SMEs must work together for better efficiency
August 1, 2022 12:43 pm
While speaking about digitalisation, Mayank Jain, Director, Crayon Motors, sounded optimistic in stating that smart manufacturing will take a giant stride forward when small SMEs in India begin collaborating with IoT technologies.
Digital transformation has long been debated among industry professionals and is finally taking place.
Digital transformation in Indian manufacturing
The 2020 pandemic had a critical role in this shift. Supply chains were disrupted, customer purchasing habits shifted, and we fully began to enjoy the value of becoming digital. Digital technology now permeates even the most fundamental areas of our lives. Everything is technological, including online purchasing, payments, and communication. Even road travel, such as highway travel, has grown more convenient with technology-based solutions such as Fastag, no long lines at toll booths. Technology creates deflation, but for India, technology is a positive force transforming the whole economic, investment, and digital landscape.
In Indian manufacturing, the digital revolution has allowed companies to focus on future factories known as “smart factories,” which will shift from automation to autonomy while improving real-time connectivity between processes, physical systems, and people (IoT). There is now comprehensive end-to-end traceability of goods and raw materials, and their movement has become possible. However, at the moment, just a piece of the value chain has been digitised. When small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in India begin collaborating with the internet of things (IoT) technologies and several new technologies that enable better levels of efficiency, smart manufacturing will take a giant stride forward. Furthermore, digitalisation will help collect diverse data that can be utilised to increase performance and efficiency through analytics.
Growth in technology, particularly in digital, is inevitable. We live in a competitive environment, and market forces will compel more industry players to embrace innovative technology. Manufacturing processes must also keep pace. The ecology as a whole does as well. Workforce upskilling will be critical to the speedier adoption of new technology.
What’s more intriguing is that thanks to digital transformation, this upskilling is now easily accessible (and sometimes free) with the press of a click. Manufacturing is also seen as an area to absorb the large workforce of India. What will be interesting to see is the impact this digital revolution will have on overall employment. In some ways, a double edged sword.
SMEs to reduce production downtime and enhance efficiency
Technology is making everything more affordable and faster across industries, including SMEs. SMEs must understand their past trends and business scenarios. As a company, it has added immense value to understand our inventory requirements using various basic technology tools. This understanding has helped us reduce ICC and improve customer satisfaction, among many other benefits.
Similarly, many new technologies are now accessible to improve efficiency and benefit the business. We are increasingly seeing how technology permeates our lives, and many companies are capitalising on this. Unlike in the past, these tools are simple and inexpensive, with many available for free. These newer technical breakthroughs and technologies can ultimately benefit SMEs.
Furthermore, SMEs must concentrate on the concept of shared technology or shared knowledge. Product development costs are high, and not every organisation can afford them. It will be counterproductive to compete with larger competitors in the long term unless these expenditures are shared among smaller enterprises, and hence volumes are obtained. SMEs must work together more and compete more effectively. Once a specific tech is made available, success will be defined by the service provided to the final consumer.
That being said, traditional concepts such as KAIZEN, JIT, and 5S are forever valuable to be taken up at all times in practice and continue to form the core of any improvement.