Tag Manufacturing Business

Tag Manufacturing Business

December 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

December 6, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s December digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources.

This month’s highlights:

  • Your personal lean journey
  • 3 steps to a safer manufacturing facility
  • Leveraging the power of predictive maintenance
  • Mixed reality is giving the manufacturing industry a digital makeover

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

November 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

November 1, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s November digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources.

This month’s highlights:

  • This robot tractor is ready to disrupt construction
  • Digital transformation: it’s all about the outcomes
  • Why the explosive growth of E-commerce could mean more jobs
  • Unplanned downtime affecting 82% of businesses

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

October 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

October 4, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s October digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources.

This month’s highlights:

  • 10 surprising ecommerce facts for B2B
  • GE used culture and data to transform into a 21st century company. Here’s what you can learn from them
  • 4 Colorado companies bringing new-school technology to old-school industries
  • Finding continuous improvement in the margins

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

August 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

August 2, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s August digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources.

This month’s highlights:

  • How to fix manufacturing’s poor image
  • Workforce challenges are a top concern for manufacturers
  • How wearables can improve safety on the manufacturing floor
  • Lean manufacturing’s hidden challenges

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

July 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

July 5, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s July digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

This month’s highlights:

  • Where manufacturing is thriving in the U.S.
  • New trends in B2B consumer behavior
  • Steps to begin your digital transformation
  • Lean management transition tips

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

June 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

June 7, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s June digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

 

This month’s highlights:

  • Reasons manufacturing jobs are suited for millenials
  • Why switching to SaaS is a good investment
  • How 3M digitized their supply chain
  • Manufacturing isn’t dead, it’s evolving

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. We read popular manufacturing blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications are share the most popular stories on our social media pages daily. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular topics you need to know.

May 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

May 3, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s May digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

This month’s news and insights:

  • How augmented reality is helping productivity in factories
  • Identifying and overcoming skill vulnerabilities in staffing
  • How U.S. manufacturing can foster a renaissance
  • And much more….

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

April 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

April 5, 2017 Tags: , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s April digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

April 2017 manufacturing newsletter

This month’s news and insights:

  • A beginner’s guide to big data
  • Why farmers are hacking their tractors with Ukrainian firmware
  • Trends reshaping the manufacturing industry
  • And much more….

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

March 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

March 1, 2017 Tags: , , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s March digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

March Newsletter

This month’s news and insights:

  • Trends shaping the return of manufacturing to the United States
  • How manufacturers can get faster, more flexible, and cheaper
  • B2B e-commerce impact on manufacturing
  • And much more….

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

February 2017 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

February 2, 2017 Tags: , , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s February digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

This month’s news and insights:

  • Engineering smart factories of the future.
  • How IoT is redefining manufacturing.
  • Lessons in lean training.
  • And much more….

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

December 2016 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

December 6, 2016 Tags: , , ,
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Welcome to Digabit’s December 2016 digest, bringing you the hottest topics and trends in manufacturing and technology from top online sources. Check out the articles by clicking the thumbnail image or the text link below.

december-2016-digabit-newsletter

This month’s news and insights:

  • Top IoT predictions for 2017 from industry experts.
  • Must have metrics to drive continuous manufacturing improvement.
  • How to keep supply chain data secure in an era of increasing digitization.
  • And much more….

Check out all the articles by clicking here!

Join the list to receive monthly industry news and updates.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit stays current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

5 Ways Documoto Beats Retail for Online Sales

May 13, 2016 Tags: , , , ,
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Digabit’s customers make heavy equipment and complex machinery, and the Documoto SaaS helps them get product information online in the form of parts catalogs and other technical support documentation. After identifying the parts they need, dealers and other end users can order parts directly from the OEM using Documoto’s integrated shopping cart.

Why should manufacturing companies use a purpose-built solution like Documoto to display and sell parts, rather than more commonly known platforms like Amazon or similar retail-oriented sales platforms?

