Ensuring your print estate is included in your digital transformation journey is key to manufacturing sector productivity

The manufacturing sector has faced increased pressures in recent years, with greater emphasis on faster, better products, services and experiences, customers and their changing needs and expectations. 

The sector has responded well to these pressures and has been at the forefront of implementing innovative technologies and digital transformation projects. But manufacturers now need to ensure that they incorporate these transformative technologies into the back office too accordingto Y Soft Corporation, the enterprise office solution provider.

Print management and document capture solutions are often praised for their ability to make organisations more cost-efficient, productive, and for increasing document security. While these advantages are clear, manufacturers should also consider how these solutions can make them more efficient in the back office and therefore free up time for staff to work on other innovative projects. 

James Turner, Regional Sales Manager at Y Soft says: “Billed as the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry is mixing traditional manufacturing with technology. The vast array of available innovative technology includes advanced analytics, machine learning, the IoT, Cloud computing and many other developments.”

James notes that some examples of digital transformation in the manufacturing sector include “the emergence of smart factories, the ability to track the supply chain in real-time through IoT, faster processes through increasing efficiencies and to not only react to disruptions, but actively predict them and stop them before they occur through AI and machine learning. Additionally, we’re seeing the ability to adjust production swiftly thanks to analytics and more connected customers and employees meaning an increased experience for both parties and therefore greater loyalty.

“However, as well as addressing some of these issues, it’s crucial that manufacturers look at the entire business and initiate digital transformation projects in all areas that can benefit. The back office, and the print estate more specifically should be included in this.”

Automating day-to-day, time-consuming tasks that require repeated behaviours improves efficiencies, increases document security, removes the likelihood of human error, provides more up-to-date results through faster storage and retrieval of records and also reduces costs through the digitisation of records. This is achieved through automated scan workflow solutions, which can enable manufacturers to funnel productivity and accuracy savings towards increased productivity on the production line. 

James adds, “The manufacturing industry today is almost unrecognisable to that of 100 years ago, and the future also promises to make another big leap. Products may be automatically tested, repaired, adjusted and personalised before they even hit assembly lines. AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) will continue to develop for future product design, including live demos and full immersion. By using advanced data analytics, AI (artificial intelligence), advanced industrial robots, and collaborative robots, even more efficiencies may be achieved in the sector. We will continue to see a rise in the use of 3D printing, with the manufacturing industry heavily involved in driving innovation regarding this technology.

“As well as future gazing, manufacturers need to ensure they implement transformative technologies that are available today in all departments to ensure they remain competitive,” concludes James. 

Y Soft offers scan workflow solutions through its YSoft SafeQ workflow solutions platform. YSoft SafeQ solutions encompass a wide variety of capabilities, including integrated print management and advanced document capture, all of which make print and scan workflow processes more efficient, secure and cost-effective. YSoft SafeQ can be applied at organisations of all sizes, with tailored solutions available to suit the needs of any enterprise.

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