The Secret Weapon Of Choice For Future-Ready Midsize Discrete Manufacturers

Judy Cubiss

Every new prediction for the coming decade brings greater appreciation for how far discrete manufacturers have come. After surviving one of the worst recessions in world history, most industry players rose through the ashes by redefining business models, processes, and overall value in a market that is constantly changing.

As we begin a new decade, history seems to be repeating itself. But there’s a difference: midsize discrete manufacturers show signs of being better prepared to weather the storm of raging global trade wars, neutral manufacturing growth, and the complexities of data-driven operations.

According to the IDC InfoBrief “Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Discrete Manufacturing Company,” intelligence and data are critical success factors for growing manufacturers. Those considered “best-run” are highly focused on making their data operational. And perhaps more reassuring is the 90.2% that are eliminating data silos and sharing insights across the company.

intelligence and data are critical success factors for growing manufacturers

Source: “Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Discrete Manufacturing Company,” an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by SAP, 2019.

Data matters in the upcoming era of complexity and opportunity

For years, the discrete manufacturing industry has been leveraging data in a variety of ways – from the Internet of Things (IoT) and predictive analytics to Industry 4.0 practices. The interplay among data, machines, people, and processes has created a wave of insights, leading to greater efficiency, lower costs, higher productivity, reliable continuity, and transparent traceability.

But like everything else in life, breakthrough innovations quickly become everyone else’s “business as usual.” And as customers become accustomed to this reality, they demand higher-quality goods that are manufactured responsibly and made available the very moment and place they are wanted.

The pressure is on for midsize discrete manufacturers. And as indicated by IDC’s findings, over half of best-run players are using advanced technologies across the board, such as:

  • Big Data (75.6%)
  • IoT (75.3%)
  • Advanced and predictive analytics (70.6%)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (65.3%)
  • Cloud services (65.1%)
  • Digital assistants and chatbots (59%)

Furthermore, 62.2% of these manufacturers’ integration efforts are either well underway or have already gone further. This is opening the door to benefits such as connectivity between people, devices, and businesses as well as real-time insights to drive process and workflow optimization.

When operating an industry environment of increasing risk and the unknown, an unbreakable stream of connectivity and insight helps midsize discrete manufacturers pivot operations and resources to respond to fast-paced market fluctuations. But more importantly, they can inspire the innovation ingenuity needed to turn disruption into opportunity – each one serving as a building block for sustainable growth and industry dominance.

Discover how best-run growing discrete manufacturers are driving more revenue, empowering employees, and responding to customer needs with groundbreaking, more-efficient strategies. Check out the SAP-sponsored IDC InfoBrief Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Discrete Manufacturing Company.”

This article originally appeared on Forbes SAP BrandVoice.


Judy Cubiss

About Judy Cubiss

Judy Cubiss is Global Marketing Lead for Industrial Machinery and Components and Automotive at SAP. She has worked in the software industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles, including consulting, product management, solution management, and content marketing in both Europe and the United States.