How can a CIO in manufacturing make a powerful impact with just 1-2 digital transformation initiatives?

1.5k views3 Comments

CEO in Services (non-Government), Self-employed
I coach CIOs on this, and the three-second version is: you're not planning for today, you're planning for two years from now. Go to the outcome you want to achieve across a number of different areas and then reverse engineer it. That's the way that people succeed at it, because the outcome has to drive the strategy just as much as the vision. So enterprise architecture for digitalization as well as digitization is a big one. If you come at it from that perspective, that's the starting point.

You have to look at IIoT to make that impact happen fast. And it's not a small lift, but it's also not that complicated. Industry 4.0 is really about optimizing your time, and time is what drives manufacturing revenue. The more efficient you are, the more you can optimize the time to value for customers and suppliers. So I look at it from the perspective of time. When I say reverse engineer, I mean that wherever you can take time out of a process, you are making headway towards not only the tools that you would choose, but the processes being optimized, and time to value being realized for the business, supply chain, and your customer. It actually is a closed feedback loop, and the faster you bring your customer into it, the better the result will be. 
CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees
I drove Industry 4.0 across a large group of manufacturers to figure out how to use data to drive manufacturing. And that led me to develop an Industry 4.0 roadmap and maturity model. And then there's a whole other side to consider around digital transformation, such as: How do you start and end with the customer? What is your end goal for how you connect the customer to your business, and your internal processes to what that customer needs? When your customer contacts you in any way, how does that flow through your business, through your internal processes, your people, culture, systems, etc., and back to the customer in a connected way? You want the customer to feel like their digital journey meets their needs, and that it’s both quick and correct.
Board Member in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
From my experience in manufacturing, IoT takes a lot of time to produce results. I have always focused on upstream and downstream supply chains, which has always helped me improve working capital required as well as inventories. And that is what manufacturing always wants to optimize. If you can reduce the raw materials that you are stocking, and reduce the finished goods inventory in some way—whether centralized or decentralized is a very different conversation—those are things that have a direct impact on the business and they can be achieved in the short term.

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