1. Responsive Design

Dealers, service technicians and customers are increasingly using mobile devices to do everything online, from looking up and ordering parts to viewing repair procedure videos. Over 50% of Internet traffic now originates on mobile, and the trend is likely to continue. An online storefront for manufacturers must not only adapt to smaller screens, it must display interactive illustrations and the complicated relationships between parts and machines. Documoto’s user interface is built on HTML5 and designed to provide a superior user experience whether on desktop or tablet.

2. Permissions

When users visit and order from retail websites, a consumer is a consumer is a consumer. There may be automated personalization of product offerings or the like, but fundamentally all users are treated the same. Manufacturers, on the other hand, have more complicated distribution networks that require access and permission controls that determine what content a visitor can see, what pricing structure to display, and so on. In this regard, eCommerce sites built for consumers are basically “one-size-fits-all.” Documoto has powerful administrative controls that let manufacturers define user groups and organizations, and limit information access according to user role.

3. Search

Imagine you have built hundreds of different models of machines over the last several decades. Each machine has several thousand parts, some unique and some shared between models. Large manufactures literally must manage millions of both obsolete and currently produced parts. It’s easy to see the importance of a powerful search tool like SOLR, the leading open source search engine that is built into Documoto. B2B buyers may need to search by model number, serial number, keyword, or part number in order to find that one specific component, and retail sites just can’t do it.

4. Detailed, Accurate Product Content

Retail sites designed around B2C needs are limited in the types of images and information they can display. In general, they cannot properly show complex illustrations and accompanying parts lists, or associate and display a wide variety of non-native document types. Documoto lets manufacturers show essential product data along with parts information. Images, 3D animations, repair videos, essentially anything that a customer or service tech might need to complete their desired tasks. Giving buyers highly detailed product data greatly reduces ordering errors and makes them want to come back again. And the ability to create direct integrations between Documoto and CAD or ERP offers the capability for real-time updates when part numbers, prices or other data is updated by the manufacturer.

5. Alternate Payment Options

The majority of manufacturers still don’t sell directly to consumers or end users, but have dealers, distributors or other affiliates who are responsible for service and parts delivery. Many of these B2B relationships still require purchase orders, requests for quotes, or other custom-tailored ordering and invoicing processes. For consumer sites, flexible payment options mean credit cards, online check drafts and perhaps PayPal. There’s no need to look for an RFQ or P.O. radio button, because it isn’t there. Documoto allows manufacturers to customize shopping cart payment options based on their existing business processes, minimizing disruption and maximizing efficiency.

If you’re a manufacturer who needs to upgrade your online presence, sell more parts, and keep customers coming back for more, check out the Documoto suite of tools today. If you want to see Digabit’s industry-leading solution in action, request a no-obligation demo for the full story.

Easily Create Online Parts Catalogs for SMBs

April 15, 2016 Tags: , ,
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Many small and medium-sized manufacturing companies can benefit from offering illustrated parts catalogs on the web. Increased sales of parts and supplies, better customer support, and higher levels of customer satisfaction are some of the results seen by Digabit customers who implement the Documoto suite of tools.

With these companies in mind, Digabit recently developed a new publishing package that achieves rapid results. We call it Quick Start Publishing, and it offers a low barrier to entry for companies that would like to upgrade their technical publishing capabilities.

Documoto’s Quick Start package gets your parts catalogs online in 30 days or less!

Quickstart Publishing gives you the proven cloud-based architecture and database-driven functionality of a modern SaaS platform. Once your content is loaded into the database, you can dynamically create a variety of catalog formats in a snap.

  • Dramatically reduce publishing time
  • Upgrade catalog usability with powerful search and real-time updates
  • Eliminate manual formatting and tedious cut-and-paste

viking-rotobec-documoto-electronic-parts-catalog

One of the best features of Quick Start is that you can add increased functionality as your needs change, from eCommerce to ERP integration. Click to download the Quick Start Publishing data sheet now and find out all the details.

5 Reasons to Use OEM Parts — And 3 Reasons Not To!

April 8, 2016 Tags: , , ,
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If you work in an industry that relies on commercial vehicles, heavy equipment like drilling rigs, or other complex pieces of capital equipment, one of your biggest concerns is maximizing your machines’ uptime and minimizing your total cost of ownership (TCO).

