What digital technology can bring to French industrial groups

by bold-lichterman

Companies that engage in their digital transformation see their growth potential doubled, according to an Accenture study cited by the “Industry of the future” Committee of Syntec Numérique in its white paper “Transform the industry through digital», Published this Monday, May 2.

The industry of tomorrow will no longer be a simple system of production of goods but a chain of creation, production and new uses in perpetual revolution. (…) Front-offices will be born near the competence centers which will use collaborative tools to manage multi-site production.»Explains Maurice Ricco, Chairman of the Committee, in the introduction to the document.

In 2014, 217 factories closed in France according to the Trendeo firm. In 2015, 190 factories went out of business (again according to Trendeo). Faced with these figures, which testify to a certain decline in the French industrial fabric, the question of the digital transformation of this sector is central today. What can digital bring to a traditional industrial company?

  • Use data to evolve your model and reposition yourself on the value chain: thanks to digital, it is becoming easier for manufacturers to inter-connect several of their products. The authors of the white paper highlight the benefits of going from selling a product to selling an experience or a use. Finally, data constitutes a significant source of income for manufacturers. Aldès, a ventilation specialist in Lyon, for example, has developed a range of connected products and a mobile application that allows its customers to control their equipment remotely.

  • Be inspired by the innovations of other players in the digital ecosystem: by exchanging with other players (partners, customers or even suppliers), manufacturers can open up to different technologies and uses. The authors of the white paper recommend in particular the setting up of collaborative projects with other players in their sector, or with start-ups. Thimonnier, designer and manufacturer of flexible packaging machines, has for example digitized all of its processes and kept a history of all the technical data of its machines. It has also equipped all of its operators with tablet PCs.

  • Place your customer at the heart of the process: personalization and optimization of the customer relationship are two pillars of digital. The various digital technologies allow manufacturers to improve their knowledge of their customers, to reconnect with the end user of their product (thanks to the Internet of Things) and to interact with them.

  • Shorten design times: By applying more agile working methods internally, manufacturers can therefore change the way their new products and services are prototyped, tested, and brought to market.

  • Improve internal production processes: beyond its interest in knowing its customers better, big data also allows manufacturers to better understand their internal production process, and to make improvements. Multi-site production is also facilitated. The authors of the study take as an example Sferis, a subsidiary of SNCF, which uses additive manufacturing as a means of replacing parts that are difficult to obtain, and to facilitate the maintenance of old installations.

  • Put operators back at the center of the production process: just like what is happening on the commercial level, the digitization of in-house production chains gives back importance to operators, who gain autonomy and expertise in their workstations. Not to mention that many technological innovations make it possible to reduce the arduousness of tasks, while improving the safety of workstations.

READ the white paper: