Most CEOs in manufacturing worried over tech change - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Most CEOs in manufacturing worried over tech change


About 69 per cent of CEOs in manufacturing are worried about the speed of tech change and they’re struggling to keep pace, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates.

This, as investment in digital factories remain low in East Africa, including Kenya, and Middle East, where digitisation is at a low of 0.2 per cent for small companies to 0.4 per cent for large companies.

The PwC report reveals that globally, 91 per cent of industrial companies are investing in digital factories. However, only six per cent rate their factories as ‘fully digitised’.

Digital transformation is combining strategy and operations with technology innovation, analytics, and design to rapidly increase productivity, address pain points, push forward adaptive business models or disrupt the industry.

The report comes as digitisation continues to shape the future of manufacturing globally.

According to PwC, new technologies are changing the face of manufacturing, from 3D printing, robotics, internet of things and the digital disruption, which are changing the landscape across key sectors, improving efficiencies, enhancing productivity, and overall output. 

In a webcast titled: The Future of Manufacturing, PWC predicts that technology enabled manufacturing strategies will drive the transition to a flexible and distributed smart factory.

Companies are implementing innovation technology and looking for employees with fundamentally different qualifications.

Leading manufacturers are continuously deploying new technologies to digitise production as well as revolutionise the entire supply chain, the report indicates.

These include real time data analytics, digitised and flexible production and predictive technologies.

PWC partner Michael Mugasa yesterday said identifying emerging technologies can be game changers.

As manufacturers adopt new technologies, they should look out for general mistakes that may be overlooked. For instance, new ways to work by building new skills and capabilities, protecting supply chain partners’ sensitive data from unauthorised access,” he said.

Among other general challenges that PWC expects include entering unchartered territories with often unclear return on investment.

By thinking through the journey, Mugasa's suggestion to manufacturers will involve effectively defining problem statements and setting expectations.

According to PWC report titled 2020: Shaping the future of Manufacturing, 91 per cent of top management surveyed across Europe intend to invest in digital factories.

Seventy five per cent of those surveyed believe that digitisation supports customer centricity and will strengthen competitiveness of Europe’s industrial centres, a key source for global supplies.

PWC analysed over 250 technologies and narrowed down to eight technologies that will shape the future of smart manufacturing which include; the internet of things, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, drones, robotics and cybersecurity.

Experts predict a 15-20 per cent improvement in overall equipment effectiveness by enhancing full visibility and transparency, where smart manufacturing is in full effect.

They also project an almost 50 per cent reduction in downtime with an expected 15-20 per cent improvement in quality.

Seventy five per cent of industry players say upskilling programmes have achieved greater innovation and accelerated digital transformation.

Meanwhile locally, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has identified competitiveness and productivity, infrastructure costs such electricity, logistics and tax measures at counties as some of major challenges.

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