Given those two complementary objectives, what do you do when it’s time for repairs or machine maintenance? Do you order parts made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) online or through the local dealer? Or do you scour eBay, Alibaba and the neighborhood Harbor Freight to find the cheapest option available?

There may be good reasons to go the economical route, but don’t make that decision lightly. Here are five reasons why you may want to stick with the original manufacturer’s parts, at least in certain situations:

1. Quality

We’re referring to fit and function here. Yes, you can find an M10 x 1.25 bolt at Home Depot, but is it made from the same material as the original? Does the thread pitch really match? This is a simplistic example, but it applies even more so in the case of complicated parts and assemblies. Have you ever gone to install a new replacement part and the holes didn’t match up? This is much less likely to happen with OEM parts designed by the manufacturer.

2. Warranty & Support

Occasionally the installation of a non-OEM part poses a threat to warranty coverage on a particular piece of equipment. If your hydraulic system fails because someone changed with fluid that doesn’t match manufacturer specifications, you may be on the hook to rebuild it yourself rather than filing a warranty claim. OEM parts themselves may also have a better guarantee than those from 3rd-party suppliers or will fitters.





Documobile parts catalogs for mobile field service




3. System Compatibility

With the increasing use of connected sensors and integrated data collection to monitor and record operating conditions, making sure related components are compatible is a primary concern. Manufacturers commonly use proprietary software to control machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and other aftermarket suppliers may not have access to the code that makes everything work together.

4. Reliable Distribution

Large manufacturing companies have been around for years, meaning they’ve had a long time to refine their supply chains and distribution networks. While you may believe you’re saving a few hundred dollars by buying that expensive part from a “disruptive” vendor, the only thing likely to be disrupted is your work schedule when the part doesn’t show up on time.

5. Durability

A part is a part, right? Except you have no idea what’s in the alloy or plastic that the part is made from. Auto makers have spent over 100 years formulating recipes for sheet metal and coatings that resist corrosion and contribute to increased safety standards. Is that fender produced in Malaysia made of the same stuff? Nobody knows.

Meyer-Documoto

Why You Shouldn’t Use OEM

Of course, every rule has exceptions, and the decision to use OEM parts isn’t completely cut and dry. There are some instances where it makes sense to seek out an alternative, mostly from the perspective of reducing TCO. Here are three:

1. Similar (or Better) Quality, Lower (or Equal) Price

In some cases you can verify that a non-OEM aftermarket part at least equals the original in quality, but is simply priced lower due to the supplier’s reduced overhead or better efficiency. For certain types of applications, aftermarket parts may even be perceived as upgrades over OEM components.

2. Aftermarket Parts Made by Same Supplier

Sometimes a 3rd-party vendor actually sources parts from the same assembly line that makes the OEM parts. This can be hard to identify; however, as manufacturers usually make pains to ensure that their parts don’t carry visible markings that reveal the true maker.

3. Obsolescent Equipment

If machinery is near the end of its projected service life, it may not make sense to pay a premium for the advantages offered by OEM parts. Increased resale value will not likely recoup the additional investment required, and durability ceases to be a primary factor in the buying decision. Just find the most economical solution to get you through the busy season, and spend the money you save on a new unit!

 

LA Metro Increased Order Accuracy With Documoto
 

February 2016 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

February 10, 2016 Tags: , ,
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Digabit February 2016 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

The holiday leftovers have all been eaten or thrown out, so we can get back to our obsession with helping manufacturers grow their businesses through intelligent use of technology. Here are the articles that made the biggest impressions over the last month.

You’ll read about:

  • The 3 technology trends with the most significant impacts on design and production
  • The potential and pitfalls of B2B and B2C eCommerce for manufacturers
  • An IIoT-related survey with data from real manufacturing decision-makers
  • The best uses of data analytics for the automotive industry

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, about it we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

January 2016 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

January 6, 2016 Tags:
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Digabit January 2016 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

It’s a new year, with a new set of trends and predictions for the world of manufacturing and technology. Read the articles we’ve compiled here to impress your superiors and get a head start on the latest in cars, product lifecycle management, and supply chain magic.

