Adapt to Dynamic Industrial Manufacturing Markets with the Help of Technology

Transition into the New Technological Era

The world economy is extremely volatile at this moment in our history. Many industrial manufacturing companies are struggling to adapt to the fast changing and uncertain markets. However, many manufacturers are successful as they envision better (smart) factories and better operations and adopt smart long-term strategies to realize their goals and adjust to dynamic markets. And technology is key to their success. Technology can help companies adapt to dynamic industrial manufacturing markets and can help them transition into the new technological era.

What We Can Learn from Nokia and Kodak

There are a couple of well-known examples of companies that failed to adapt to dynamic markets and failed to transition into a new technological era. As a result, they lost their market advantage. Two of these companies are Nokia and Kodak.

Nokia’s Story

Nokia is an illustrious example of a company that did not use technology to adopt to a changing market and that did not transition into a new era. Nokia has a long and varied business history. It was founded in 1865 but did not create its well-known name until 1871. The industries the company has been involved with includes wood pulp, rubber, cable and electronics, radio and telephone, international cellular network, and the mobile phone industry, the one it is most famous for. The company launched its Nokia 1011 phone in 1992 and from there began to dominate the market. The turning point came in 2007 when Apple released the iPhone. A year later, although Nokia released its first smart touch screen phone, it started to see a significant market decline. In 2010, Nokia tried to get a foot into the smart phone market with its iPhone killer but was not successful. By 2012, the company was in serious financial trouble.

Technology is constantly evolving and when companies do not keep up with it, they cannot stay competitive. Consumers are quick to pick up on the best designs and products which means companies must stay on top of technological innovations. Nokia made some keys mistakes, one being that it failed to transition into a new high tech era of smart touch phones, Internet and wireless technologies, and improved multimedia capabilities. This lack of vision cost them their mobile phone market.

Kodak’s Story

Another famous example of a company not adopting technology fast enough is the Eastman Kodak Company. This company was founded in 1888 and established itself as a leading producer of photographic film and camera-related products. However, in the late 1990’s, the company’s sales started declining. The reason? They missed opportunities in digital photography, a technology they actually invented.

In 1975, Steve Sasson, the Kodak engineer invented the first digital camera. He presented this new technology to corporate management which responded with indifference. However, the company later decided to conduct extensive research about this technology. The results showed that digital photography could replace Kodak’s established film based business but that the company had approximately ten years to prepare for this change. Even with this knowledge, the company failed act and to make the necessary long-term strategic choices. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection. The company failed to embrace technology to stay in the photography industry game and thus failed to adapt to a changing market. The company failed to transition into a new photography era.

Technology Can Help

New technology can bring tremendous benefits to an organization and its employees. It can result in increased knowledge, problem-solving, and creativity leading to opportunities, growth, and innovation. It can provide time-savings and efficiency, collaboration and engagement between stakeholders, and empowerment and job satisfaction. Another important benefit is sustainability. Bottom line, new technology can allow employees to do their jobs easier, better, and faster – an improvement from what they’ve done and had before. Its purpose is to drive, enable, and influence most aspects of a business and its operations. Organizations that understand the purpose of technology know that they can use it to more easily adapt to dynamic markets and also to stay ahead of the competition.

Transition into a New Technological Era

Most businesses today base their strategies on what’s worked in the past, only adopting new technologies after they’ve been thoroughly proven. Many do not fully understand the speed at which technology is progressing and thus are late to adopt it. Nokia and Kodak are two well-known examples.

For the manufacturing process industry, a new technology is industrial data analytics. One form is self-service analytics. It’s called self-service because process experts can use it to analyze data without the help of a data scientist, and it’s easy to learn, use, and understand. So taking advantage of it is straight forward. It allows process experts to analyze manufacturing data, so they can make data-driven decisions, decisions that drive the best operational outcomes. By democratizing data, process experts can more fully contribute to achieving manufacturing excellence.

Some companies stand by the wayside and continue to do what they’ve always been doing, and some companies take a step towards the future. Just look at Uber. Who would have thought that through the use of an app, a technology company could revolutionize the taxi industry?

Technology is an integral part of our current world. It is progressing and evolving at a dazzling mind-blowing rate, and it will continue to do so. The industrial manufacturing companies that understand this fact have transitioned into a new technological era with smart factories, big data, and industrial analytics. They have committed to smart long-term strategic thinking. Because of their forward thinking, they not only are able to better adapt to dynamic markets but also are better positioned in the today’s market and will be in the future.

Envision the Possibilities

Nokia and Kodak have given us important lessons to learn from. When dealing with technology, it helps to be open, courageous, and patient. Don’t be afraid to think differently. Industrial data analytics technology like self-service analytics is a resource companies can capitalize on. To use this resource is to move forward.

Embracing technology is an attitude, an attitude of possibility and an eagerness for improvement. This approach will help companies achieve excellence and stay ahead of the competition.

The first step is to envision the possibilities of technology, for example self-service analytics, and then to set a plan for adopting it. This is smart long-term strategic thinking.

Technology can help companies adapt to dynamic industrial manufacturing markets. More importantly, it can help companies transition into the new technological era.

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