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Manufacturers Accelerating Digital Adoption Due to the Pandemic

Historically, manufacturing has been highly dependent on the human workforce and conservative in adopting advanced digital technologies such as robots, immersive reality, and IoT. However, this changed during the pandemic, as manufacturers responded to workforce and supply chain disruption. Digital transformation is now an imperative not only during the pandemic but to remain competitive during the recovery.

These emerging trends are covered in Avasant’s new Manufacturing Digital Services 2020-2021 RadarView report. The report is a comprehensive study of digital service providers in the manufacturing space, including top trends, analysis, recommendations, and a close look at the leaders, innovators, disruptors, and challengers in this market.

Avasant evaluated 30 providers using three dimensions: practice maturity, partner ecosystem, and investments and innovation. Of those 30 providers, we recognize 21 that brought the most value to the market during the past 12 months.

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The report recognizes service providers in four categories:

Leaders: Accenture, Capgemini, HCL, IBM, Infosys, TCS
Innovators: Atos, Cognizant, LTI, Wipro
Disruptors: DXC, Genpact, NTT DATA, Tech Mahindra, UST Global
Challengers: Birlasoft, CGI, Mindtree, Softtek, Virtusa, Zensar
Figure 1 from the full report illustrates these categories:

Joe Frampus, a partner with Avasant, congratulated the winners noting, “Unforeseen challenges of the pandemic have motivated manufacturers to revisit their business and operational strategies. Manufacturers must redirect resources to prioritize SKUs and invest in different business and operating models.”

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Some of the findings from the full report include the following. Manufacturers should:

1. Digitalize supply chain for improving visibility and effective warehouse management:

  • Integrate AI and predictive analytics for supply chain disruption. Analyze supplier data and reoptimize inventory level based on demand.
  • Digitize the warehouse by leveraging robots, drones, IoT, and analytics to facilitate order picking, product assortment, and real-time inventory monitoring for reducing cost and manual efforts.

2. Focus on employee safety and training/upskilling:

  • Leverage digital training options such as AR/VR-based remote learning, app-based microlearning, and on-demand training modules.
  • Deploy digitally-enabled safety measures specific to employees (wearables for health monitoring) and manufacturing facilities (sensors to track temperature) to reduce injuries.

3. Evaluate organizational restructuring and strategic alliances:

  • Evaluate divestment or launching new entities to reduce operational costs and increase revenue through monetizing evolving opportunities.
  • Partner with IT and business process service providers to integrate digital capabilities and expedite transformation across the entire value chain.

“The pandemic has given a much needed push to manufacturers to expedite their transformation to ‘Smart Manufacturing.’ ” said Avasant’s Research Leader Pooja Chopra. “With the rising need for digital adoption across the value chain, manufacturers must partner with progressive service providers for planning and implementing their digital strategy.”

The full report also features detailed RadarView profiles of the 21 service providers, along with their solutions, offerings, and experience in assisting manufacturing companies in digital transformation.

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