Global Digital Operations 2018 Survey

How industry leaders build integrated operations ecosystems to deliver end-to-end customer solutions

PwC’s Strategy& surveyed manufacturing executives on Industry 4.0 and digital operations.

EMEA clearly lagging behind on path towards digitisation

Based on the outcomes of our survey, which polled 1,155 executives at global manufacturing companies in 26 countries, PwC developed a digital maturity index to explore the role of frontrunners – the so-called ‘Digital Champions’ – and what distinguishes them, enabling them to outpace their competitors.

Digitisation will lead to increased production in mature markets as it reduces operational costs and enables companies to rely less on labour arbitrage. Despite this, most companies in the EMEA region don’t get beyond a medium level of supply chain integration and often lack high automation and connectivity in their manufacturing operations.


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What is a Digital Champion?  

They distinguish themselves through their mastery of four critical business ecosystems: Customer Solutions, Operations, Technology and People. Each of the four ecosystem layers represents a cluster of activities, some occurring inside the organisation and some outside. These activities are tied together through common digital connections and practices.

Two-thirds of global manufacturing companies have barely or not yet begun the digitisation of their operations. Especially in Process industries, Consumer goods and Industrial manufacturing, very few companies have emerged as Digital Champions.

Automotive (20% Digital Champions) and Electronics (14%) are clearly the most digitally mature.

Only one third of companies report having a leadership with a clear vision on digital transformation

Higher cost savings by connecting essential technologies

New technologies are implemented across the board, but only Digital Champions are able to leverage these technologies to truly connect and collaborate along their end-to-end value chain.

At least 90% of Digital Champions have already implemented, piloted or planned some of the most current technologies, like IoT (97%) and advanced robotics (90%). Starkly different, only about one-third of Digital Novices have adopted the most common operational technologies, like predictive maintenance (39%) and integrated supply chain planning (32%).

Group of people of different background using different devices such as phones, tablets and laptops

People at the centre of digital transformation

Two-thirds of survey respondents report having no clear digital vision and strategy to support digital transformation and culture, and only 27% believe their employees have the required qualifications to master the digital future.

On the other hand, more than 70% of the Digital Champions say their leaders express a clear vision for the future and serve as role models for digital change in their organisations. Consequently, Digital Champions invest heavily in people development and training, and cultivate multi-disciplinary teams.

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Peter Vermeire

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 049 351 8728

Fernand Dimidschstein

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 047 759 7386

Johan Van der Straeten

Senior Manager, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 47 448 4755

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