You’ll learn:

  • While most manufacturers aren’t on the cutting edge yet, are we at the tipping point?
  • What’s next after the steam engine, conveyor belt, and automated assembly line?
  • Can a car steering wheel really transform into a tablet?
  • Is technology driving manufacturers to shift focus from production numbers to product quality?

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

December 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

December 9, 2015 Tags:
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Digabit December 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

Our stories this month start with an announcement of Digabit’s January webinar, presented by CEO Alan Sage. He’ll offer a high-level overview of the trends in technology and strategy that are driving the next evolution of B2B and B2C eCommerce in the manufacturing world.

Our other pieces range across a variety of topics from additive manufacturing (AKA 3D printing) to maintaining remote assets to search engine marketing:

  • Current best practices for B2B online sales
  • How sensors and software work to transform equipment maintenance
  • Improving the procurement process with technology and the Industrial IoT
  • Can 3D printers really construct an entire automobile?
  • A top SEO marketer tells us how manufacturers can gain a competitive edge

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

November 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

November 4, 2015 Tags:
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Digabit November 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

This month we lead off with Alan Sage’s guest article at Manufacturing.net predicting the next year’s trends in eCommerce for manufacturers. It’s all about streamlining ordering and distribution through technology upgrades and system integrations.

Whether you embrace or deny the impact of the Internet of Things, you’ll have to admit it’s here to stay after reading our next two articles. One focuses on predictive maintenance, the other details the operational efficiencies that can be gained by monitoring energy usage at the device level. GE projects that IoT technology will lead to a $19 trillion increase in profits and savings for the manufacturing industry over the next decade.

We also look at a broad survey of the use of lean manufacturing methodologies, from Six Sigma to Kanban. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting these tools to achieve or maintain a competitive advantage.

Another article examines the effect on supply chains of erratic customer demand, delivery delays and other factors. The “bullwhip effect” occurs when inventory levels fluctuate in response to these stimuli. The author recommends a lean approach toward evaluating organizational policies and processes to reduce the negative influence of the bullwhip on supply chains.

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

October 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

October 7, 2015 Tags:
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Digabit October 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

Last month’s articles range across a spectrum of manufacturing paradigms, from Big Data to tribal knowledge. Turns out massive amounts of data isn’t a cure-all for modern manufacturing problems, you actually have to pay attention to workers’ experience and wisdom to understand how to use that data in a useful manner.

But first, check out Digabit’s CEO, Alan Sage, in an Engineering.com article highlighting the advanced capabilities of the Documoto platform and its advantages for modern equipment manufacturers.

Read about other disrupting factors at play in the manufacturing world: A younger workforce and their comfort with virtual collaboration and project-based work. A new generation of consumers who demand personally tailored products. The revolutions in design and production brought on by micro-manufacturing, fast prototyping, and crowd funding. And the potential of wearables to transform the factory production floor.

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

September 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

September 9, 2015 Tags:
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Digabit September 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

Staying ahead of the curve (and the competition) means acceptance of disruptive technologies and utilizing big data to improve process inefficiencies. Last month was all about embracing the change. Savvy equipment manufacturers are looking for new ways to improve performance using cloud technologies for preventative maintenance, remote monitoring and more.

This month’s Digabit webinar explores productivity and the publishing process. Do you find that duplication of energies is slowing you down, making it hard to update part information across siloed departments and systems? If so, join us for our September talk and pick up some tips on how to improve your process!

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

 Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

August 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

August 5, 2015 Tags: , ,
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August 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

True or False? The latest apps are high-tech and sexy, but manufacturing is dull and old-fashioned. If you answered, “True,” read on to find out how wrong you are!

Manufacturing firms shift from traditional to online marketing. With domestic manufacturing surging, now may be the time to invest in new technology. Find the leaders in cloud technology and enterprise resource management (ERP). Wearable technology isn’t just for joggers — manufacturers disrupt the desktop to improve worker training, safety and production. And last, a ping from the Internet of Things and its potential to upgrade product support, from preventive maintenance to inventory management—subjects dear to our hearts here at Digabit!

