This month marks a moment where Fortune 100 manufacturers and up-and-coming digital disruptors alike are converging.  The current market leaders are seeking innovative ideas to fend off new digital rivals. The up-and-comers are looking for ways to scale without sacrificing agility. Both camps are on a quest for “smart manufacturing” and unlocking new value by connecting data across their digital and physical value streams.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now front and center at any discussion about smart manufacturing. After all, global spending on IoT is predicted to reach $1.4 trillion by 2021 and the largest spending will come from the manufacturing sector. 

Our companies and the clients we speak with are typically facing four major challenges that can be addressed by connecting data across the digital value stream and enabling a predictive lean supply chain and smart manufacturing. They include:

  1. Asset Productivity & Delivery — Clients hate when machine down time or low utilization undercuts productivity. They’re uncomfortable with limited visibility into the reliability of their assets resulting in customer dissatisfaction from low On Time In Full (OTIF).
  2. Cost Optimization — Clients regularly complain about the high costs of material handling, material scrap, and inventory holding costs. In addition, maintaining and replacing aging assets and keeping high spares inventory. Pressure to reduce the consumption of energy and water come from multiple sources. Variation in costs directly impact the bottom line.
  3. Quality — Many manufacturers are striving for the right balance of consistent high-quality products and lower inspection and appraisal costs. Looking for solutions to predict quality cross the value chain, including suppliers, and to eliminate warranty costs.
  4. Compliance and Sustainability — As one client asked us: “How can we turn the burden of regulations into an asset?” Reducing waste, conserving energy, managing wastewater and using data to simplify compliance can improve performance and profitability while also enhancing the company’s corporate reputation.

Are these challenges you’re facing, or are other concerns top of mind? We'd like to provide you with guide, "Six Steps to Drive More Value Across Your Manufacturing and Supply Chain," and let’s start the discussion about smart manufacturing.