Let's discuss digital transformation.

Digital transformation is driving innovation throughout each stage of the product lifecycle, from the design of products to the way that they're marketed and sold to customers. Cloud computing has enabled increased speed, insights, and more efficient collaboration. This is allowing manufacturers to rapidly create more valuable, longer-lasting products. Digital transformation may sound like a buzzword to some, but it is very concrete and real. Here, we'll discuss five places that digital transformation is driving innovation and efficiencies in organizations.

Engineering

Engineers are undergoing a digital transformation in the way that they innovate and design new products. This is all thanks to cloud-based technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). Using new 3D CAD solutions, engineers are able to leverage a combination of topology optimization, generative design, and live simulation capabilities to create fully-optimized individual parts and material layouts. When it comes to product design, augmented reality drives collaboration by enabling designers to share full-scale 3D design concepts before products are actually built.

Manufacturing and supply chain

When it comes to the factory floor, digital transformation means an increased ability to monitor the status of equipment, machinery, lines, and facilities. Manufacturers can merge their OT and IT systems with cloud-integrated solutions, which leads them to become more flexible, agile, and efficient. Proven cloud platforms can use industrial IoT data to help manufacturers monitor production performance in real-time and avoid facing unplanned downtime. Augmented reality helps factory workers improve assembly times, as well as safety and compliance. Additionally, PLM solutions allow manufacturers to optimize inventory and shift production schedules as needed with a connected supply chain.

Sales and marketing

Sales and marketing organizations can also further differentiate their products through digital transformation. They can virtually educate their customers about unique features, capabilities, components, and more. Using 3D holograms, they can simplify complex product demonstrations while also shortening sales cycles. Customer satisfaction and brand reputation are also big factors that digital transformation can greatly improve. OEMs can take advantage of “voice of the product” data to offer new services like the replenishment of consumables, further extending their competitive advantage and differentiation.

Customer experience

Digital transformation continues to influence lifecycles and the manufacturer’s relationship with customers even after smart connected products are sold. Historical and real-time IoT data can play a huge role in providing customers and/or OEMs with beneficial insight into the status, condition, and functionality of products. Customer experiences that are cloud-driven allow product owners to maximize up-time and resolve any potential issues faster. Continuous fleet monitoring also ensures OEMs that their products are operating to set standards. AR devices can even help customers self-service products when they inevitably need maintenance, which accelerates resolution times and decreases service costs.

Corporate

At the corporate level, digital transformation helps companies create entirely new business models by offering products-as-a-service. Digital transformation can also greatly help increase revenues. Cloud computing can provide you visibility into the digital thread, which can help companies reduce costs when buying things like bulk consumables or spare parts. Tools like augmented reality improve collaboration and productivity in an organization by modernizing the workforce, changing the way that work is done, simplifying communication, and allowing visualization of products.