Manufacturers accelerating digital transformation efforts due to pandemic: Survey

Business leaders within global manufacturing and distribution sectors have shown urgency in embracing digital transformation to overcome the disruption caused by the pandemic, according to SYSPRO?s survey.

The survey focused on identifying how the industry is coping with the need for increased collaboration, the impact of supply chain disruptions, and emerging trends that will shape the manufacturing and distribution sectors moving forward.

Some key findings include:

73% businesses need to invest in technology to facilitate remote working

As social distancing became the new normal, entire workforces needed to connect as well as collaborate remotely. Based on survey findings, nearly half of businesses were unable to function effectively due to a reliance on their operational staff only being able to function from the work premise. With a shift towards remote work and increased collaboration, 73% of businesses stated they would need to invest in technology to facilitate remote working capabilities in the future. According to Paulo De Matos, Chief Product Officer at SYSPRO, ?COVID has had a ripple effect in many areas but remote work is here to stay and will need to be supported by systems that allow for easy communication, collaboration and performance management.?

60% businesses were impacted by supply chain disruptions

Unsurprisingly, the survey showed that 60% of businesses were impacted by supply chain disruptions during the pandemic. When looking specifically at distribution, 45% agreed that they were unable to operate at the same levels of distribution efficiency enjoyed before the pandemic.

42% suggest they will consider reshoring

?With the increasing shortages of parts due to supply chain disruptions, manufacturers and distributors started looking for alternatives to offshoring and establish a more resilient supply chain. Due to this shift in strategic sourcing and procurement, re-shoring is now being considered as a viable option worldwide,? said De Matos. This was echoed in the study, where 42% of businesses stated that they will re-shore manufacturing operations.

Focus shifting away from cost and efficiency control towards certainty and quality

29% of businesses stated that their systems lacked in providing them with the availability, insights and accessibility of information to respond to the pandemic adequately and they would be pursuing cloud-based business systems to deal with any possible future disruptions.

?Manufacturers and distributors are shifting their preference towards a cloud deployed business solution, not only to address immediate needs, but as a catalyst to accelerate their digital transformation journey. We also anticipate that organizations will adopt different approaches to sourcing strategies and will shift their focus away from cost and efficiency control towards certainty and quality. This shift will be long lasting and innumerable,? concludes De Matos.

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