Digital transformation is enabling a reinvention of manufacturing. It’s a core component of a new ‘industry renaissance’ – the merger of automation, the internet of things (IoT), the industrial internet of things (IIoT), artificial intelligence, business processes, big data and cloud computing. Digital transformation enhances agility and flexibility across the enterprise by enabling digital continuity, from ideation to production through post-sales service.

What is the urgency regarding manufacturing transformation?

I believe it’s a competitive necessity, as customers are seeking personalized experiences versus commodity transactions, especially when buying a vehicle. I believe we’re moving from the age of mass customization to the age of mass personalization, where customers expect both the process and the product to be unique. From a process point of view, look at how Tesla has changed the car-buying process. From a product standpoint, I would point you to Ford’s ‘Personalize Your Pony’ program, where fans and customers can go online and design their own Mustang logo which can then be duplicated across any number of personal items, including clothes, coffee mugs and even ordered on your new Ford Mustang vehicle.
This level of personalization is going to rapidly expand across the industry and it is my belief
that a lot of manufacturers are unprepared to support this kind of mass personalization with
their current manufacturing systems.