Manufacturing CIOs are going to invest more in streamlining their audits and inspections and strengthening their management and compliance systems to respond to current market conditions and challenges. They'll need to digitize paper systems to meet social distancing guidelines and they'll need to adapt to the new supply chain and delivery challenges virtually every company is facing. Manufacturing success will depend heavily on their success at digital transformation.
A recent IQMS Manufacturing article, points to a survey which found that 92% of manufacturers says product quality was the most important way to forge closer connections with customers. In fact, the blog says, improving product quality is the primary reason manufacturers need to undergo digital transformation. It warns that “Digital transformation is overhyped and the latest veneer many companies and software vendors put on products in an attempt to make them look new.” However, the article reports, there are good reasons for focusing on digital transformation, as long as the goals are on target. The article concludes, “Knowing customer quality goals and measuring progress against them has to be the cornerstone of any digital transformation strategy if it is going to succeed.”
Digital transformation is more than a single project, it's the practice of applying that technology to all facets of business and a range of processes. But where should a team get started? Some companies start by digitizing a manufacturing processes that is a lean manufacturing staple: Gemba Walks.
"Go see, ask why, show respect,"
During Gemba walks, manufacturing leaders visit the shop floor or active work area, observe teams at work and how manufacturing processes run. They ask a range of questions that will help with continuous improvement. Gemba walk questions might include:
The KaiNexus blog offers a list of "16 Questions to Ask on Your First (or Next) Gemba Walk". And Alpha Software offers a complete pre-built Gemba walk questionnaire in the form of a mobile app. The app goes beyond a paper questionnaire, allowing managers to capture images, record audio interviews, record time and date stamps and more with the click of a button. The app template includes a list of Gemba Walk questions that you can easily customize to fit your specific business process and needs. You can get free access to the Alpha Software Gemba Walk Template..
To understand the full opportunities around digital transformation in manufacturing, we've built a comprehensive guide:
Practical Steps for Digital Production at Your Organization - The Role of Mobile Apps in the Manufacturing Industry
Manufacturing Case Study: Manufacturing Goes Digital in 2019
Sleep products manufacturer GBS Enterprises moved from paper forms to a mobile warranty furniture claims app to dramatically improve warranty tracking, dispatch efficiency and customer satisfaction. Read the Case Study