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  • By Annie Heaney
  • In Blog
  • Posted 03/06/2021

With the advancement of technology in industry moving at such a fast pace, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzzwords of the moment. With the promise of business gains and increased insights to be gained from new technologies, it’s no wonder that companies want to develop their own initiatives and strategies. But where should you begin? In this two-part blog series, I'll share the key points that should be addressed in any digital strategy planning.

According to a survey carried out by the World Economic Forum, 75% of digital projects do not go as planned and often there are several commonalities between those that make it a success and those that struggle. Across these two blogs, we’ll look at the key areas that form the backbone of any digital transformation plans and what you need to consider for each one.

  • Process
  • Organizational Change
  • Technology
  • Data

Whilst it may be tempting to go for a complete overhaul of business processes to maximize the benefits in the shortest timeframe, research shows that top-down, large-scale approaches are more likely to run into issues and delays and can even create more pain for a business.

Instead, it is better to focus on incremental, operation-specific changes in target areas.

Process

The processes a business follows can underpin its ability to succeed whether that be in terms of capacity, quality, or agile response. This is a natural place to look for those initial quick wins. Where are there bottlenecks? What causes delays? It is important here not just to look at data that might be available (more on that in part two) but to also get input from the teams working at the coal face and carrying out the day-to-day tasks. A thorough understanding of your business process will put you on the best footing to then start looking at where changes can be made. Often, there are subtleties and parts of a process that are not necessarily documented but can have a big knock-on impact.

In some cases, a more thorough understanding of process can allow for change without an investment requirement. This was the case at Nissan where, through using a predictive simulation of their processes, they were able to make alterations to their control logic that eliminated the bottlenecks they were experiencing in part of their bumper production line.

To learn more about this, and other uses of predictive simulation and digital twins at Nissan,  click here

Organizational Change

When considering new plans and strategies, it is important to have a structured approach to how you will implement those changes. This covers several different considerations which could be explored as a standalone topic.

Key to implementing any change is communication. Effective communication with all key stakeholders ensures that everyone is on board and has a clear understanding of what is expected of them. This enables changes to be made swiftly and efficiently, reducing the risk of disruption, and decreasing the time required for the latest changes to take effect and gain momentum.

Manufacturing company Hayward Tyler was able to use digital tools in the form of a predictive digital twin model as part of their organizational change strategy. This aided effective communication with their workers and stakeholders alike, allowing them a smooth transition to their new working practices. You can read  more about their story here

These considerations are important in any change strategy as it is inevitably the people involved that have the biggest influence on whether the changes are a success. 

The second part of this blog series,  Continuing Your Digital Transformation Roadmap is now available, where we will look at the role of technology and data in digital transformation planning.

Find out how you can use predictive simulation to plan your digital roadmap by watching our recent webinar ' Strategically Planning For The Future: Developing Resilient, Agile Processes Using Predictive Digital Twins' or by contacting us here.


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