Data Innovation in Manufacturing Requires Integration

by Oct 24, 2022

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Manufacturing industries deal in creating or producing goods with various machines, technological tools, labor, and equipment. Technology that helps in connecting with suppliers for materials and managing product data with a digital platform makes the process faster, and more efficient.

Engineering and manufacturing are complex fields where there is an intersection of people and technologies. This is because manufacturing cannot be done alone or separately.

There is a need for teams and organizations to work together to overcome manufacturing challenges. Streamlining processes and simplifying access to information and efficiently working, has always been between people and technology.

Challenges During the Pandemic

Any organizational functions can run smoothly and effectively by connecting with people. The pandemic forced people to work remotely. This accelerated people getting connected to cloud-based systems. Another thing that became important is data. From collecting and managing data to creating intelligence from data.

It is because of the things people can get through combining data and creating analytics that make companies interesting. It is not confined to the manufacturing industry alone since other industries like the web, and consumer industries have been discovering a lot of things about data.

The products being created are services oriented, the digitization of manufacturing industries is enabling the selling of services instead of products.

This moves manufacturers from selling tires to selling mileage, from selling turbines to selling hours of turbines use.

Green Washing and Cloud Washing

Green washing is the process of taking two things together and connecting them. Cloud is a technology for various industries to bring innovation. For instance, there are various existing technologies and various products in the system that are connected to the cloud.

When companies want to collaborate with other companies with data that were created 25 years ago, they need a system on the cloud to bring it all together. However, a cloud platform won’t magically collaborate with legacy data, but it will require a new platform or new technology and that is called cloud washing.

Cloud washing is modernizing legacy platforms or applications to work on the cloud. This technology will transform and replace the products created 25 years ago. It is a complex process because of its huge investment, transformation, and the level of complexity transforming it.

Through this process you need to show value and that makes the whole thing complex.

What can make a difference is that when pieces of information are combined, people can get insight that they haven’t had before, and then when the manufacturing company sees this value, it can be a driver for change.

Earlier, companies had one system for procurement, and one system for engineering, and many excel spreadsheets between them. The wrong spreadsheet could lead to making the wrong decision. So, when all the information gets connected, the data turns into information volume, enabling a big change. This is how technology is enabling changes or rather progress.

Role of Technology Companies

The role of a technology company is to make technology affordable to everyone. Cloud platforms are global. Technology can grow because people not only use the platform but also share the data that connects with other companies.

Collection of Data to Improve Processes

The key element that is used for data acquisition is integration with existing systems. The ease of capturing information from existing systems is the key. When there are integrations points in the existing systems with the touch of button people can help organize all the data in one place.

However, there is a lot of technical work that makes this happen. There is a need to have a platform capable of absorbing the data that comes from various sources.

For instance, OpenBOM explores and finds a lot of connected pieces of information from different distributors or manufacturers because OpenBOM makes connections on a financial basis.

Secondly, getting to the right vendors or contractors is a data-driven process yet complex because to collect this information, you need to ask people to share or upload the data into the system.

Lastly, data is sensitive, and it is a long complex process. The key element is enabling more collaboration because it is fundamental to creating value.


The future of technology is bringing data from different places and being able to manage from a centralized location. It’s not about building or changing applications but integrating them together.

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