The Reality of Affordable and Scalable Digital Transformation

Cameron Bergen
CEO, mode40

Many manufacturers recognize the importance of digital transformation for their operations but are often unsure of where to start, how much to invest, and how to scale operational changes. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, and businesses that fail to swiftly embrace digitized production risk falling behind the competition. 

Less than 30% of digital transformation initiatives succeed because manufacturers only see results that reflect improper implementation. One of the most common reasons for failed digital projects is not accurately calculating their potential ROI, resulting in the inability to clearly define a project goal or timeline. Without a defined objective, projects can be counterproductive and inadvertently amplify the operational pain points they were initially intended to solve. 

To help manufacturers navigate the process of digital transformation, SafetyChain partnered with mode40’s CEO, Cameron Bergen, to provide senior executives with the necessary information to evaluate projects in an affordable, effective, and achievable way. 

“You don't have to start with all the traditional approaches. We see most organizations adopting digital versions today because it’s a faster way to increase ROI. But you could be at a stage in your business where you need to make small incremental improvements because you need to save for today. And by saving today, you can pay for tomorrow.” 

Cameron Bergen | CEO| mode40

Small businesses and large enterprises can approach digital transformation initiatives in the same way – starting simple. There are four key steps executives should encourage their operational management to take:

  • Find one existing problem that can be reasonably tackled in 30 days. Start with an Excel sheet and build out a simple model to calculate what takes longer than they wish it did.

  • Approximate the financial return of improvement in the identified problem within half a day or less. 

  • Implement the improvements and record savings over the set timeline.

  • Project the cumulative value generation per quarter and commit to reinvesting in the same problem to achieve a significant value.

Only after your business has seen significant ROI, should you consider larger versions of the initiatives that are more capital-intensive and affect the whole line.  

Digital transformation can be simple. Staying competitive doesn't require significant investment in expensive software or machinery, and there are many affordable approaches to help businesses of all sizes get started. Projects aimed to make data more accessible, and are implemented strategically, can quickly drive operational improvement

By starting with a clear objective, leveraging existing resources, and measuring across a consistent timeline, manufacturers can begin their digital transformation journey in a cost-effective and achievable way.

If you're a manufacturer looking to take your first step into digital transformation, Cameron outlines how to use the right tools, data, and information to begin a digital transformation and transform production: Demystifying Industry 4.0: Reality of Affordable and Scalable Digital Transformation.