Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

109 INDUSTRIALS & MANUFACTURING Through automation, firms are able to order, track and deliver materials needed for production on time and on schedule without tying up valuable resources. They can also link identified supplier risk to real-time supply chain data for deeper insights and to improve response times to outages and disruptions. Product lifecycle and quality management As manufacturers move to integrate new digital cloud technologies into their processes, generative AI-driven product lifecycle management (PLM) improvements are helping them to reduce costs, improve quality and increase their speed to market. With generative AI, deeper insights can be gleaned from extant data, allowing employees to automate tedious manual processes, freeing up valuable resources. With many companies consolidating their data in the cloud as part of their digital transformation journeys, the logical next step is harnessing the storage and computing power of the cloud to drive more innovative products. They can do this by pulling insights at scale from a wide range of sources, both from traditional methods of customer feedback and incorporating edge and internet of things (IoT) data to create a holistic view of the entire business. AI-powered quality management solutions from Microsoft partners like, Predisys and Quest Global analyse large amounts of data in real time, enabling a proactive approach to quality management. By using data collected during production, manufacturers can quickly identify trends and patterns and, if necessary, implement a resolution. Digitally transforming the industrial process unlocks automation in the quality control process, eliminating the potential for human error and improving efficiency. This added depth allows businesses to not only make better, more informed decisions, but it also empowers them to create better quality products and experiences, which in turn increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. In addition, these insights also allow firms to find new ways to improve profitability and performance while also lowering environmental impacts and costs. As manufacturers move further along in their digital transformation journeys, new evolving technologies like edge computing and IoT can, and will, transform the way they create resilient supply chains in the future. Learn more about how digital manufacturing enables companies to increase revenue, improve their bottom line and gain a competitive advantage at: Rochelle Fleming is director of partner marketing at Microsoft Nestlé uses Dynamics 365 for product lifecycle management Photo: Nestlé