Efficient Plant October 2021 - 4

column | editorial
What's
Blocking Digital
Transformation?
Gary L. Parr
Editorial Director
D
IGITAL transformation
should be on everyone's
priority list. However, progress
toward implementation is a somewhat
mixed bag, regardless of company
size or industry. This is quite evident
in a recent study from GE Digital, San
Ramon, CA (go.digital.ge.com).
The study, Getting Beyond Stuck:
Digital Transformation is Closer Than
You Think (ge.com/digital/lp/industry-week-getting-beyond-stuck-digital-transformation-closer-you-think),
is
a rather comprehensive look at where
companies are in their transformation
journey. For me, the question is and has
been: What's the holdup? According to
the study, there are several factors. One
is a clear disconnect between senior
management and the people who make
plants operate. Top goals for executive
respondents are speed to market and
competitive advantage. Priorities for
managers and employees are production
agility and quality. While all four
ultimately drive profitability, it seems the
executives need to visit the plant floor.
The question about factors that
accelerate the digital-transformation
journey stands out. The top factor for
all companies was having a clear vision
and objectives. The second factor was
aligning investments with business
objectives, which goes back to the issue
of a disconnect between executives and
plant workers. The third factor, tying all
things together, is prioritizing a culture
of transformation and innovation.
It's interesting to me that all three of
A collaborative culture that involves people
at all levels is at the core of any successful
digital-transformation effort.
4 | EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM
those factors have essentially nothing to
do with whether a robot is programmed
correctly or bearings are properly
lubricated. They all involve people, at all
levels, taking the time to listen to each
other and, most of all, communicate.
Success in any effort requires
investment, so one of the questions
is: Where should money be spent?
The no-surprise winner these days is
workforce retention/training (62%). That
was followed closely by manufacturing
equipment (57%), then lean or other
improvement programs (51%), and safety
equipment/processes (48%). I'm going
to assume safety was last because all the
respondents already have robust safety
programs in place.
The most insightful offering from the
study was the narrative addressing the
question: Why are we not seeing more
progress in digital transformation?
" Digital transformation is more like
continuous improvement in the sense
that the transformation is a constant
evolution. It would be an exercise in
futility to determine an end point for
digitization, as the evolution will continue
as the market continues to change.
Instead of looking at digital transformation
as a single entity, start by creating
an enterprise vision and then proving it
out via smaller initiatives that advance
a certain aspect of an organization, and
then continue to execute this across the
enterprise.
Most companies are isolating digital
transformation as a separate initiative,
rather than embedding it within existing
programs. When separated, it becomes
disconnected from other priorities and,
therefore, lacks the resources and focus
to be successful. However, when digital
transformation is embedded within
existing programs and aligned among
company-wide goals, it's an enabler and
accelerator of those programs, such as
continuous improvement. " EP
gparr@efficientplantmag.com
OCTOBER 2021
http://go.digital.ge.com http://www.ge.com/digital/lp/indus http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant October 2021

Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover1
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover2
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 1
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 2
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 3
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 4
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 5
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 6
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 7
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 8
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 9
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 10
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 11
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 12
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 13
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 14
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 15
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 16
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 17
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 18
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 19
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 20
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 21
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 22
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 23
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 24
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 25
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 26
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 27
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 28
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 29
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 30
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 31
Efficient Plant October 2021 - 32
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover3
Efficient Plant October 2021 - Cover4
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