Facilities should invest in digital transformation efforts during the economic downturn because the resulting product will never become obsolete in the future, despite technology advances.

As a reminder, digital transformation is the acceleration of an existing process through faster collection, analysis, and decision making. The three key elements of digital transformation are human behavior, tools, and structure. Facilities prioritizing digitization need to ensure they focus their efforts on all three elements to ensure a smooth transformation.

To determine if a facility is ready for digital transformation, facility leaders need to compare the current state of their facility to the ideal future state. Who makes the decisions at the facility and how are those decisions made? Does the facility have holistic alignment on the proposed digitization path forward?

After determining if there are any significant gaps between the current and future states of the program, facility leaders should review their qualitative and quantitative processes. Next, leaders should evaluate the qualitative processes they can make more quantitative. Adding a quantitative element to qualitative processes can help facilities better measure their success.

Facilities can shift their qualitative processes to become more quantitative by acknowledging that change begins with culture, employing the “everyone gets a number” philosophy, and democratizing information across tools.

Change Begins with Culture

Before beginning the digital transformation process, facilities should evaluate their company culture. Human behavior is a key element to digital transformation and facilities that do not include that element in their evaluation will have a difficult time with their digitization efforts.

Is the facility value driven or results driven? While every facility has a set of results it wants to achieve, facilities should focus on achieving results that provide direct and measurable value. For more information on how to use a shift in culture to change your program, read our article How to Pivot Your Program During an Economic Downturn.

Everyone Gets a Number

Similar to how students receive grades on their exams to measure their mastery of a subject, assigning numbers that accurately measure the success of an employee’s role creates the structural security needed for employees to understand their expectations.

For example, instead of setting a vague goal to improve availability, make the goal quantitative: improve availability by 20%. While there are some processes that need to remain qualitative, many processes have a greater impact when they have a quantitative element.

Democratize Information Across Tools

Many people in the industry are focused on the tools used to collect data faster and more efficiently. However, if not properly used, facilities can create an information “choke point” meaning that they have a few individual roles within the facility that have access to the information needed across the organization.

By democratizing information across tools properly, facilities can remove the information choke point and allow access to the measured results and information needed across the organization. As a result, employees will have more insight into their facility’s metrics and will better understand their individual impact.

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