How to Thrive in
an Age of Disruption

Cloud solutions fueling success to overcome any disruption and thrive anytime


Despite the disruptions and challenges facing most manufacturers today, they still need to innovate rapidly and gain a competitive advantage. For many, the key to success will depend largely on whether they can complete a digital transformation to drive greater operational resilience, transparency, and agility.

Diverse team of people discussing content on handheld device.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a broad business strategy, applicable across all industries, to solve traditional business challenges and create new opportunities using technology. It requires acceptance of new ways of working and delivering value to customers.

By embracing new digital technologies, product teams can better communicate and gain greater visibility into supply chain execution activities to avoid unnecessary production delays, quality issues, and other factors that impede product launches. In turn, manufacturers can rapidly respond to and proactively address the next wave of disruptions that come their way.

Top Reasons Why Executives Pursue Digital Transformation Initiatives - Chart

Adopting the Right Approach

Manufacturers often rely on manual processes, paper-based systems, spreadsheets, or other point software solutions to manage their product development processes—from product design and sourcing of materials to production and delivery to customers. And as companies grow, they end up with a patchwork of disconnected solutions. There are many reasons why these solutions appeal to companies. For example, apps like Google Docs and Google Sheets are inexpensive and serve as easy tools that supply chain partners can use. Companies also turn to traditional solutions that most employees are accustomed to using like Microsoft Word and Excel, and they attempt to make these solutions fit their growing requirements.

The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst that led to supply chain disruptions globally. With a heavy reliance on just-in-time (JIT) and lean manufacturing models, coupled with the use of siloed point solutions, the perfect storm emerged to create issues getting raw materials, components, resources, and finished products to consumers. As workforces became more isolated, so too did the entire new product launch process.

To keep the lines of communication open and maintain productivity while shifting to a remote workforce, some companies quickly adopted cloud-based applications such as Zoom, Asana, Microsoft Teams, and other chat apps. Although these apps helped teams collaborate and share information—they still created silos. And because these methods of communication were not connected to the complete product record—they made it nearly impossible to identify the latest product design or track the continual changes that occurred daily, if not hourly, between internal teams and supply chain partners during new product development and introduction (NPDI).

So, what is a more suitable approach for product manufacturers looking to lessen the impact of pandemics, natural disasters, regional conflicts, and other supply chain disruptions?

When it comes to digital transformation and product development, it’s not just a matter of working in the Cloud or with digital technology—it’s a matter of connecting the right product information, people, and processes in the Cloud.

A Shift Toward Digital Manufacturing

Companies are now looking beyond the COVID crisis and implementing more long-term digital approaches that can help them improve collaboration across dispersed teams and supply chains and adapt to the “new normal” of remote work processes.

Enterprise product development solutions that are born in the Cloud address the challenges that today’s dispersed teams face. More specifically, cloud-native product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) solutions provide a single source of truth for internal and external teams to collaborate 24/7 via a web browser anywhere around the world. These types of enterprise solutions offer complete visibility into customer requirements, product design changes, quality issues, regulatory compliance mandates, and other processes that are critical to manage throughout NPDI.

Cloud-based PLM and QMS Solutions Eliminate Costs

Cloud-native (multi-tenant) PLM and QMS solutions that are sold under a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription model eliminate costly IT resources and upfront expenditures for hardware, software, virtual private networks (VPNs), and other infrastructure. Furthermore, cloud-native SaaS solutions are designed for fast deployment—speeding time to value (TTV) for companies looking to make the transition from traditional software systems. Once the software system is deployed, continuous enhancements are provided by the vendor, eliminating the traditional costs associated with upgrades and ongoing maintenance. These cloud-based solutions also reduce the IT infrastructure and security obstacles associated with on-premises and single-tenant SaaS platforms.

For manufacturing companies and global supply chains, Cloud PLM and QMS solutions are critical to drive a successful digital transformation strategy.