Considering that manufacturing companies’ investments in technologies are not keeping pace with the ongoing industrial revolution, the FCCQ (Fédération des Chambres de Commerce du Québec) in collaboration with Deloitte and Irosoft has published this report to help Quebec manufacturers in their digital shift. As a result of discussions with several FCCQ members, the report identifies the factors that slow down their digital investments and proposes solutions for all industrial companies facing these problems.
According to these discussions, the hurdles to digital investments and their potential responses are as follows:
The first obstacle for manufacturers is the difficulty they have to attract and retain the workforce. The labor shortage can considerably slow down the production, and in this context, digitalization challenge appears secondary. Furthermore, they can’t take the time to free their employees to train them.
To overcome this lack of skilled workforce, manufacturers should invest in automation solutions, take the time to develop their employees’ competencies or hire foreign workers.
2- Innovation culture
The average age of industry executives is higher than the overall economy. Often, these managers are waiting for the next generation and believe that they will be in a better position to start the digital transformation. Moreover, the fear of failure pushes companies’ managers to remain with the processes they already know.
To bring the culture of innovation into their business, managers can start with small pilot projects and involve all employees to encourage creative collaboration.
3- Technical perspective
The digital transition is often perceived as very complex and overwhelming for manufacturers. This idea of complexity tends to slow down their investments. There also have many questions about the proper performance of technologies and fears of losing control of their operations.
To better understand industry 4.0 and how it can be implemented, it is important for companies to collaborate with each other and to share their feedback. It is also important for manufacturers to identify and approach organizations that can support them such as CRIQ, CEFRIO, STIQ…
Too much digital investment sometimes leads to the shutdowns of projects, especially when companies are unaware of the financing solutions that exist. In addition to the importance of the investment, it is also the lack of understanding or visibility on ROI that can push manufacturers to give up their project.
The solution that could facilitate investment is the involvement of banks and governments in the financing of innovative projects.
The risks associated with data storage are a significant barrier to the growth of the industry 4.0. The fear of losing this data and the lack of knowledge in cybersecurity are frightening manufacturers.
To keep pace with progress, Quebec manufacturers must understand the importance of data for their production and surround themselves with the right people in order to maximize their use. In the meantime, governments also have a role to play in the regulation of cybersecurity.
Read the full report to learn more about the barriers to digital investments and the possible solutions to overcome them.