The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is driving global manufacturers to rethink their value streams, business models, new products and services, and the customer experience throughout the product lifecycle. Maintaining the status quo is no longer an option.
How do you stay ahead of the curve when you must keep up with day-to-day operational challenges and invest in developing the future roadmap? The good news is that there is a proven way to “keep the lights on” in support of daily production operations and customer requirements while at the same time revolutionizing and readying your organization for unexpected internal shifts and external disruptions – digital process automation.
Digital process automation is creating a paradigm shift in manufacturing
Across the manufacturing industry, customer and business demands are both increasing and in a constant state of flux. Competitive pressures, supply chain complexities, regulatory changes, and disjointed processes and systems across organizational silos are forcing manufacturers to adopt a more nimble and agile way of doing business.
Digital process automation (DPA) is not just a buzzword. DPA is the best approach to improve complex business processes, and build new processes and products from a user-centric point of view – agilely.
Process automation is not about cutting costs. In fact, Forrester’s May 2018 report: The Growing Importance of Process to Digital Transformation states that “rather than adopting a defensive posture focused on cost reduction, business leaders are looking to use process as a competitive weapon.” They’re improving processes to bolster customer experience and speed digital transformation.
True digital transformation is a culture change and a journey toward innovation and next-generation products and services. Transformation empowers the workforce with new skills and tools to create and deliver more value to the customer – faster. It requires a strategic vision of the future state and the ability to close the gaps in the current state. New technology can help to close current gaps plus automate, streamline, and simplify future processes by designing with the end in mind.
Quick wins in deploying new systems and processes will generate the savings required to fund the longer-term roadmap of investments. Dealing with a myriad of legacy technologies can feel like being stuck in quicksand, but there’s a better way to leverage existing ERP systems, databases, and applications – without a big bang or a risky, costly “rip and replace” approach.
The four critical success factors of digital process automation
I firmly believe that a DPA platform is the key to achieving agility and empowering “citizen developers” and business process owners to drive continuous improvement and better outcomes for all stakeholders – customers, suppliers, employees, and partners.
The best DPA platforms enable:
- Customer centricity / customer journey mapping: Digital transformation puts the customer – and customer experience – front and center. It’s about topline growth, not cost cutting. Process improvements are designed with the customer in mind. DPA coordinates customer data collection (regardless of channel), integrates with big data and decisioning, and recommends the next best actions to take, orchestrating customer engagement relative to the needs of each customer’s overall journey as well as your business’ goals.
- End-to-end automation: DPA is more than just business rules. Most manufacturing organizations need to manage a growing list of technologies and channels. DPA, as the orchestrational layer of your enterprise architecture, automates the management of processes and technologies across the organization for functions like agile development, guardrails, governance, robotic automation implementations, self-service platforms, application integrations, and a myriad of other potential connected IoT devices. In short, using DPA as part of a unified, centralized enterprise system enables you to automate optimal outcomes.
- Business and IT agility: Agile application development activates business users to create and modify processes in a visual modeling format, increasing the output of apps and changes exponentially. To ensure quality, usability, and compliance for a high volume of assets, compliance checks and governance are automated. DPA is designed to manage this in the context of the overall needs of the enterprise.
- Low code / no code platform and citizen development: Business transformation at large enterprises requires hundreds if not thousands of apps that work together to ensure end-to-end automation, making it a challenge for IT departments to support all of the development and maintenance needs. Business process owners can now own app development using visual, low-code platforms. These nimble platforms, along with DPA, help streamline the requirements gathering process. Instead of long meetings and discussions, feedback is captured in real time using digital tools that connect both business and technical users, fostering collaboration, speeding development and delivery cycles, and tracking all input and changes.
Some of the largest manufacturing and high-tech organizations are leading the way with DPA success
Pega is recognized by Forrester as a leader in digital process automation. For over 30 years we’ve helped our global customers – including Cisco, Siemens, Rolls Royce Marine, and Philips – in their journey to game-changing digital disruption and smart manufacturing.
It’s time for you to start unlocking the potential of investments already made in your physical and digital value streams – leverage digital tools, dynamic case management, and end-to-end automation to achieve new levels of operational excellence, plus increase operating margins and customer value. Transform or get left behind.
- Download Forrester’s report, “The Growing Importance of Process to Digital Transformation,” to learn how organizations are using DPA to accomplish new goals.
- Read the Frost & Sullivan study on why business agility matters.
- Read the Wall Street Journal article “How Low-Code Can You Go?” to learn how Philips is using low-code development to drive faster time to value.
- Discover how Pega helps manufacturing and high-tech organizations optimize operations and deliver spectacular service.
- Read more blogs by Carolyn about IoT, 4IR, product lifecycle, and business value.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: As Senior Director and Industry Principal for Global Manufacturing and High-Tech Markets at Pega, Carolyn Rostetter helps clients increase productivity, streamline operations, and provide outstanding customer experiences through digital transformation.