Digital operating systems

Designing the future world of work with next-generation production systems

Production systems are evolving. By leveraging leading-edge technologies, next-generation production systems (or digital operating systems) will unlock new levels of productivity and innovation. But is your organisation geared to succeed in the new world of work?

What are digital operating systems?

Success in a fast-changing world demands adaptability, flexibility and a willingness to evolve. Digital operating systems (DOS) represent an emerging approach to production systems that harmonises lean and continuous improvement principles with smart manufacturing. The focus is on improving day-to-day operations and organisational efficiency through advanced analytics and enhanced digital capability.

Speed and agility are the new competitive imperatives ‒ transitioning to DOS will ensure that nimble manufacturing operations become the bedrock of an intelligent, connected, digital supply chain. Organisations now stand at the threshold of transformational change, but to unlock the benefits of DOS, they will need to align people, practices and processes with new technologies.

Why should organisations transition to DOS now?

Companies can no longer afford to ignore digital disruption. The rapid pace of digitalisation highlights the urgent need for organisations to evolve or get left behind. While DOS won’t change the fundamental purpose of corporate production systems, they will recalibrate the way they are built and run. Proactively adopting new operating systems and associated technologies will result in greater levels of efficiency and sustained competitive advantage.

What are the key considerations when implementing DOS?

Understanding your organisation’s level of digital and best practice maturity, as well as your current state of operations and value chain alignment, is the first step in the transition to DOS. This insight will help you shape your vision for the journey and develop an implementation road map that unlocks digital capability across all facets of your business.

A holistic DOS implementation road map will focus on:

  • Defining your digital transformation strategy and goals
  • Building digital skills across the organisation
  • Implementing advanced technologies to drive greater efficiency
  • Putting processes in place to support a digital factory
  • Standardising processes to replicate successes across the value chain
  • Harnessing real-time data to speed up decision-making
  • Ensuring operations best practices are embedded across the manufacturing network
  • Aligning all the elements of the supply chain towards achieving sustainable performance improvement across the
    end-to-end demand-driven value chain network

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What are the components of digital operating systems?

Digital operating systems are a multipronged approach to recalibrating your organisation for success in the new world of work. Read below to learn more about the different components of DOS and how they can support your transition to digital excellence.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is no longer optional – in fact, for many organisations it has become a matter of survival. To remain competitive, organisations need to be able to react quickly to changing market conditions. Keeping pace with change means integrating new technologies into all areas of the business and creating a culture of digital excellence that is characterised by speed, agility and flexibility.

Though digital transformation is at the top of most CEO agendas, many organisations are hampered by a lack of digital skills, resistance to change and budget constraints. Speed is paramount, but there is always a danger of moving too fast: preparing your organisation for a digital transformation requires careful evaluation and planning, and a deep insight into the readiness of each functional area and process.

Ready to start the transformation? Click on the resources below for key strategic insights to guide your journey.

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Digital maturity

No organisation can adapt to an increasingly digital environment without advancing through the stages of digital maturity. Assessing your organisation’s digital maturity will help you determine your business’s capacity to embrace digital initiatives and adapt to disruptive technology. Research shows that organisations with a high level of digital maturity are better positioned to drive growth and improved customer satisfaction, while organisations with low digital maturity often fail to capitalise on these benefits.

It’s important to note that digital maturity isn’t just about technology – it’s about developing the organisational culture and skill sets that will help leverage technology. Digital maturity is a competitive differentiator ‒ it correlates to your organisation’s ability to meet customer needs and stay relevant in the marketplace. Understanding where your organisation lies on the digital maturity spectrum will help you develop your digital transformation strategy and facilitate your transition to digital operating systems.

Is your organisation ready to adapt to a digital world? Click on the resources below to learn more about the impact of digital maturity on the transformation journey.

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Operational excellence

Operational excellence isn’t simply about the application of lean and continuous improvement principles – it’s a holistic culture change where all employees are empowered to execute the organisational strategy in the most efficient, cost-effective way. Operational excellence engenders a problem-solving mindset in the organisation which is a prerequisite for a smooth digital transition.

Manufacturers are facing a time of unprecedented change – the challenge now is becoming more responsive to fluctuating market conditions without sacrificing efficiency. This is the pivotal moment where lean and digital intersect – for manufacturers to adapt to new technologies at the right pace, they need to take an incremental, maturity-based approach to operational excellence.

Click on the resources below to find out how operational excellence can help you leverage next-generation technologies for quicker, smarter decision-making.

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Business processes

Organisations need to continually monitor and adjust processes to unlock greater levels of efficiency and productivity. It is this unrelenting focus on process excellence that lays the foundation for a successful digital transition. Process automation is one of the hallmarks of the shift to digital: by using technology to automate repetitive processes, human error is eliminated and more time is allotted to creative problem-solving and innovation. The result is an engaged workforce focussed on meaningful work.

