FIRST ORDERS WERE SUSPENDED.
THEN CAME COVID.
Familiar with this old chestnut? The Chinese word for crisis is a combination of characters signifying danger and opportunity. Turns out that’s not true, but it’s still a good way to describe how leadership at one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial airplanes, defense platforms, and business jets approached business setbacks that might have crippled a different organization.
The company’s main production facility dates back to World War II, and to stay competitive it knew it needed to invest in infrastructure. With an assist from Deloitte, the plan was to create a smart factory—meaning a highly responsive, adaptive, and connected system of technologies that together would engineer a continuous flow of information between the physical and digital worlds. With a smart factory, advantages the company would gain include tracking materials, removing bottlenecks, and overcoming inefficiencies. It could optimize throughput. Improve on-time delivery.
The project was moving along nicely. But then…
Then orders were put on hold for one of the company’s mainstay clients, leading to a steep revenue decline. Then COVID-19 struck, bringing further disruptions—not just to the manufacturer’s workforce, but the global supply chain.
Still, leadership chose to double down on digitizing the company’s operations, positioning it for future growth by harnessing the power of next-generation technology. After all, what better time to fundamentally change how the facility operated than during a period of reduced business?
BETTER DATA VISUALIZATION = BETTER INSIGHTS = BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS
Several years into its transformation, the company has found its stride with the smart factory. The orders that had been put on hold are back in the queue, and the line is progressing back to full utilization.
The company will continue to lock in bottom-line results from the solutions engineered with the Smart Factory Fabric modules, including expanding into new geographies.
The company’s long-term plan marks a new way of doing business through a globally connected ecosystem—a goal that might have previously been unachievable.
Do these challenges sound familiar?
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