From Challenge to Opportunity: Transforming Your Business after a Crisis
Being agile and able to pivot used to be the realm of tech startups. However, the pandemic has shown that for any company to not only survive but also thrive amid this global crisis, smart and meaningful shifts in how we do business are necessary. What does this mean for the manufacturing industry?
Multinational retail corporations are boosting their e-commerce services and capabilities. Luxury brands are shifting production from perfumes to hand sanitizers. Automotive manufacturers are building not cars, but medical ventilators. Restaurants are offering everything from weekly meal plans to cook-it-yourself kits—all delivered straight to your doorstep.
The pandemic has drastically altered the global economic landscape, changing consumer behavior, disrupting supply chains, and accelerating e-commerce. What does this all mean for your business? How can a company not only adapt to these changes but also thrive in them?
Pivot with purpose
To ensure short-term survival and long-term resilience and growth, many companies are pivoting to business models that serve our new reality: remote work, increased technology use, social distancing, and the more conscious, introspective consumer. This shift in their business model must preserve and enhance its brand value—strengthening, not undermining, its overarching business strategy. Here’s how to turn a crisis into an opportunity.
- Lead and learn on the go. In the digitally fueled, ever-evolving world of business, time is of the essence. Company leaders need to be quick in decision-making, execution, and course correction.
- Be informed and intuitive. Having a good grasp of megatrends will allow you to get in on the action first, gaining new customers by offering better solutions, creating new value with existing assets, and fulfilling unmet needs.
- Empower your innovators. Gather the most creative minds in your company and let information and ideas flow through healthy debate and dialogue.
- Social responsibility. There has never been a better time to work for the greater good. Many companies have pivoted their business to address critical shortages in healthcare equipment and supplies, as well as broken supply chains that threaten food security.
- Nurture the right company culture. Do you value innovation? Are you customer-focused, driven to make their lives better, easier, and fuller—especially now?
The next-generation supply chain: empowered by technology
According to research by Harvard Review Analytics Services, supply chain, e-commerce, and IT are expected to be among the functional areas most helped by intelligent robots, intelligent automation, and other advanced technologies.
For the manufacturing industry, digitalization is key to overcoming the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—disrupted supply chains, border closures, and national lockdowns. The global health crisis brought gaps in the manufacturing and supply chain ecosystems to the fore; now is the time to use technology to bridge those gaps.
Various Industry 4.0 capabilities can address these issues, as enumerated by McKinsey:
- Advanced production methods (additive manufacturing and renewable energy)
- Analytics and intelligence (Big Data, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence or AI, and knowledge-work automation)
- Human-machine interaction (virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, automation, robotic process automation or RPA, and chatbots)
- Data, computational power, and connectivity (sensors, the Internet of Things or IoT, cloud technology and blockchain)
A future-proof supply chain should be resilient. This crisis has shown that built-in redundancies are needed to protect supply chains from disruptions. It should be adaptable, able to pivot quickly when—and where—needed. Dependency on low-cost labor has imposed geographical constraints; automating various manufacturing processes would keep it efficient.
The competitive advantages of the digitalization of manufacturing are evident. But how should manufacturers implement these changes?
- Think of technology as an investment, not a cost. From enhanced productivity and data democratization to greater visibility and auditability, technology can dramatically improve operational efficiency and competitiveness.
- Focus on business value. In what way can digital manufacturing support your business needs? What are your pain points, and which digital solutions should you prioritize?
- Make a gradual change. Factoring in how digitally ready your infrastructure is, implement changes in waves, giving users time to adapt.
- Create collaborators, not competitors. Human expertise should be complemented or accelerated by technology—not excluded by it.
The future belongs to those who meet its challenges and opportunities with determination and innovation, strategy and agility. For businesses to succeed and excel in this fast-paced, increasingly interconnected world, they must recognize the exponential value and impact of a digital transformation.
As one of the Top 20 EMS companies in the world, IMI has over 40 years of experience in providing electronics manufacturing and technology solutions.
At IMI, we believe that humanity drives technology, and we direct our passion at solutions that enhance our way of living. With more than 400,000 square meters of factory space in 22 factories across 10 countries, we are positioned to build your business on a global scale.
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