Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.

Digital Manufacturing

Editor's Note: If you are interested in becoming an expert on Supply Chain Management (SCM), take a look at Flevy's Supply Chain Management (SCM) Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

Featured Best Practice on Manufacturing

160-slide PowerPoint presentation
"Lean" is a management philosophy based on the Toyota Production System (TPS). With Lean manufacturing, you will be able to enhance value for your customers by streamlining process flow and eliminating waste. Simply put, with Lean, you will be able to increase productivity and [read more]

* * * *

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing, or Digital Manufacturing for short, is a matter of survival now for manufacturing concerns.  Manufacturing companies desirous of survival have no choice but to hop on the Digital Transformation bandwagon, rapidly.

Business Transformation of any kind is not an easy endeavor.  Change Management of Digital Manufacturing is typically more difficult than any Change or Transformation Program that an organization may undertake.

Forming a strategy to leverage digital technologies is the 1st step in transforming a manufacturing concern towards Digital Manufacturing.  Bigger challenges are faced in strategy execution.

For Transformation execution to be effective, CEOs must reconsider almost everything about the way their companies work; for instance, establish new Business Models, reorganize their Organizational Design, and also rethink their Leadership style.

Specifically, there are 3 key pillars of Digital Manufacturing execution that need careful consideration for the Transformation to be successful:

  1. Business Model over Technology
  2. Independence of Digital Operations
  3. CEO-driven Digital Transformation

 Let us consider the key pillars a little more in detail.

Business Model over Technology

Shifting from old technology to new is easier than changing the Business Model of any concern, especially a manufacturing concern.  Customarily, manufacturers sell machinery, hand out software as complementary, and offer after sales repair and maintenance service for the machinery.

For Digital Transformation to be truly successful, the whole way of doing business has to change.  Manufacturers have to look at what they are selling i.e., outcome instead of a product.  What is important is manufacturers should be willing to do away with existing Business Models to create and capture new value.

Value creation is achievable in many ways using industrial Internet of Things (IoT) by manufacturers.  All of the avenues for value creation should be used in parallel so as to gain the largest impact.

Value created through Digital Manufacturing can be captured in 2 ways:

  1. Software as a Service and Subscriptions/Licenses
  2. Offering Success as a Service

Independence of Digital Operations

Digital operations can create a meaningful impact only when they are independent of the main business.  Independence is important but so is proper linkage with the industrial business.

Initially, understanding regarding value provided by Digital operations may be very limited in the manufacturing business therefore cooperation may be inhibited.  Finding ways to link Digital operations with the manufacturing business must cater to the requirement of understanding how the machines work.

Resistance from the manufacturing business is expected when the 2 forces combine, especially when the Digital operations grow.  Delineating who handles customer relationship and all factors associated with it, is also a question that may spring up in cooperation between manufacturing and digital operations.

Ways to obtain gains from linking vertical business and the horizontal digital function must be found.

CEO-driven Digital Transformation

Sponsor of the Digital Manufacturing initiative has to be the CEO.  Only the CEO has the influence to decide the divergences between the old manufacturing business and the new digital business.

CEOs have to drive the Digital Manufacturing shift.  Leading from the front to make everyone understand that Digital Transformation is a very serious and important endeavor.

CEOs must have the will and resolve to challenge incumbency, obliviousness, and existing state of affairs.  While remaining firm on the strategic direction, CEOs must be flexible enough to experiment, learn, and adjust course.

Interested in learning more about Digital Manufacturing?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Digital Manufacturing here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Excel workbook
Highly sophisticated and user friendly Financial Model providing advanced financial & planning analysis for a Startup or existing Manufacturing Company. Suitable for any type of industry, the model is a flexible tool for CEO/CFO's to control and improve daily operations and forecast financial [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Supply Chain Management (SCM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Supply Chain Management (SCM). Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of Supply Chain activities. It also captures the management of the flow of goods and services.

In February of 2020, COVID-19 disrupted—and in many cases halted—global Supply Chains, revealing just how fragile they have become. By April, many countries experienced declines of over 40% in domestic and international trade.

COVID-19 has likewise changed how Supply Chain Executives approach and think about SCM. In the pre-COVID-19 era of globalization, the objective was to be Lean and Cost-effective. In the post-COVID-19 world, companies must now focus on making their Supply Chains Resilient, Agile, and Smart. Additional trends include Digitization, Sustainability, and Manufacturing Reshoring.

Learn about our Supply Chain Management (SCM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources

183-slide PowerPoint presentation
Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are a set of guidelines and regulations that ensure the production and manufacturing of safe and high-quality products, including food, drugs, and medical devices. These practices are designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that [read more]

Excel workbook
37-slide PowerPoint presentation

About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

, , , , , , , , ,

Complimentary Business Training Guides

Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]

  This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]

We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]

  We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function






The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.

Connect with Flevy:


About Flevy.com   /   Terms   /   Privacy Policy
© . Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.