The Kurago Digital Maturity Model – the first step towards the optimum software solution for the digital factory

Only by knowing a company’s initial digitization status can we set realistic goals for advancing along the path toward the digital factory. The Kurago Digital Maturity Model (DMM) has been designed to provide a snapshot of the digital capabilities of a specific company in the sheet-metal sector in areas related to the end-to-end process. The DMM is a highly effective tool that sets out the guidelines for smoothly advancing toward digitization.

The reasons the sheet-metal sector requires a specific digital maturity model

Kurago has designed a DMM for providing businesses in the sheet-metal sector with an immediate diagnosis of their status on the road to digitization. The DMM gauges the level of each one of the areas related to the company’s business:

  • Operations: Design and workshop manufacturing activities
  • Logistics: Activities related to internal and external transport, as well as storage management of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products
  • Analysis: Estimation of costs, customer pricing, and production times. Activities performed to design production plans or schedule work center maintenance.
  • Quality: Activities performed for quality assurance and process control, both in each manufacturing operation and across the company. In addition to this, a set of dimensions have been defined for evaluating the digitalization of each functional area.

In a sector that is barely digitized, knowing the initial point of departure is vital for advancing in this process. A five-level scale has been developed accordingly (DMM’s five levels: Digital Starter, Digital Explorer, Digital Player, Digital Challenger, and Digital Champion) ranging from those companies that are barely or not at all digitized through to those with fully digitized businesses. Our experience tells us that companies in the sheet-metal sector mostly fall into levels two and three. This means that some processes are indeed digitized, but there are others that are not, and there are no interfaces existing between a company’s various operating systems.

The DMM not only provides a snapshot of an individual company’s level but also seeks to support the digitization process. The diagnosis provides a series of recommendations for stepping up to the next level of digitization.

The five digital maturity levels

We have defined the digital maturity journey stages:

  • Digital starter: Mostly paper-based or supported by traditional processes. Decisions are based on a specific person´s knowledge and experience.
  • Digital explorer: Internal processes and services are defined and assured consistent results over time. Some digital tools could exist, but they are not integrated.
  • Digital player: A coherent and coordinated process exist and assures results aligned with plans and commitment with customers. Coordination tools exist (MES, ERP). Process indicators are in place.
  • Digital challenger: Operation is managed by integrated solutions that cooperate smoothly. Processes are measured and can be adjusted according to operational needs. Integration with external systems (providers, customers, partners) is implemented.
  • Digital champion: Digital technology is used to leverage operation excellence and remove inefficiencies from processes. Existing service way of working and process levels fully optimized and best practices embedded across de network. Digital champions have reached full transformation maturity and are positioned to dominate markets.

Our experience tells us that companies in the sheet-metal sector mostly fall into levels two and three.

What makes this model different?

The difference with other consultancy models, or even with regard to similar digitization models created for other sectors, what occurs is that it does not begin by establishing a standard set of packages that need to be implemented, but instead considers each company’s needs and its current circumstances. The aim is not for all the companies in the sheet-metal sector to reach the same level of digitization. The proposal’s interest lies in the fact that the digitization of certain processes or areas will enable companies to become more dynamic with a view to adapting to the complex scenarios involved in the modern business world; all this while safeguarding those features that identify a given company’s success. Diversity of demand in such an extensive sector as the sheet-metal industry requires a supply that is tailored to suit these needs.

Once these specific needs have been revealed, a decision can be made on the type of partner that the digitization process will require (If you want further information in this regard read It’s a long way to the top | Kurago Blog) or the kind of systems required for enhancing this process. The expert advice of consultants with ample experience, not only in software implementation but also in the sheet-metal sector, provides a catalyst for all these processes.

Active listening is essential

Understanding a specific company’s true nature is vital for establishing the next steps for continuing along the road to the digitization and identifying the systems that the company in question requires to streamline its processes and speed up its decision-making in each case.

This requires that it is essential to listen. The consultancy stage in the projects headed by Kurago is not designed to provide magic formulae through complex system audits or the straightforward application of actions already tried and tested in other sectors. The key lies in a sound understanding of the company’s goals, its differentiating features, and its present level of digitization in each one of the reference areas: operations, logistics, analytics, and quality. This simply requires interviewing the go-to people in each one of these areas.

The outcome will be a report that reflects the company’s positioning in terms of the DMM’s five levels: Digital Starter, Digital Explorer, Digital Player, Digital Challenger, and Digital Champion. This report also provides a breakdown by areas.

Only by being mindful of our position at any given moment can we discover the right path to take if we want to advance toward the greater digitization of our business.

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