It’s certainly time of great disruption and change, in the UK Manufacturing & Engineering sector – on the one hand the environment is in a prolonged period of Brexit uncertainty adding to our falling GDP and consumer spend being it’s weakest since the mid-90’s. On the other hand great opportunity as businesses are exposed to the new digital era creating a future where ‘intelligent manufacturing‘ is becoming a reality.
What is certain is that both these external forces are set to have a powerful impact regardless, and if you look to our European manufacturing counterparts, it appears we’re not alone with environment disruption as they’re also experiencing troubled times. Germany’s economy slipping back into negative growth, French industrial production dropping sharply in June by 0.6%, and conditions in Italy’s manufacturing sector deteriorating for a 5th consecutive month in Feb 2019. So whilst Brexit uncertainty isn’t helping UK business stability, manufacturing disruption isn’t a UK specific problem and businesses need to ready themselves for change.
Being exposed to both these external forces, it can be difficult to know what strategy to follow to enable you to adapt – should you hold cash to see your business through the market changes ahead, or is that going to leave you behind your competition when they’re investing and streamlining to keep themselves fit for the future?!
Ignorance is bliss, but it’s not a viable strategic response to new technologies
To adapt, you need to Evolve
Evolution is about transformation and needs to be a constant business force, but all too often we fail to recognise what our business and market environments are telling us. Whilst your business may not need to be an early adopter of emerging technologies, turning a blind eye to them isn’t an option either. As a business leader, you need to stay abreast of new technology and understand how it’s impacting your industry and business.
With profound digital changes occurring, businesses will fail if they don’t engage now. I’ve never seen the pace and level of change that we are going through; and because of that, we talk about this being the ‘fourth industrial revolution’
Empowering intelligent manufacturing
As businesses seek to find novel ways to create new business value, empower and up-skill their workforce, optimise their operations and innovate for a sustainable future. Advanced technologies like AI, mixed reality, I-o-T and automation are helping drive Industry 4.0.
From the front office to supply-chain to the factory floor, Microsoft solutions can help improve manufacturing operations by streamlining daily work, driving greater efficiency, safety and productivity as well as helping enhance employee performance.
Microsoft 365 is equipping organisations, including Firstline Workers on the factory floor with the skills and tools they need to keep up with digital manufacturing in a secure environment. Microsoft Teams is transforming how today’s manufacturing workforce collaborates and communicates securely.
With mixed reality applications Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and Layout, companies are using Microsoft HoloLens and HoloLens 2 to dramatically boost productivity, compliance and safety.
Intelligent, connected field service through Dynamics 365 Connected Field Service can help manufacturers quickly detect and resolve issues, leveraging connected devices and machine learning and in the process, driving efficiency and reducing costs.
Delivering a unified approach to financial and business operations across manufacturing, supply chain, distribution and retail is made easier by Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.
The future of manufacturing is all about applying new levels of intelligence across all aspects of operations, with disruption triggered by AI, mixed reality and IoT, redefining the value chain from engineering design to customer engagements to supply chains.
To understand how digitalising your manufacturing processes can help your business, contact Azzure IT today. We have significant experience helping companies like Make UK, S+B, Mastenbroek and process engineering companies like Snowdonia Cheese.
If you would like to move towards Intelligent Manufacturing with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central please get in touch.
Azzure IT 10 Europa View, Sheffield Business Park, Sheffield, S9 1XH, UK