Avoid Three Common Digitalization Mistakes in Manufacturing with Partners
- February 8, 2024
This blog post was co-authored by Scott Dixon, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Leader, Ernst & Young LLP.
For all the talk about Industry 4.0—not to mention the hundreds of billions of dollars a year manufacturers invest in digitalizing their operations—a sad truth stays hidden: Too many initiatives fall short in delivering near-term value and establishing a long-term future for businesses.
That’s unfortunate because, in our experience, digitalization can have huge payoffs in efficiencies, innovation, agility and market leadership—if done with the right partners. In advising hundreds of manufacturers worldwide, Dell Technologies and EY teams have found their digitalization journeys often encounter three big hurdles:
Although they recognize the importance of upgrading their plants, these manufacturers must also keep production on schedule. Besides, Industry 4.0 planning and execution need time, capital, know-how and an appetite for risk. Finding qualified, outside experts to help can itself be a formidable task.
Or, even if a new system pilot succeeds, how to deploy it consistently and repeatably across an entire plant or fleet of plants isn’t clear. Large, distributed organizations may also suffer the “not invented here” syndrome, often masking a functional or local culture’s resistance to change.
To help manufacturers overcome the challenges of answering these questions, Dell Technologies and EY teams have created an innovative Manufacturing Throughput-as-a-Service (MTaaS) solution.
Dell Technologies provides the technology infrastructure fundamental for the MTaaS offering, especially at the edge of the shop floor. Dell Technologies also develops reference architectures that certify the solutions of the EY manufacturing technology partners—independent software vendors (ISVs)—on Dell Technologies Edge Solutions, accelerating time to market. This helps de-risk each ISV’s respective solution, accelerate its implementation and deliver its expected value.
Together, EY, Dell Technologies and the ISV solution providers remove the complexity of having multiple vendors involved. This ecosystem of leading technology partners now has a shared accountability—to both the manufacturer and each other—that ensures their solutions’ interoperability and, in combination, the manufacturer’s desired results.
With MTaaS, the burden of CapEx spending for hardware and software is shifted to OpEx with the as-a-Service model. This lowers the CapEx burden on the plant and keeps your technology up to date with updates and upgrades.
Access to an evolved, single-source partner ecosystem with this MTaaS solution lifts the enormous burden business leaders face of finding, qualifying and coordinating the complex tasks of their own partners. It also lessens the risk of potential high-cost digitalization failures.
The MTaaS technology reference architecture is comprehensive and highly secure. It vertically extends from the plant floor to enterprise management’s top floor. Horizontally, it spans:
To make MTaaS cost-effective, we help manufacturers reimagine their business approach for procuring and investing, focusing on outcomes while easing the upfront CapEx to get started. We also advise on needed initiatives for organizational change management to foster faster adoption and utilization.
By assessing specific manufacturing challenges, we can test tailored MTaaS solutions in a working environment at Chicago’s EY Digital Operations Hub at MxD (Manufacturing x Digital). This facility allows manufacturers to experience pre-certified solutions and validate the business results expected from their digitalization investments.
By taking full advantage of our MTaaS model, subsequent proofs of concept can save weeks, even months, from digitalization journeys. And that’s just the start of support by EY, Dell Technologies and our other ecosystem partners, which covers the entire MTaaS lifecycle and goes well beyond patches and technology upgrades.
In the years to come, as new technologies emerge and contexts change, Dell Technologies and EY teams will evolve our respective development roadmaps and align those with practical deployment strategies for MTaaS user operations. Meanwhile, manufacturers can enjoy a large measure of confidence in their digital investments as well as the compounding value of their returns in more innovations, greater profitability and a sharper competitive advantage.