In this day and age, can you still envision taking all of your orders by phone, updating your inventory manually, or using a print map to find your way? Digital solutions play a huge role in the day-to-day operations of modernized companies. The long-term viability of businesses relies on their capacity to optimize their resources and increase their productivity. That’s why it is so important for manufacturers to embark on a digital transformation. 

According to the CEFRIO, a digital company is one that “substantially invests in IT, owns sophisticated solutions and technologies, and invests in its employees’ digital skills."  

Here are the keys for a successful digital transformation 

1- Identify your organization’s existing resources as well as its technological strengths and weaknesses. It’s crucial that you gain insight into your business’ current context in order to set realistic goals and develop a comprehensive digital strategy. 

2- Align your business strategy with your digital strategy. This will enable you to stay ahead of the competition and expand your market share. Management should always remain on top of what technologies and solutions the company’s competitors use as well as evolving customer requirements. This information will enable you to make the right choices when it comes to digital solutions. 

3- Analyze your technology needs. Many companies make the mistake of implementing new systems without even evaluating their true needs and the impact of a change in systems. By taking the time to prioritize what operations or aspects of your business require a digital transformation, you’ll minimize costly and time-sapping mistakes. 

4- Take the time to carefully plan for your digital transformation. Lack of information and time are the two main reasons why a project of this scope fails. Think of your objectives, timelines, budgets, potential risks and required resources. Make sure you consistently and rigorously follow up on key milestones. 

5- Your digital strategy must be communicated to your employees so that they adopt the new solutions and do not resist change. They must be a part of carrying out your strategy rather than simply being impacted by it. Have them get involved in information sessions, decision-making meetings and training. Employees will feel as though they are contributing to the company’s future.

The benefits of a digital strategy 

SME manufacturers are embarking on their digital transformation by focusing their efforts on Industry 4.0, which is also known as the fourth industrial revolution. This revolution is completely changing companies’ systems, processes, management approaches, business models, and human resources. 

The digital transformation of SME manufacturers is a tremendous opportunity for the rebirth of the manufacturing industry as a whole. With real-time, accurate data, a factory can become more productive and win bigger contracts. Technology allows managers to base their decisions on cold-hard facts—not just intuition. Businesses can also use technology to improve product quality and instill higher trust with their clients. 

In sum, take the time to plan your digital transformation and adapt it to your overall business objectives. Furthermore, align your digital marketing strategy to highlight the competitive advantages your transformation generates for your business. Remember, these types of projects can entail a complexity and expertise unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Rely on third-party resources, if necessary, to ensure your digital success! 

Sources

CEFRIO. Le programme PME 2.0. http://www.pmenumerique.ca/.

Ministère de l’économique, de la science et de l’innovation. Stratégie numérique. Gouvernement du Québec . https://www.economie.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/contenu/documents_soutien/strategies/economie_numerique/paen.pdf.

Benessaieh, Karim. Achats en ligne : peur virtuelle et sécurité réelle. http://affaires.lapresse.ca/finances-personnelles/201703/01/01-5074395-achats-en-ligne-peur-virtuelle-et-securite-reelle.php. 1er mars 2017.

Noël, Mélanie. Plein feux sur la transformation numérique des entreprises. http://www.lapresse.ca/la-tribune/affaires/201702/22/01-5072219-pleins-feux-sur-la-transformation-numerique-des-entreprises.php. 22 janvier 2017.

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