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5 Steps to Increase Manufacturing Sustainability Through Digital Transformation

5 Steps to Increase Manufacturing Sustainability Through Digital Transformation (1)

For manufacturing professionals, sustainability has become a major topic of conversation over the past few years. And as regulatory complexities and sustainability goals continue to expand, more companies are recognizing the importance of getting on board with digital transformation to aid in environmental compliance. If you want your organization to keep up with changing regulations, using digital tools is becoming a necessity. But how do you go about adopting digitization? 

In this article, we’ll discuss five steps to help you utilize digital tools and move toward more eco-friendly practices, including establishing a foundation for compliance, setting up a continuous data monitoring process, automating notifications and important updates, and unifying your processes. Read on to learn more.

5 Steps to Increase Manufacturing Sustainability Through Digital Transformation

1. Establish a foundation for compliance 

The first step in environmental digital transformation is to establish a strong foundation for compliance data. Centralizing business data works to improve how compliance information is managed and accessed; when organizations have a single point of control and visibility, they can effectively simplify compliance. 

Consolidating your data in the form of cloud-based software and creating a solid foundation for compliance information decreases the risk of reporting errors, such as inaccuracies and incompleteness, and creates a single source of truth. When your organization controls this information centrally, you’re able to push it to all relevant regulatory databases at the state or federal level for compliance reporting. The digitized system serves as the compliance groundwork, allowing you to build successful sustainability practices from a stable foundation.

2. Establish data monitoring

With a strong foundation built, it’s time to take a look at your data. Starting a continuous data monitoring process enables you to collect all relevant compliance data for sustainability regulations. This results in greater data visibility and information control. Additionally, when data collection functions are automated, they’re conducted with less effort and fewer errors. 

3. Build a Transparent Supply Chain

In order to reach sustainability goals when digitizing, supply chain leaders need visibility. If they lack transparency and data sharing with their suppliers, it’s incredibly difficult to track products from creation to delivery in a controlled way. This makes it harder to identify supplier risk, protect the brand, and report compliance issues down the line.

In today’s digital world, visibility is usually improved using supply chain technology, which provides data about shipping logistics, manufacturing statuses, and supply chain operations. The data this tech produces helps companies improve their efficiency by avoiding inventory shortages, removing process bottlenecks, meeting standards requirements, and tracing products through their delivery stage. Even further, this technology helps companies avoid obsolete and unsellable inventory, reduce carbon emissions from logistics moves, optimize fulfillment decision-making, and minimize waste across raw materials inventories. Visibility allows companies to spot and fix inefficiencies throughout the chain to quickly reduce costs and work toward their sustainability goals.

4. Automate notifications and important updates

Keeping up with system and business updates is a very important part of upholding sustainability compliance. Facility information constantly changes from a corporate, personnel, and regulatory perspective. So, it’s important to set up a system of automated notifications to keep your team up to date on the latest document, workflow, and data changes. 

Suppose an SOP is updated for safety purposes. An automated process could trigger an alert that this change has been made, reducing the number of propagated errors for compliance reporting. Automation also frees employees from taking multiple steps to update information and reduces the possibility of human error.

5. Unify your processes

The last step we’ll discuss here is inherent in the digitization process. The ultimate goal of digital transformation is to unify an organization’s operations and processes as a whole. After implementing environmental digital transformation for a specific sector of business, a company can expand into other sections, laying the foundation for further digitization. 

This approach empowers enterprises and compliance teams to transform their environmental compliance program across different areas into an auditable and continuous process. More importantly, this method ensures accuracy and mitigates non-compliance risk throughout the entire compliance data management process

As something many organizations in the manufacturing industry already know quite well, rolling out a digital transformation requires thoughtful, deliberate planning. And while making the move to digitize your company isn’t easy, it’s worth it for the long-term business benefits. Follow the five steps we laid out today and your company will be on track to successfully digitize and meet your sustainability goals.

DocXellent can help your company transition into a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process. Through the use of our specification management system, you’ll have the ability to regulate eco-friendly material substitutes, create automatic notifications for suppliers regarding updated specs, and send important process data digitally across your production line. 

We are happy to advise you on how you can accomplish your goals and demonstrate how our specification management software, ENSUR, can maximize your company’s sustainability. Contact us today.

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Blog Author Headers (3)Amy Sinyei Rodrigues is DocXellent's Chief Customer Officer. In this role, Amy works with our customers to make sure they are getting the most they can out of our Document and Specification Management Software, ENSUR. After graduating with a BS in Industrial Engineering and an MBA in General Management, Amy worked with several enterprise software and solution services providers in the electronic discovery industry before bringing her years of expertise and valuable education to DocXellent 6 years ago. Learn more about Amy and the work she does for DocXellent here.

Tags: manufacturing, sustainability, digitize, manufacturing sustainability