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

 White Paper - Increase parts sales with Service Lifecycle Management

July 2015 Newsletter – News Manufacturers Can Use

July 8, 2015 Tags: , ,
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July 2015 - Digabit Newsletter

In this Issue

Last month was all about Big Data and the IoT.

Europe gains traction, showing the potential to dominate industrial IoT. Big data is helping manufacturing machines run longer and more efficiently. Tips for tighter collaboration and visibility up and down supply chain are explored. Business intelligence (BI) software is helping manufacturers make well-informed, timelier, and more intelligent business decisions. More than 160 events for this year’s Manufacturing Day in October are highlighted. And finally, we look at the best practices for executing an after sale web library and eCommerce platform.

Click here to read all of the stories.

Join our monthly Newsletter to receive the latest industry news.

Hot off the Press!

Digabit is committed to keeping current on the latest technologies and trends affecting the manufacturing industry. Every day, we comb popular Manufacturing Association blogs, leading industry websites and tech publications sharing the most popular stories on our social media pages. Once a month, we release our Industry Newsletter which includes the most popular stories.

 Data Sheet - Easily integrate ERP systems with Documoto

Recording Tribal Knowledge: Keys to Distributing Information on the Manufacturing Floor

March 19, 2015 Tags: , ,
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If you’ve been at your job for more than a few months, you’ve probably picked up some tricks of the trade. Maybe you know which buttons to hit when the copy machine goes haywire or how to make a word processing task a lot faster.

The same is true for production employees who create their own tools, troubleshooting methods, and operational procedures based on their experience. Despite having standard procedures imposed on them, operators and technicians usually develop their own way of doing things.

In many ways, tribal knowledge is great for business as it keeps things running smoothly and efficiently. But manufacturers run into trouble when trade secrets and improvements are only passed along verbally or by other informal means, leading to inconsistent performance across teams.

How can OEMs retain, share and use tribal knowledge to maintain consistency across teams, shifts and divisions?

Account for Employee Turnover

Tribal thinking becomes particularly problematic when experienced team members leave and someone new takes their place. Training new hires is a serious time commitment that can quickly lead to frustration if the previous employee’s knowledge wasn’t properly handed down through clear documentation.

As Automation World noted, when knowledge slowly fades due to retiring expertise and the lack of knowledge transfer to younger workers, manufacturers could lose the ability to innovate and drive manufacturing competitiveness forward.

There are two basic solutions to confront this problem. The first is to keep departing employees on board to directly train their replacement, which obviously increases the likelihood of knowledge transfer. The second is to encourage departing workers to record their tribal knowledge, down to the minor details and seemingly trivial tidbits. The minutiae of personal working processes may seem like common knowledge, but it can often be highly valuable, especially for new hires.

Focus On Documentation

Though it’s difficult to completely preserve tribal knowledge, proper documentation can alleviate some of the issues. Many manufacturers are turning to knowledge management systems to compile all their process and procedure documentation, training materials and safety manuals in one place.

Having a central repository of this information gives employees an easy way to access and find the best solution to their current problem. This simplifies knowledge transfer and increases opportunities for universal talent sharing across an organization. An effective centralized system aggregates tribal knowledge so that it’s no longer scattered across different manuals, printed documents and post-it notes.

We’ve noticed a lot of our customers using Documoto to distribute relevant information to workers on the manufacturing floor. Not only does the software offer simple user permissions to ensure employees have access only to those materials pertinent to their role, but it also provides a robust comments feature so operators and technicians can quickly record their knowledge and immediately share it with their coworkers.

Take A Bottom-Up Approach

In the manufacturing world, there’s a great amount of emphasis on continually boosting productivity and efficiency, especially when it comes to machines and new technology.

Usually, it’s the leaders and managers at the OEM who establish protocols, standardize procedures, and make the decision to integrate new technology on the floor. This is a classic top-down approach, which certainly has its advantages, but at the same time, it can stifle the tribe’s knowledge growth.

