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Staying ahead in a tech-savvy industry

Staying competitive and ahead of industry rivals is never easy, especially in tech-savvy industries. We discuss how ensuring a smooth innovation process is key to maintaining a competitive advantage.

In any business, the ability to produce goods or services more efficiently, at better value, or in a better way, than your competitors will allow you to stand out, grow and become more successful. The ways in which you maintain that competitive advantage may differ between industries, with those industries that are relatively more tech-savvy needing to adopt new solutions at a faster pace.

In the manufacturing industry, having continuous improvement methodologies and processes is commonplace, focusing on making incremental improvements to each area of operations. Having similar arrangement for IT systems is both possible and advisable too. Whether you have a dedicated R&D department, or just a rough plan for how software can optimize your day-to-day operations - it’s worth knowing the steps required to turn such concepts into reality as efficiently and fast as possible.

For each new idea that comes through the continuous improvement process, it’s highly likely that there will be one or more technical element. These elements might range from a complete bespoke technical solution involving new hardware (e.g. Internet of Things), embracing digital twin technologies, through to a refinement or integration with existing data sources (e.g. connecting separate databases via APIs).

It’s important to keep in mind that ideas and suggestions that you have for continuous improvement should be guided, but not necessarily constrained, by your existing systems or architectures. Initially focus on what your systems need to do, not how they do it - that comes later. Being able to freely aim for a process that will provide you with the maximum competitive edge is important and will ensure you don’t fall behind your competitors, especially against new startups with none of the historical "baggage". Where companies do find themselves unable to move forward then we recommend a higher level, architectural or strategic review to help remove those constraints and limitations.

Whether it’s a part of a larger continuous improvement process – or just a first idea for improvement – it may be necessary to get some advice and consultation from software technology experts. Cambridge Kinetics can become involved in the continuous improvement process at whatever stage suits you best, contributing our software and technological expertise. From our experience, early engagement can prove vital - even if it’s just a short call or meeting to get to know you and the direction that you’re travelling, and point you in the right direction with no commitment.

Beyond that, when it comes to delivering on digital transformation and software projects we’re available for consultancy, including with assistance to outsourcing of projects, through to app development on desktop or mobile. Just reach out to us when convenient for a friendly chat.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions for ways your business could utilise technology to improve processes and competitiveness:

  • Developing software to prevent duplicate data entry and collection processes, by integrating existing databases, spreadsheets and tools;
  • Direct data entry from remote teams using mobile apps and secure cloud systems;
  • Improved team collaboration through real-time data collection and reporting;
  • Monitoring and telemetry of critical systems, with artificial intelligence to provide reliable alerts;
  • Use of augmented or mixed reality to enable innovative and time-efficient data collection and 3D data visualisation;
  • Moving towards a digital twin + manufacturing systems, by integrating IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) to collect data from shop floor machinery to obtain a more intelligent and useful IT ecosystem.

By getting Cambridge Kinetics on your side you’ll give yourself a competitive edge against your industry rivals and help turn ideas into reality.

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