Steps to a Successful Smart Manufacturing Journey

Manufacturers are looking to Smart Manufacturing to make business smarter, solve business problems, and show an ROI to fuel future phases. To help ensure early success for smart manufacturing initiatives, one must find the highest value opportunity for the first phase of the implementation. It is also important to answer the question, “What technology will help solve my problem for the lowest cost and deliver the highest benefit?”

Listed below are the key steps identified for a successful Smart Manufacturing Journey:

1. Business Drivers First: The business strategy must primarily deliver business results. In manufacturing, the typical results are lower cost, higher throughput, improved quality, meeting customer orders, improved compliance, lower risk, etc.

2. Requirements and Stakeholder Alignment: It is important to develop the requirements of the project and ensure all stakeholders understand what will be delivered.

3. People, Processes and Technology Assessment: Don’t forget the importance of ensuring people understand how the project will benefit them personally. It is equally important to optimize the process and leverage the technology being implemented.

4. Technology Stack Development: Understanding short term and long term needs is critical to select as few technology solutions as possible. This makes data easy to contextualize data across fewer of silos.

5. Road Map Development for Multi-plant Deployment:  Roadmap development involves identifying which solutions should be deployed first. Once the ROI is proven, businesses will want to accelerate deployment.

6. Change Management Plan: Creating a change management plan is a critical step to avoid introducing too much change and prevent multiple solutions being rolled out in parallel within an organization.

7. Heatmap and Pilot to Demonstrate ROI and Learn: Typically, initiatives are more likely to be funded and move forward based on the level of success on the first pilot, so it is pertinent that the pilot is successful.

Steps 8, 9, and 10 are a natural progression of the Smart Manufacturing Journey.

8. Rollout the Selected Functionality

9. Measure Business Benefit

10. Identify Additional Functionalities for Pilot and Rollout