The digital workplace is all about the employees’ ability to do their job by collaborating, communicating, and connecting with others. The goal is to forge productive business relationships within and beyond natural work groups and to enable knowledge sharing across the organization. A digital workspace is an integrated technology framework designed to deliver and manage app, data, and desktop delivery. For a digital workspace solution to be successful, it must provide a unified, contextual, and secure experience for IT and end-users.
The digital workplace allows easier access to virtual meetings and removes the barriers of time, location, devices, and network connections, it provides employees greater work-life balance while increasing productivity and agility for the organization. Improve services and processes.
By 2021, only one-quarter of midsize and large organizations will successfully target new ways of working in 80% of their initiatives, according to Gartner, Inc.
Industry 4.0 refers to the transformation of industry through the intelligent networking of machines and processes with the help of information and communication technology (ICT). The term is used interchangeably with the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ in industry. Industry 4.0 was first used in a project in the high-tech strategy to transform German manufacturing in which the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems took center stage, along with a further focus on production, people, environment, and security.
Like other industries, manufacturing is also leading the next phase of digitization. During this phase, Technology will be the key factor to drive all aspects of manufacturing transformation, from improvements in processes to supply chain efficiency and agile workplace environments. The modern digital workforce consists of multi-faceted employees with increased roles and responsibilities within the plant, acting as a digitally-enabled expert solving critical problems in real-time.
In 2018, a study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute estimated that the rate of unfilled jobs is set to reach 2 million during 2015–2025. More recent studies indicate the skills shortage will be on an even larger scale since the demand for workers trained to work alongside robots already exceeds the supply.
Most of the manufacturing time is spent on thinking to improve productivity and innovation. In the digital age, accelerating the speed of innovation is critical not just to the success of manufacturers, but to their basic survival. Both productivity and innovation start on the shop floor, and the workforce needs to have the right technology and environment to maximize their potential. Digitization can help Manufacturing enterprises by improving processes, saving time and money, and creating closer connections with customers. Automated systems and robotics in manufacturing are enabling employees to focus their skill sets on more value-added and evolved tasks by taking up some of the more repetitive processes.
The ability to quickly learn new digital tools is now an integral part of a manufacturing job description. Below given are five reasons to build a Digital workplace for manufacturing enterprises.
Increase Operational Agility:
In todays world, manufacturing organizations face some unprecedented operational challenges. With steadily increasing customer expectations, global competition, and shortened product development lifecycles, manufacturers responding first faster to change will enjoy the benefits of sales and market share improvement. Operational agility is now central to achieving a competitive edge. Improving operational agility in manufacturing leads to the reduction of cost and errors, while improving productivity and raising revenue. Agility, and the responsiveness and flexibility it enables, is now seen as mission critical – particularly in manufacturing business. A new level of agility is required across the business, as market conditions continue to change. Many manufacturing enterprises current operational models are not agile enough to handle huge fluctuations such as the recent COVID19 impact. Embracing digital channels over traditional activities is evidently going to have to take priority. Embracing a digital manufacturing strategy across the entire enterprise can significantly enhance an organization’s ability to change quickly to new market conditions and needs.
Millennials at Work:
As manufacturing tackles the challenges of the 21st century, Millennials are beginning to put their own stamp on the industry. Digitally-savvy millennials entering the workforce, and a new and modern way of working becomes critical to the manufacturing industry’s success. Millennials in the manufacturing industry often ground their skills in the digital environment in which they were raised. That gives them an advantage when working with software-driven systems, including IoT and robotics, and it can also give them a knack for innovation. Millennials’ facility with digital systems also means that they use mobile devices and cloud-based collaboration software more often, more easily at work. Many manufacturing enterprises feel this is the right time to incorporate mobile technology throughout the manufacturing floor since millennials wish to have greater mobile connectivity in the workplace. With the mobile solution in place, the workforce is able to quickly input data while on the floor, access production capacity information, monitor inventory, and check job schedules in real-time when they are back in the office or even in the board room.
Internet of Things (IoT):
IoT is considered as the Fundamental Pillar of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 encompasses three technological trends driving this transformation: connectivity, intelligence and flexible automation. To improve production and quality, and reduce downtime, the manufacturing industry is all for digital transformation through Internet of Things (IoT) technology. With IoT, manufacturers could connect production equipment and other machines, tools, and assets in factories and warehouses, providing managers and engineers with more visibility into production operations and any issues that might arise. On top of it, through IoT, multiple units and departments of a manufacturing plant can be monitored and controlled by a single person in a control room. The wave of new technologies opens up opportunities for manufacturers to take steps towards greater flexibility, sustainability, and productivity. The most important use cases of IoT in manufacturing are Remote Monitoring and Operations, Predictive Maintenance and Smart Asset Management and Autonomous Manufacturing. According to Verified Market Research, the Global IoT In Manufacturing Market was valued at USD 20.23 Billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 147.49 Billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 28.2% from 2020 to 2027.
AI & ML Impact:
Artificial intelligence is a core element of the Industry 4.0 revolution and is not limited to use cases from the production floor. McKinsey predicts AI-based predictive maintenance has the potential to deliver between $.5T to $.7T value to manufacturers. AI algorithms can also be used to optimize manufacturing supply chains, helping companies anticipate market changes. Studies show that unplanned downtime costs manufacturers an estimated $50 billion annually and that asset failure is the cause of 42 percent of this unplanned downtime. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, machine learning is reducing unplanned machinery downtime between 15 – 30%, increasing production throughput by 20%, reducing maintenance costs 30%, and delivering up to a 35% increase in quality. By 2021, 20% of leading manufacturers will rely on embedded intelligence, using AI, IoT, and blockchain applications to automate processes and increase execution times by up to 25% according to IDC.
Enhance Customer Experience:
With increased optimization also comes quicker time-to-market by automating processes and integrating digital strategies within the workforce. When processes are automated and made clearer throughout an organization, collaboration and manufacturing can happen quicker, allowing products to move from the floor to the market in a more efficient way. Faster time-to-market doesn’t just benefit the company, it benefits the customer, which, in turn, fosters an important relationship between the organization and its customers. Digital advancement also allows manufacturing corporations to improve business operations that directly impact customers, such as offering customer-specific solutions and, overall, improving customer satisfaction.
Markets and Markets expect the digital workplace market size to grow from USD 13.4 billion in 2018 to USD 35.7 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.7% during the forecast period.
According to IDC by 2020, 60 percent of plant floor workers will work alongside automated assistance technologies such as robotics, 3D printing, AI, and AR/VR.
Manufacturers investing in digital transformation will reap many benefits that will translate into a competitive advantage – not only today but for many years into the future.