Four changes industrial manufacturing CEOs must make as digitisation reshapes industry

Press Release published by PwC UK

Digitisation is transforming the DNA of industrial manufacturing and a new report by PwC, Defining the new DNA of industrial organisations: the CEO’s agenda, identifies four significant changes CEOs must implement if they are to maximise the benefits of digitisation and retain and grow market share.

Today, digitally smart manufacturers are gaining a competitive advantage by exploiting emerging technologies and trends such as digital twinning, predictive maintenance, track-and-trace, and modular design.

The report illustrates how eight companies - alongside several other examples - have improved their efficiency, productivity and customer experience by ensuring they have the right capabilities central to their operating model and by matching them with strong skill sets in analytics and IT.

Pressure from the consumer, new regulations and advances in information technology are all reasons that are pushing manufacturing organisations to digitise so they can avoid falling behind the new breed of market-leading ‘ digital champions’.

Darren Jukes, PwC UK industrial manufacturing and services leader, commented:

Gaining competitive advantage is something all organisations strive to achieve. Our research demonstrates that by embracing the opportunities digitisation offers, organisations can make a significant step towards achieving their goals of competitive advantage.

Digitisation allows organisations to change the rules of competition and secure real advantage and market leadership. Accelerating the adoption of these technologies provides new ways of thinking both in terms of what's delivered but also how it's delivered.

The report identifies four significant changes CEOs must implement to maximise the benefits of digitisation:

  1. Drive organisational changes that address new digital capabilities and digitised processes - e.g.,  product and process design and engineering, end-to-end procurement, supply chain/distribution and after-sales - right from the top, because these are so new and different
  2. Hire more software and Internet of Things (IoT) engineers and data scientists, while training the wider workforce in digital skills
  3. Learn from software businesses, which have the ability to develop use cases rapidly and turn them into software products
  4. Extend digitisation beyond IT to include significant operational technologies (OT) such as track and trace solutions and digital twinning

On the findings of the report Dr. Anil Khurana, PwC Global Industrial, Manufacturing and Automotive Leader said

The impact of digitisation on manufacturing is tremendous, it will enable the creation of new products, processes, and business models - and ultimately forge digital enterprises. CEOs need to seize the opportunity and catch the wave to avoid falling behind.

The report was done with the support of Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). PwC has been a knowledge partner of GMIS since the founding of GMIS in 2015 and developed several reports together covering different topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

On the launch of this Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), said:

Considering the capital investment involved, adopting widespread digital transformation within an organisation requires thorough and well considered analysis of every business process before proceeding with implementation.

This PwC report offers a sustainable roadmap that CEOs of manufacturing and industrial companies can adopt in their business transformation strategies to maximise the benefits of digitisation of this magnitude.

GMIS provides a forum for industry leaders to interact with governments, technologists, and academia, in order to navigate the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Notes to editors

For more on PwC’s new report “Defining the new DNA of industrial organisations: the CEO’s agenda,” download the report at

The third edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS 2020) will take place from 20-21 April, alongside Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show in Germany, and will focus on ‘Glocalisation: Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Global Value Chains’. As the world’s first cross-industry platform, The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit unites manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in a mission to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s transformation of manufacturing to enable the regeneration of the global economy. #GMIS2020 aims to inspire discussion and agreement on a strategic pathway in order to contribute to promoting sustainable industrial development through innovation and the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a global scale.

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