Time for factory digitalization? Keep these 5 key components in mind!

When it comes to smart factories, digital transformation may raise many types of thoughts into your mind. Many people view digital transformation as simply something that replaces old technologies with new ones. Some think there is a fixed way how every company should take the digital leap. In reality, there are numerous options out there and every company should pursue their digital journey in accordance with their vision – choosing which tools to use and which workflows to digitize based on what benefits their company the most.

Time to digitally transform your factory

Digitalization does not only transform technology – it changes the way your whole organization operates. Digital transformation should shift your organization into a data-driven model, where key decisions and processes are strongly influenced by insight provided by data, instead of pure human intuition. Why? Because even top-of-the-trade technology cannot be fully harnessed to drive success if the processes, people using the technology, and company culture don’t support digitalization.

What are the five key components to help you succeed in digital transformation? How does each of them impact your organization’s journey? Why do humans still play an essential part in co-operation with technological solutions? According to an article written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, there are five essential components in mapping out the journey to become a data-centric organization.

1. The people in your company

As we said before, digital transformation is not all about technology. In fact, one could even argue that it’s the people that make it possible at all. You need people in your company or co-operative partners to for example enhance data, analyze data and lead with data. Customers also play an important role as they are the ones you are creating value for in the end. You should have a clear vision of the customer values you want to create and build and start collecting data to support that vision.

Sometimes processes and workflows run extremely smoothly, but all the information and decision-making that creates their success is in the mind of one or two staff members. This creates a great vulnerability spot since the company is dependent on these employees and can be quite helpless if something happens to them, they retire, or they decide to pursue their career elsewhere. Digital transformation helps take information out of peoples’ minds and available for everyone to use. This builds a strong base that is not dependent on single staff members or leaders.

Read more about the human side of smart factories in our blog: Smart factories don’t eliminate human work, they embrace it from leaders to factory floor workers

2. Collecting quality data

Data provides the base for digital transformation: without data, there is not much to do with digital solutions. Luckily, every company produces some type of data whether they know about it, collect it, and use it or not. To harness the full power and advantages of a data-driven organization, data should be collected systematically about processes, behaviors and other areas that can help guide your company towards your vision. This way, decisions can be based on the strongest and most valuable data available from the most important areas of your operations.

This is the part where technology comes to play: modern technical solutions help you collect the data you need as well as enhance it and organize it to get the best value out of it. With good quality data, better decisions can be made.

Read more about the benefits of having a factory’s digital twin in our blog: Thinking about starting your digital twin journey – Here are 5 benefits it can bring you

3. Insights help you understand data

While modern tools help collect data, there is still one link between an organization being able to use it for smart decision making. The data must be turned into insights. This requires the right expertise and tools that transform data from lines of code to understandable insights. This is the part where you can choose which road you want to take:

In the past, many development projects have lasted for years and required major financial investments. In these projects, data solutions have been created for organizations from scratch. With this road the result is a solution that has been created specifically for your company but is harder to update and maintain. Years of developing can mean that technologies are outdated quicker, requiring more investments to keep up with development. Creating a completely new software from scratch also often limits you to work with one partner – if you end up wanting to shift service providers, or integrate other service providers to your business processes, it might be difficult to get your software to move with you without huge extra work.

The easier and more cost-efficient road is to choose ready-made smart factory solutions that can be tailored to your organization’s need and keeping future needs and possibilities in mind. This makes taking the first steps of a digital leap easier, as you don’t need to start you journey from zero but can instead easily test out different solutions and build your smart factory part by part. With for example Fliq’s easy-to-use, transparent, and non-binding smart solutions, you can start your digital transformation even in just days. We bring you the needed knowhow and suitable solutions to help your company succeed with data.

Fliq Platform is the base for everything that we do. Read more about how it can help your company:  Fliq Platform

4. Put it into action

Once you have your people on board and data turned into insights, it’s time to take action. Often companies stumble on two challenges: the belief that there is no data or it’s difficult to get and the situation where data exists, but companies don’t know how to use it. Both are easy to tackle by a simple step: get started with your smart factory journey. After this first step, taking action regarding smart factory initiatives becomes easier and easier.

Human activity plays an important role in this stage, since leadership is required to make decisions on how to proceed based on the insights given by data. They say teamwork makes the dream work, which could not be more true when it comes to implementing smart factory solutions. Every person in a company can use data to lead their team or personal work better to benefit the company.

Read more about leading with data here: Leading with data helps you make smarter business decisions – how to take the first step and get your smart factory going

5. Measure the results

When choosing to take the digital road, it’s important to remember that everything you monitor and collect data from should somehow be measurable. This way you can always go back to the data and have concrete numbers or other factors to show how different areas are developing.

The great thing about data is that it’s like a new pair of leather shoes – gets better the more you use it. The more data is enriched and used, the more you can understand it and determine issues that need to be fixed in the process. This results in continuously improving data that begins to give more and more predictable and specific results. While developing data, it is also important to keep developing the skills of staff related to the data being used. This way you can see the best synergy benefits in your smart factory.

Read how you can easily get started with smart maintenance: Taking the leap from reactive to predictive – why should you switch to smart maintenance sooner than later

While the benefits of a smart factory cannot be seen in days, it takes just days to get started. Data, knowledge, and company culture are created and developed over time – the key to being in front of competition is starting sooner than later!

Want to know how we can help you get started? Check out our products here: Fliq Work Flow