EY: Digital transformation needs people engagement to work

Digital transformation is not a ‘magic solution’ without people engagement, standard work processes & reliable equipment, says EY’s Morgan Malone

EY’s Morgan Malone has warned manufacturers that before they embrace digital transformation, they must ensure that they have eradicated defects and fully reduced waste from their operations. Malone claims that digital transformation is not a ‘magic solution’ for manufacturers, who must ensure that their business is running efficiently before taking this step. 


Digital transformation needs people engagement 

EY offers many professional services, from advisory to tax, accounting to transformation and more. Across 150 countries, the company is working to ‘build a better working world’ for its clients, as well as wider society. 

The transformational aspect of EY’s work is to be honest with clients, especially when sharing hard truths that they may not want to hear. Malone has offered his thoughts on those manufacturers who buy into the idea of digital transformation being a ‘magic pill’ which will fix all of their manufacturing woes.

“This may sound contradictory to what you’re hearing from the market — that you absolutely must invest in digital transformation now to stay relevant and continue to grow profitably,” Malone says. “Applying a digital solution to a process with multiple defects is a waste of time, energy and money.”

While firmly agreeing that digital technologies are now essential for businesses, Malone argues that manufacturers need to have four things in check for digital transformation to work:


People engagement

Malone argues that these improvements will result in high people engagement. 

“As the workday for both technicians and leadership is predictable, there is time available to run the operation and continually work on how to make their equipment and work processes better.”



Taking the first steps to eradicate loss and waste will strengthen the capabilities of manufacturers and welcome the new changes offered by digitalisation.


Standard work processes 

There is a lot to gain by standardising work processes.

“EY experience shows that a manufacturer can improve costs, downtime, and productivity from about 15% to 30% in just a few months by systematically standardising processes, empowering equipment operators and eliminating equipment defects,” Malone said.


Reliable equipment

Ensuring that the manufacturing team understands the equipment that they’re working with and feel safe using it is vital. 

“You wouldn’t want to put an incredibly powerful engine in a car with a weak suspension, shoddy transmission, spongy steering and bald tires,” Malone added. 


Once these four elements are in order, digitisation can enhance an organisation's performance.


Accelerating the digital transformation journey for customers 

EY partnered with Nokia in 2021 in a strategic alliance to advance digital transformation for communication service providers. EY wanted to unlock the value of 5G and support enterprises maintain resiliency post-COVID-19.

“The impact of 5G across industries is a growing priority for EY clients undergoing digital and business transformation, as new use cases become a critical focus looking beyond this period of crisis,” said Greg Cudahy, EY Global Technology, Media & Entertainment and Telecoms Leader.

“Together with EY, we will bring leading, high-performance, and secure network solutions for operators and industrial players around the world, and the experience required to develop innovative business models and 5G use-cases for enterprises,” agreed Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services, Nokia. “This means an acceleration of the digital transformation journey for customers as they seek to reinvent themselves in a post-pandemic world.”


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