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Transforming Manufacturing: 5 Key Questions for Tech Transformation Success

Step into the future of manufacturing where technology reigns supreme, driving innovation and competitiveness to new heights. Discover how a strategic tech transformation can revolutionize efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Sofia Von Platen
Sofia Von Platen
5 min read


Technology is the driving force behind innovation and competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. A successful tech transformation can lead to significant improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profitability. However, navigating the world of technology transformation can be challenging. We have turned to McKinsey's recent article, "Five key questions to get a tech transformation right," for guidance. In this article, we'll explore these key questions and how they apply to the manufacturing industry.

Source: Excerpts from McKinsey's article "Five key questions to get a tech transformation right"


1. What Value is IT Delivering?

In the manufacturing sector, the value of technology is undeniable. Whether it's optimizing production processes, improving supply chain management, or enhancing quality control, IT can deliver substantial benefits. According to McKinsey's survey, successful manufacturers align their technology and digital strategies with their overall business strategy. This strategic alignment allows them to maximize the impact of tech transformations, especially in terms of generating new revenue streams.

Action for Manufacturers: Identify specific areas within your manufacturing operations where IT can create value. Consider how mobile intranets and solutions can empower your workforce to streamline processes, access real-time data, and make data-driven decisions to boost productivity and revenue.


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2. How Holistic is Your Approach to Transformation?

The manufacturing industry is multifaceted, with various functions and processes working in harmony. A holistic approach to tech transformation is vital. McKinsey's research reveals that top-performing manufacturers pursue multiple tech initiatives at the same time. Additionally, the combination of various initiatives can lead to even greater impact. These initiatives often include reshaping the business strategy to be technology-based, redesigning tech organizations and operating models, scaling data-related capabilities, and transforming talent management.

Action for Manufacturers: Take a comprehensive approach to tech transformation by considering how different initiatives can work together to drive positive change. For example, integrating mobile intranets can enhance communication between production teams, while real-time data analysis can optimize supply chain management.


3. What is Holding You Back?

Legacy systems and outdated processes can hinder tech transformation in manufacturing. McKinsey's survey highlights that successful manufacturers invest in modernizing their IT foundation, focusing on infrastructure, data, and cybersecurity. They prioritize building next-generation data platforms and enabling AI applications throughout their organizations.

Action for Manufacturers: Assess your current IT foundation and identify areas that need modernization. Invest in technologies that facilitate data-driven decision-making and improve the security of your systems, which is crucial in manufacturing where data integrity and uptime are paramount.


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4. How Can You Make the Most of Talent?

Tech talent is a precious resource in the manufacturing industry. McKinsey's research indicates that top-performing manufacturers excel in retaining and attracting tech-savvy talent. They prioritize training existing talent and cultivate a healthy IT work culture.

Action for Manufacturers: Develop strategies to attract and retain tech talent. Consider implementing training programs to upskill your existing workforce and fostering a work environment that encourages innovation and collaboration between IT and manufacturing teams.


5. Does Your Operating Model Reflect Change?

Transforming the IT organization and operating model is a crucial aspect of tech transformation. McKinsey suggests that successful manufacturers adopt product- and platform-centric operating models, focusing on the end-user experience. These models streamline product development, reduce time to market, cut costs, promote accountability, and ensure the creation of high-quality products.

Action for Manufacturers: Evaluate your current operating model and consider transitioning to product- and platform-centric approaches. This shift can optimize your manufacturing processes, accelerate product development, and enhance the overall quality of your offerings.


In conclusion, the manufacturing industry stands to gain significantly from tech transformation, but success requires careful consideration of these five key questions. By aligning IT with business strategy, taking a holistic approach, modernizing IT foundations, nurturing tech talent, and embracing modern operating models, manufacturers can unlock the full potential of technology to thrive in today's competitive landscape. Embrace these principles, and your manufacturing business can lead the way in the era of digital transformation.


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