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Manufacturing is increasingly pressured. The aftermath of the pandemic, a war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions, resource scarcity and blocked supply routes are disrupting businesses, and the future is hard to predict. To effectively respond, manufacturers need resilience and agility.

While the above isn’t any news to manufacturers, achieving resilience is easier said than done. In addition, manufacturers also need to meet growing customer expectations. Transforming from a traditional B2B scenario into the full swing of B2C expectations (digital interactions across touchpoints, personalization, transparency and support) is calling for extensive changes.

Adapting to sustainability demands is also at the manufacturers’ table. The quest here is about meeting pressure from regulators, customers and shareholders to be more sustainable, without increasing production costs or reducing profit margins.

Partnership is new leadership

How do you tackle the challenges then? Here, I believe partnership is the new leadership: the current situation calls for increased collaboration. Together with our own partners Microsoft, PTC and Rockwell Automation, we have seen improvements in results by 30–40 % thanks to cross-functional digital transformation.

Without a doubt, transforming a manufacturing company is a complex process. Digital transformation is all about data, connectivity and automation. Manufacturers need to equip the workforce with real-time visibility to improve efficiency and competitiveness through insights and improved decision-making.

However, achieving resilience and agility through developing interconnected supply chains and operations, takes much more than just a new platform. It requires changes in organization, processes and business models. Many companies have already realized this as they increasingly embark on their digital journeys.

360o view of manufacturers

Many companies struggle with getting value out of their tech investments (as shown in this Cognizant/The Economist report). As I meet with manufacturing companies, one of the most common questions is: “Can you help us identify where we should change to get the most value?”. Or, they have already identified the area to address and have a roadmap, and turn to us for help with the technology stack.

To help solve manufacturers’ most pressing issues, Cognizant takes a 360o view of their organization. We can help in every step of the industrial transformation with our 6 000 people strong Industry+ team across the globe.

One example of how we accelerate transformation is through our manufacturing innovation framework where we help make targeted operational and technology decisions. Here, we research, ideate and build new solutions. The building blocks are the asset studio, partnerships/enablers and flexible pod teams. Collaboration with internal stakeholders, partners and academia throughout the process is key.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit the manufacturing section of the web and check out our “Swiss army knife for manufacturers” – the APEx Industry 4.0 orchestration platform.

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