COVID-19 has Accelerated Digital Transformation for Manufacturers

The Manufacturer, a premier industry publication, in partnership with IBM recently completed a “Digital Transformation Assessment” focused on manufacturers leveraging digital technologies. The report discusses how COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies. There are insights related to immediate priorities for manufacturers, as well as longer-term growth strategies.

  • Read the full article | Link

  • Download the report | Link

There is an increase in manufacturers leveraging digital technologies to support operations in order to accommodate customer needs and to support business growth. The key findings in the report (as reflected in the article) are as follows:

  • 67% of manufacturing decision makers say their adoption of digital technologies has accelerated as a result of the pandemic

  • 92% say their most significant business imperative is improving operational efficiency

  • 88% say that COVID-19 has resulted in their organization placing greater emphasis on operational resilience

  • Cybersecurity, data analytics and cloud computing are the technology areas the greatest proportion have already implemented or are working towards implementing

  • Carving out the time to focus on improvements (i.e. working ‘on’ the business rather than simply ‘in’ the business) is the most significant barrier to adopting new technologies currently

  • Looking ahead to the next 18 months, the most significant barrier to technology adoption is organizational culture

  • Greater support regarding determining the business case, identifying a benefits-backed roadmap and upskilling the workforce would help accelerate the adoption of digital technologies

Michigan recently launched an Industry 4.0 initiative (read press release here). Two components of the initiative are providing Michigan manufacturers with Industry 4.0 readiness assessments (through Automation Alley) and technology assessments (through the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, MMTC). Both assessments are available to Michigan manufacturers at no cost.

Review MMTC's "What can industry 4.0 technologies do for you?" flyer.


If you are interested in either assessment, please contact Jenn Deamud at the Manufacturing Growth Alliance - Jenn@MGAlliance.org. She will connect you with the resources.

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The Manufacturing Growth Alliance (MGA) is a membership based organization who champions, serves, and advocates for Michigan’s small manufacturers. MGA provides services that drive solutions that will make manufacturing in Michigan the most competitive and prosperous in the nation. For more information or to become a member, visit MGAlliance.org.


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