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Flanders’ digital move brings greater operational efficiency

Guneet Bedi GM of the Americas Relayr
By Guneet Bedi GM of the Americas, Relayr

FIELD INTELLIGENCE: Smart Processes, Solutions & Strategies

If you were to rebuild your manufacturing business today, would you build it in the same way, or would you shape it differently to address new challenges and future innovations?

Manufacturers are often unsure about treading into new and technologically advanced territories. Still, digital-centered business transformation brings many advantages, including revenue growth, market share growth and higher value for customers.

For one industrial company, the solution was to transform its business model to a more flexible and predictable one centered around guaranteed uptime capabilities and servitization, or Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS).

Flanders offers electric machine repair, power systems engineering, custom manufacturing, integration, and deploying advanced technologies for large machines with electric rotating systems in heavy industry.

Recently, it started a transformation journey with a partner to shift to a predictive service model, which offers uptime and business interruption guarantees. Flanders is also evaluating the offerings of an EaaS model for its custom manufactured products and services, an industry first in this segment.

With this model, Flanders can offer its assets on a pay-per-use basis, eliminating the need for expensive capEx for its industrial customers, while ensuring reduced downtime and maintenance.

While Flanders is experiencing greater operational efficiency and stronger customer engagement, many similar companies still feel unprepared for change.

Here are four thought-starters to help business leaders transform a manufacturing business into a digital powerhouse.

  • Set micro-goals. There is no roadmap that covers all scenarios in manufacturing. Breaking your primary business objectives into micro-goals will give you a chance to reassess your path at any point in the journey.
    For example, if you’re looking to improve the overall equipment effectiveness across your plant, what worked for one production line may not be the case for production lines in a different plant. Carefully create your business-transformation strategy, and make sure you have needed expertise and resources.
  • Decide whether to buy or build your own solution. This important step should always be considered. The benefits of partnering with an industrial internet of things (IIoT) company for your business’s digital transformation may outweigh the cost of time, money, and personnel it takes to build one.
  • Consider the human factor. Digital transformations require humans. Management, engineers, technicians, skilled shop floor staff and more are all required to enact an IIoT project successfully. Beyond connecting devices, your people know when to alter or revise business transformation targets or when to set more ambitious ones.
  • Create a secure digital environment. Cloud computing is the basis for IIoT solutions and one of the keys to digital transformation.

When using a cloud, however, businesses must consider network security, networking protocols, performance, reliability, communications, data infrastructure and software maintenance. That’s why it is critical to get the right partner who can help you achieve your desired business outcomes.

The business-transformation journey can seem daunting when first considered. However, the advantages speak for themselves. OEMs, servicers, and operators will gain top-line revenue growth and bottom-line cost savings from increasing your equipment’s digital capabilities.

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