be a focus for the entire manufacturing sector, so companies looking to get ahead of the competition on the technology front must make this a part of a strategic priority. This will put pressure on your Recruiting and HR departments, but long term it will pay off, resulting in having the skilled talent when and where you need it.
Bottom line, true digital transformation requires a shift in strategy to develop an entirely different business model that places technology at the core of its strategy and culture. It can be achieved if the right steps are taken, but many organizations still have years to go before fully embracing what it takes to make it a successful reality.
Mark Cox is Director of Business Development at Advanced Technology Services, Inc.