How to Thrive in
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7 STEPS TO FUEL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS

Jump to Digital - Globe image with dots and lines connecting around the globe.Making the transition to digital may seem overwhelming, especially if you’re working with multiple legacy systems (e.g., on-premises software, document-based solutions) that maintain high volumes of product data.

Cloud-based product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) solutions offer a straightforward and fast approach for manufacturers to move their new product development and introduction (NPDI) processes into the digital realm.

As you contemplate making the transition, it’s important to not overcomplicate things. You need a simple, clear strategy to overcome any resistance or roadblocks.

To advance your digital transformation, we recommend following these seven steps:

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Step 1
Evaluate, or audit, your current product development and launch processes.

Conduct a cross-functional assessment of your current systems and processes. Identify the areas that may need to be changed.

Solicit feedback from impacted product teams to gain a complete picture of all areas that are affected. This will also help your employees feel included and heard from the outset.

Some questions to ask:

  • Do we have problems/gaps collaborating today?
  • Are we reliant on tribal knowledge vs. transparent systems?
  • Is there an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction/reduce customer complaints?
  • Are there areas where the company lacks insight and visibility?
  • Can we easily identify problems before they become roadblocks?
    – Is there an opportunity to improve efficiency?
    – What processes need to be streamlined?
    – Are there areas where we can reduce costs?

Completing this assessment will help you set realistic goals and objectives for your digital transformation journey and the adoption of a Cloud PLM or QMS solution.

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Step 2
Identify business goals and objectives.

Set goals and objectives based on your evaluation. Establish realistic short-term and long-term goals. Be sure to consider other competing projects and whether having a phased approach to reach your goals will be most effective.

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Step 3
Build your project team.

Your team should include key stakeholders from across the organization, including:

  • Engineering
  • Procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Operations (manufacturing supply chain teams)
  • Quality and regulatory affairs
  • Customer support
  • Executive sponsor that is responsible for getting products to market

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Step 4
Choose the software solution and vendor that best aligns with your business needs.

Choosing the right software or technology involves many steps—from capturing requirements and evaluating vendors to building a financial case. To gather insights, read our comprehensive software buyer’s guide.

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Step 5
Empower employees to drive continuous improvement.

  • Encourage and reward new ideas, accountability, and transparency
  • Provide access to all teams from engineering to quality to manufacturing so that everyone can contribute and address opportunities to improve product and customer satisfaction
  • Give management the tools and ability to measure performance and make adjustments to eliminate delays, errors, and unnecessary processes

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Step 6
Regularly assess the business processes.

Evaluate the actual performance of your software against the targeted business objectives.

Key metrics to measure:

  • Product development cycle time
  • Time to market
  • Reduction of scrap/rework
  • Reduced costs (development, manufacturing, field support)
  • Operational efficiencies (faster review cycles and fewer production errors)
  • Customer satisfaction

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Step 7
Optimize processes based on metrics and findings.

You can’t improve processes, designs, or products unless you know how well they are performing. Every team from engineering through manufacturing and customer service should be measuring outcomes. Adjusting designs or processes will yield continuous product improvements to maintain a competitive edge.