IfM, which provides specialist expertise as part of the Sharing in Growth programme, has released a series of briefings on strategic approaches to digitalisation.

Delivered as a seminar during Digital Manufacturing Week, the briefings explored how manufacturing companies can identify and capitalise on the opportunities presented by new technologies, while remaining squarely focused on business strategy and on delivering customer value.

Introduced by Tim Minshall, Dr John C. Taylor Professor of Innovation and Head of the IfM, the agenda covered research into the current trends in the changing landscape, and evidence of the impact digitalisation is already having on manufacturers. This was bolstered with case studies from industry and international practice, including the example of a pilot project IfM implemented for Caterpillar using block chain, and frameworks from IfM business strategy research to support manufacturers with taking decisions about digitalisation initiatives.

Dr Carlos López-Gómez, Head of the IfM’s Policy Links Unit, shared findings from recent research by his team for Innovate UK, looking at international evidence from major digital manufacturing initiatives undertaken or supported by national governments. Based on this, Carlos explained the key opportunities that companies are harnessing from new technologies, and where they are focusing their efforts, as well as evidence of value capture and data on business improvements for particular metrics (such as reduction of labour costs or reduction of defects and errors). He also connected this with the most common types of barriers to technology deployment—including people, organisational, technical, market, economic/financial, and regulatory/policy—evident across sectors, and examples of how policy initiatives can mitigate these barriers. Read more about this research here.

Moving to a company-level perspective, Dr Nicky Athanassopoulou, Head of Solution Development for IfM Education and Consultancy Services, discussed how digital initiatives can be set in the context of a firm’s strategic business objectives. She presented a framework from the IfM’s Business Strategy research centre, developed to support strategic approaches to digitalisation. She discussed an example from Domino’s Pizza to show how digital transformation can simultaneously provide new ways to engage with customers, while also improving internal systems and processes.

IfM is offering a course in February 2020 which will help attendees develop a strategic approach to identifying, integrating and developing supply chains, through supply network configuration and digitalisation.

The emphasis is on practical approaches and tools that can be applied directly to help determine the areas for improvement and integration, steps that need to be taken, and how progress can be measured.

Click on the image below for more information.