Small and Medium sized Enterprises - The unexpected heart of the Industry of the Future.
As countries across the world start to get to grips with the impact of the digital Industry of the future and the significant advantages it suggests for economic transformation and growth, so the focus is shifting to small and medium sized enterprises or SMEs. Whilst much of the discussion centres on the major transformation programmes large organisations will have to carry out and the potential impact on people and the new skills they will have to adopt, little thought has been applied to the SME. That is a mistake as it is the SMEs and the supply chains which they inhabit, which drive the fortunes of the major manufacturers.
It is for consideration that the SMEs are gearing up to such change faster than the larger companies as they are more agile, able to think faster and see the advantages to be gained. They know that for a prime contractor to be efficient, effective and capable of delivering a manufacturing programme on time, on budget and fit for purpose, it requires a trusted, experienced and capable supply chain. They also have such a degree of business acumen that they know that the supply chain can gain business benefit from being part of an efficient and cost effective manufacturing programme, whether that be engineering, construction or wider areas of manufacture. They have every reason to put pressure on the Corporates to change. If the SMEs don’t change they will go out of business, a fact they clearly understand from hard won experience in staying afloat during years of economic turbulence.
The Supply Chain is changing
The days when a single supply chain was dedicated to a single Prime are gone. Competition is such that supply chain companies seek to gain profitability by working across Primes and Industries. Unless they do, market forces can remove a smaller company operating on low margins from the business map. Such companies can be aided to become successful and profitable by the application of digital technologies to integrate and configure data provided by the Prime and the full supply chain spectrum. The considerable amount of data created in any engineering process, if properly configured and integrated, can be harnessed to drive value, cut costs and dramatically reduce waste.
In turn, effective configuration management will drive operations and ongoing services, leading to an increase in the return on equity. That equity benefit will be shared across the engineering and manufacturing Industry as small companies use the planning ability provided to serve multiple customers, becoming competitive and able to deliver value against national and international competition.
Dassault Systemes leads transformation
As we enter the digital age so Industry is thinking of ways in which to become more efficient, deliver cost reductions to their customers, and become more competitive. The technology developed and employed by Dassault Systemes increasingly is enabling Industry to generate efficiency and cost effectiveness by harnessing the data essential to the operation of any enterprise – those sectors using this technology are reporting manufacturing cost reductions in the order of 30% and significant reductions in accumulated waste. With data integrated and configured on a dynamic, 3D platform in the Cloud, businesses can have a single source of truth, a window into their world to manage activity, enhance production and drive efficiencies. The data can be interrogated and reconfigured to conduct research into the future of the business, asking the difficult ‘what if’ and ‘if we’ questions.
The large enterprises are moving slowly in this direction but the trigger for faster transformation is likely to be the SME supply chain as it seizes the initiative to embrace the digital age, generate efficiency and speed up the decision/action cycle to stay at the forefront of progress and create the competitive edge so vital in today’s connected economy.
SMEs drive stable, economic growth
By sharing in the outcomes of the enterprise through data collaboration, planning integration and regular communication via the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, SMEs contribute to the process, learn from the experience, then in turn apply that experience to provide efficient services to others, developing reputation and growing business. It increases their ability to compete more effectively in a demanding industrial and economic climate – both nationally and internationally, leading in turn to national economic growth able to withstand global economic shocks, as well as expanding job opportunity and stimulating increased economic activity.
In summary, the supply chain and the SMEs which populate it, is the key to economic output and industrial growth. That value can be given a significant boost by harnessing the inherent advantages of the digital age – the Industry of the Future, with SMEs at the heart, powering the arteries of the body of Industry.