How Rightsizing Your Digital Partner Can Save Your Manufacturing Firm Millions

Most IT leaders in manufacturing firms understand the importance of implementing new digital technologies and have invested in developing a digital roadmap. Yet, not many are executing on it. 

Digital transformation (DX) is complex. More often than not, companies don't have the internal resources and expertise to implement a multi-faceted digital transformation strategy cost-effectively. 

That's why firms are turning to digital transformation partners to guide them through this critical transition. However, not all service providers are created equal, and choosing the right one for your firm can be challenging. 

It isn't just about what looks good on paper—a DX partner must be the right match for your firm and have the capabilities to meet your needs. That's what we call "rightsizing" and here's what you need to know: 

The High Cost of Using the Wrong Digital Transformation Partner 

A lot can go wrong in digital transformation due to the many moving parts. These are the potential issues that could arise when you use the wrong DX partner: 

  • A partner that implements technology for technology's sake without considering your firm's big picture objectives could lead you to purchase tools that don't support your business goals. 

  • While understanding your competitors is essential, a myopic "keeping up with the Jones" approach could box you into a reactive mode instead of proactively innovating for the future. 

  • If your DX partner doesn't take the time to understand your company's overall business goals, the resulting digital transformation strategy may not align with your long-term vision. 

  • A provider that takes an incremental approach may not have the expertise to help you implement structural changes to truly transform and future-proof your organization. 

  • A roadmap that doesn't consider your organizational culture will likely fail because digital tools are only as effective as your ability to drive employee adoption. 

  • A service provider that comes to install some software and leaves you to your own device is not a partner. Many DX initiatives fall to the wayside because of the lack of ongoing commitment.  

  • If a partner only looks within your organization and fails to understand your customers or the competitive landscape, it's only addressing half of the DX puzzle. 

  • A partner that doesn't have the capabilities to meet cybersecurity requirements in your vertical could cause you to incur hefty penalties for non-compliance or the high cost of data breaches, such as lost business, costly downtime, and a tarnished reputation.  

Most importantly, if your DX partner creates a roadmap and implements technologies that aren't appropriate for your firm, you'll have to spend even more time and money to undo the damage. 

These could include the extra costs of hiring a "rescue partner" to rectify the initial work, purchasing new tools and licenses, re-designing workflows and processes, and re-training your staff on new software. 

Not to mention, you'll lose precious time during the process. It could be an extra year or two before the rescue partner can untangle the mistakes, re-design a roadmap, and install the right tools for your needs. The delay could set you back in today's competitive market where time is of the essence. 

How To Rightsize Your Digital Partner For DX Success 

Yet, doing nothing to avoid making the wrong move won't get you anywhere either. In today's business environment, you get left behind if you don't keep going forward. So how can you rightsize your digital transformation partner to embark on your DX journey confidently? 

Your partner must have the technical expertise, scale, and capabilities to meet your firm's unique requirements. Many new technologies are emerging in the manufacturing sector—from web3.0 to headless technology—offering endless possibilities. Your partner should be well-versed in their applications and how they can help you achieve your long-term strategic vision. 

Evaluate your partner's organizational structure, methodologies, and engagement processes to ensure it's compatible with your company's procedures and culture. It should take the time to understand your needs and align with your priorities so that everyone involved is rowing in the same direction to deliver impactful results with speed and scale.  

A modern DX partner employs an agile development process to deliver value every step of the way and help you adapt to the fast-evolving market landscape. It should also help you design and implement a top-notch omnichannel customer experience specific to the complex buying cycle in the manufacturing industry. 

Additionally, executing a DX strategy for manufacturing firms isn't just about installing new tools and software. Your partner must have the competence to deal with legacy technologies and complex integrations that often stall many manufacturers’ efforts to go digital. 

Achieve DX Success With the Right Partner 

Digital transformation in manufacturing is a big ship to steer—we get it! After all, we’ve been a digital partner to manufacturing firms for over three decades. 

Forward-thinking leaders in manufacturing need the right people and tools to achieve their vision, unlock exponential growth, and maintain market leader positioning.  

Here at RDA, we believe no one should feel daunted when modernizing their business. Our tried-and-true three-step engagement model covers all the bases: Advisory, Design + Build, and Optimization. We can help you design a customized, data-driven digital roadmap to meet you where you are. 

Stop losing time, money, and momentum. Start building a data-driven digital strategy you can trace, track, and trust. Get in touch to see how we can help you start your DX journey on the right foot. 

The Modern Manufacturer's Guide to Digital Transformation; Open the eBook

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