Digital operating systems will force organisations to radically rethink the connections between people, processes and technology in the quest for superior performance. Continual refinement of business processes is vital for success in the digital age, and this involves a keen understanding of business process maturity. By taking a stage-based approach to process optimisation, businesses will create a foundation for maximum productivity gains and an enhanced customer experience.

Maximise ROI with optimised processes ‒ click on the resources to below to learn more.

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Standard work

Standard work systematises processes, breaking down the work into smaller steps that are carried out in sequence. It can yield many benefits for an organisation, including reduction of waste, improved quality, and increased safety on the production floor. Another key benefit is that standard work forms the baseline for continuous improvement.

To align with the requirements of DOS, standard work must be redefined ‒ this means that though it still plays a critical role in supporting continuous improvement, it must now also meet the needs of a burgeoning digital culture. Standard work must be redefined in three key areas:

  1. Manufacturing processes ‒ Manufacturing operations will need to cultivate greater flexibility and agility to respond to changing demand, and these imperatives will impact numerous tasks and processes including data collection, the setting of KPIs and standard work.
  2. Leader standard work (LSW) ‒ Traditional LSW is giving way to digital LSW which advocates an advanced use of data and analytics to drive opportunities for improvement. Digital LSW allows leaders to compile and analyse data faster than ever before resulting in swift and effective decision-making.
  3. Change management ‒ Successfully transitioning to DOS will also involve upskilling employees, attracting new talent and cultivating an inspired, engaged and motivated workforce. Standard work must therefore include redefined training programmes, knowledge-building capabilities and employee engagement strategies that foster a culture of innovation.
Click on the resources below to learn more about standard work and how it drives world-class performance in the digital age.

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Automation, AI, 3D printing, smarter robots, machine-to-machine communication ‒ these are just some of the converging technologies that are reshaping the manufacturing landscape. This proliferation of digital tools is helping manufacturers build smarter, leaner factories while creating a space for innovation and increased collaboration.

The watchwords now are connectivity, visibility and flexibility – new digital technologies are helping to identify untapped efficiency opportunities and have the capacity to unlock unprecedented levels of productivity and innovation. However, only organisations that place a premium on continuous improvement will be able to leverage these benefits.

Technology adoption is not without its challenges ‒ click on the resources below to find out how you can seamlessly integrate technology into your business for maximum results.

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Data and analytics

Some of the hallmarks of a connected, highly digitised factory include robots, sensors and machinery that facilitate continuous data collection. In this scenario, a range of decision-makers have access to real-time data that can be translated into actionable insights. Data analytics enables manufacturing organisations to improve quality, reduce waste and minimise production risks; it also facilitates rapid decision-making.

Big data, in particular, is a key driver of digital transformation ‒ it allows organisations to adjust to customer needs and even predict future behaviour while driving greater efficiency. The Internet of Things (IoT) ‒ including big data, advanced analytics, cloud computing, and the integration of operational equipment and informational systems ‒ forms the infrastructural base for DOS, which, when carefully harnessed, can create new revenue streams and enhanced end-to-end capability.

The success of your digital transformation hinges on the quality of your data ‒ click on the resources below to learn more about transforming data into value.

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Talent and skills

Digital transformation isn’t simply about adopting new technologies ‒ it’s about creating a thriving culture of digital excellence where employees are empowered to drive the transformation agenda. Developing digital skills and capability building are key elements of the DOS implementation road map, with the ultimate goal being a symbiotic relationship between man and machine that promotes optimal efficiency and productivity.

The challenge for leaders now is to create new talent models that will address digital skills shortfalls, employee disengagement and shifting age demographics. Critical actions include identifying the skills and capabilities that will support the organisation’s digital ambitions and developing agile talent management practices that allow for adaptation and innovation.

Click on the resources below to learn more about the talent strategies that will inform your journey to digital dominance.

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What are digital orchestration systems?

Access to real-time data, faster decision-making, E2E visibility and systems integration are just some of the many advantages of migrating to a digital operating system. To successfully mine the transformative potential of DOS, organisations need to focus their efforts on three synchronous activities: consolidating a lean foundation, developing digital skills, and adopting new technologies.

Migrating to DOS is a complex undertaking, which is made much easier with a digital orchestration system. An orchestrator will allow organisations to achieve the following:

  • Create a stage-based implementation road map customised to each site’s unique needs
  • Develop organisation-wide digital capability and foster a culture of digital excellence
  • Access role-based improvement tasks within a responsive user interface (UI) framework
  • Analyse data and identify trends for rapid decision-making
  • Use machine learning to enable predictive performance improvement
You don’t have to do it alone ‒ click on the resources below to find out how a digital orchestration system can help you transition to a new working world.

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