The people who do the hard labor on a daily basis may have worthwhile opinions on what will work and what won’t work. Since the tribe is constantly working with the same machines, procedures, and people, it easily finds useful shortcuts and efficient methods that aren’t obvious to other departments, leaders, or the outside world at large. Learning from those on the floor can help managers incorporate faster and easier processes into the standard operational guidelines.

But just because one shift, plant or division does something one way, that doesn’t mean it’s the best way. Manufacturers must evaluate the effectiveness of these different approaches to develop and standardize the best of the best practices. Analytics can certainly help with this – if you missed our post on leveraging analytics in manufacturing, you can find it here.

Want more ideas like these? Subscribe to the blog and get monthly emails on boosting revenues, enhancing customer service and improving workforce productivity.

 Watch the video to learn a faster way to create parts catalogs

Leveraging Analytics to Enhance Operational Performance for Manufacturing Businesses

March 17, 2015 Tags: , , ,
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Over the last several years, manufacturers have shown a booming interest in big data. According to CSC Global CIO 2014-2015 Survey, 81% of manufacturers feel big data has a positive effect on production and efficiency, and 65% believe big data will be a strategic business driver moving forward. Managers are hoping they’ll reap benefits like improved product quality, more efficient supply planning and shortened order-to-deliver cycles.

With research studies emphasizing data’s importance and advantages, it’s easy to understand why manufacturers are exploring its possibilities. READ MORE

4 Ways for Manufacturers to Keep Dealers Engaged in Their Brand

March 10, 2015 Tags: , , , ,
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Most of the companies we work with here at Digabit rely on distributors and dealers to get their products in front of customers. This creates multiple layers between the manufacturer and consumer, leaving OEMs with little direct access to their end users.

As a result, maintaining strong dealer relationships is vital to manufacturing success. If the dealer isn’t happily engaged, the customer is unlikely to be excited about or even interested in the manufacturer’s product.

So how should manufacturers treat dealers in order to ensure that the end user will feel engaged with the brand?

A couple years ago, Gallup aimed to find the answer to strong supplier-distributor relationships, noting that the most effective ones were generally those in which manufacturers treated dealers, not as employees or customers, but as partners.

Let’s look at a few ways manufacturing executives can make that partnership work and optimize dealer performance:

1. Offer Exclusive Territories

Occasionally, manufacturers try to add more and more outlets for their products as a way to fuel growth. Unfortunately, as The Wall Street Journal explained, this strategy often leads to having too many dealers competing against each other for the same customers.

For a more dealer-friendly – and, ultimately, manufacturer-friendly ­– approach, offer your existing dealers larger, exclusive territories in exchange for greater promotion and display of your products. This might require cutting off weaker dealers so that you can focus your energy on high performers and ensure the market isn’t oversaturated or too competitive.

2. Improve Training Resources

While manufacturers have limited control over their dealers’ management policies, they can share best sales practices and training resources for a mutually beneficial relationship. Since the dealer’s salespeople serve as the OEM’s brand ambassadors, training can be a critical tool in helping dealers attract and retain top talent, turning their sales force into brand champions.

Motivated and well-trained dealers are better equipped to help customers understand the advantages and unique performance qualities of manufacturer’s equipment.

3. Setup One-on-One Support

To truly build and deepen manufacturer-dealer relationships, it’s helpful to have a point person. Arctic Cat, for example, promises its dealers a high degree of personal attention from a dedicated District Sales Manager and back it up with a 24-hour response guarantee.

Not only can field sales representatives maintain regular communication with dealers and keep them informed of new products and resources, but dealers will have the added benefit of knowing exactly who to contact with questions or feedback.

4. Help with Repairs

When products break, dealers need instantaneous access to part and repair information. By providing a centralized, electronic portal of repair manuals, instructional videos, maintenance advice, and parts information, OEMs can help dealers service their customers’ equipment quickly and efficiently.

Simply making these resources readily available will increase dealer productivity and profits and generate high customer satisfaction.

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