Deploying a new digital transformation strategy in an industrial environment can be quite challenging. The process from analysis to the actual implementation of the new tool can take months, and go through the approval of dozens of people.
To deal with this bureaucratic journey and achieve effective results, it is necessary to understand which path should be followed in order to minimize problems that may arise and make the process more fluid. Besides that, in the case of large industries, the insertion of new technologies in worker’s daily basis may represent a change in the routine of hundreds of employees. In other words, without efficient planning, the ideas will hardly be approved by the company’s managers and stakeholders.
Access: Understand the role of good leadership in Digital Transformation strategies
Thus, in this post we will see the 5 main stages in an industry’s digital transformation journey, in order to understand what needs to be done from idealization, implementation and operation of new technologies in the industrial environment.
Analysis of the company’s current scenario and competitors
Firstly, the current market offers thousands of technological solutions for industries, and in order not to limit the choices that will be made in the following steps, it is very important to be clear about the company’s biggest needs at the moment and its goals for the future.
For this, it is necessary to find the levers that will be most effective to optimize the industry’s processes, facilitate the workers’ tasks and, above all, lead to greater profitability. In this case, bringing together people who are constantly looking at data and understand a lot about the company’s culture, the solution, and the customers can be essential to finding these levers.
Another very important analysis is in relation to the company’s direct competitors. What kind of technology are they using? What are they doing and offering to customers that your company is not? How can you differentiate yourself from them? Answering these questions is also very important to continue on the digital transformation journey.
From here, you can already start looking for options that fit the levers observed, but ideally, the final choice should only be made in the fourth step of the process!
Defining the strategy and paths to follow
Once the industry needs and levers have been defined, the starting point of this step is to detail what priorities and goals the company has with the implementation of new technologies. In this case, breaking down KPIs can be very interesting to facilitate the monitoring of progress and whether the solutions found in the following steps are making sense.
Moreover, with a clear look at what is expected to be achieved in the future, understanding which path to follow during the journey also becomes easier. That is, at this point it is important to plan the steps until the actual implementation of new technologies. As said before, ideally the choice of technology should only be made in the next steps, as this allows more time to evaluate the possibilities and enables the company to be better prepared to receive the novelty.
Preparing the company and culture
By now, the entire path and final goals should have been outlined. Now everyone who will be involved in the process needs to be in agreement and aligned with the upcoming changes.
First of all, in case you are not in a management position and need the approval of some superiors, the next step is to present the whole construction project. The positive point here is that if you have followed all the steps assertively, you will have detailed everything from the reasons for implementing a new technology in the company, the objectives set, to the way towards meeting the goals, making it easier for them to understand the journey.
Once the plan has been approved by the leaders, if necessary, it is important to communicate the digital transformation journey to the entire company as well. It is crucial that everyone involved in the change, from workers to managers, understand the reasons for the changes being sought and how it will benefit the day-to-day lives of those who are really in the operation. Without this support, even if the planning is done excellently, the chances of a successful implementation of the new technology are very unlikely, because of low employee buy-in.
Moreover, creating an open culture for innovation and change allows this digital transformation process to be repeated more easily and with fewer barriers in the future.
Investment in technology
Once the planning is in place, the next step is to choose the technology that will be implemented in the company. This step can be dangerous since the market offers thousands of different industry process digitalization solutions, but not all of them will be ideal for your company, and that’s why complying with the objectives previously set is so important.
Sometimes the most expensive platform with the most functions is not ideal, because it is not necessary for your objectives. However, the cheapest one will not always be better either, since it may not have functions that are extremely important to achieve the KPIs and goals outlined before.
Finally, with the technology chosen and ready to operate, one of the most important processes of the entire digital transformation journey is to track the implementation and use of the tool over time. Here, you may need to restructure some processes or implement new ones in the workers’ routine, so their compliance in step 3 is very important.
According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, less than 30% of companies claimed to have been successful in the digital transformation process by 2016, showing the importance of good planning. Because of this, at periodic time intervals, the ideal is to bring together the team and the people responsible for the entire digital transformation journey and assess the results and progress so far.
In other words, one of the main points is that there is no end to this journey, it must always be reviewed and adjusted if necessary. In addition, the company’s objectives may change over time, or the main growth lever may arise in another part of the operation.
Developing a detailed action plan can be the difference maker for your company in the success of the digital transformation journey. However, in addition to good planning, preparing people well to receive this change and constantly reviewing the plan is also essential.
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