The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a 21st-century industrial revolution.

An already challenging economic climate, in which political uncertainty and high-cost pressures led to decreasing growth forecasts, saw manufacturers pushed to overhaul their operations even before the events that unfolded in early 2020, with the onset of the pandemic. As the impact of COVID-19 began to bite, the need to act became critical.

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Key Benefits:

Smarter product development and manufacturing

Leveraging the power of digital technology to reshape the manufacturing landscape brings many benefits. By merging the physical and the digital, and connecting people, machines and products, it’s possible to improve end-to-end industrial efficiency, reduce the time to take a product to market, innovate product development, enable mass customisation, and enhance customer service – with the end result of improved profitability and competitive agility. On a product level, tech offer more possibilities for the reinvention of product lines, and for the development of new revenue streams through the provision of connected product services. Thanks to smart automation, digital twinning, and connected manufacturing, the way products are engineered can be transformed, while industrial analytics offer insight into production line capabilities: machine uptime data can help usher in predictive maintenance practices.

Key Benefits:

Efficient, frictionless working environments

With physical and digital workspaces more closely integrated, not only is the employee experience improved, so too is the opportunity for collaborative working – whether internally or with partner organisations. This offers scope for elevating product development processes and developing new offerings through alliances with other organisations. With the right technology at their fingertips, employees, visitors, and other stakeholders can also navigate sites more easily and efficiently, working seamlessly between virtual and concrete spaces. This leaves them free to focus on their professional objectives, rather than being diverted by time-wasting issues such as incompatible personal devices and meeting room hardware, finding a space in which to meet (in terms of its exact location, or its booked status), or problems encountered while connecting to a new printer.

Key Benefits:

Streamline the admin burden, reduce errors, cut costs

Back office processes can also be tech-enabled for improved productivity, lower levels of risk or error, and reduced costs – managed print, document digitisation, central production print, workflow software, and hybrid mail and print, are all part of a more agile model. Going paper-lite not only massively reduces the use of consumables including ink and paper – and therefore running costs – but digital workflows also make life easier and more efficient for staff. For example, if an invoice needs to be signed off, this can be easily achieved with a quick email (rather than the older print-based process of printing, delivering, hand-signing, returning, and scanning back into the system), while digitized documents are much easier to call up using a search function (rather than rifling through a filing cabinet).

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