Manufacturers can reap up to a tenfold return in efficiency and stronger, more predictable profits, says Lauri Klaus, founder and CEO of KeyedIn Solutions
Q: What is driving the trend of manufacturing going digital?
Lauri Klaus: The main drivers are competition, operational performance and business growth. Traditional manufacturing systems and processes simply can’t keep up with the pace of change. For example, I spoke recently with a metal fabricator who told me every part of the business was managed by a different spreadsheet. I’ve run large organizations using very sophisticated spreadsheets and they are powerful tools. But they don’t communicate well across departments or across the entire supply chain. Manufacturers must open up their information to multiple people so that more things happen automatically rather than a one-off phone call or email. Operating on a spreadsheet may have worked in the past when customer expectations around time to market and change orders were much lower. But today customers expect manufacturers to turn on a dime. That flexibility is possible only with digital manufacturing processes—at least if you actually want to make a profit on the job.
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