25 digital transformation stats every manufacturer needs to know

Discover 25 digital transformation stats on how industrial businesses are using tech to transform the front office.

Picture of Andrew Shaw Andrew Shaw

Published: 17 Feb 2023

4 minutes read

25 digital transformation stats for manufacturers | Axon Garside

As more manufacturing firms invest in smart technology and integrate Industry 4.0, it becomes increasingly important for you to do the same. By connecting technology, you automate processes and reduce expenditure.

By facilitating transformations of sales, marketing and service, you see benefits in acquisition, growth and retention of customers. It’s important to acknowledge their changing behaviour, which has resulted in expectations for a more personable experience. And, you can meet these requirements by converting to a direct-to-consumer approach, rather than serving exclusively through suppliers and channels.

Why now is the right time to invest in Digitalisation

Prices throughout the UK, Europe and the wider world continue to increase, leaving small to medium businesses in situations where they must cut costs whenever possible. A Made Smarter study found 35% of SMEs in the North East of England are solely focused on survival, with 80% willing to take calculated risks with clear benefits. The post-Brexit, post-pandemic economy has left companies in dire situations where change of process is essential to ensuring their futures - and smart technology is key.

Almost a third (29%) of SMEs surveyed stated productivity, efficiency, and output as a key focus in their operations from 2022. Manufacturers don’t want to delay, or get stuck behind - and the best way to do so is by changing digitally. Here are 25 stats to consider when embracing digital transformation, courtesy of The Guardian, BDO and Microsoft.

Ready to digitalise your business, but unsure where to begin? Start by downloading your free guide, 'Front Office Digital Transformation: A Guide for Manufacturers', now.

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Key info for your business

Customer satisfaction

  • 50% consider customer service as very important. (Microsoft)
  • 67% found pro-active engagements (like insight email marketing) preferential. (Microsoft)
  • 55% had higher expectations for customer service in 2019 than in 2018. (Microsoft)
  • 58% of those surveyed said they’d sever ties with the business if their experience as a customer was bad enough. (Microsoft)

Business growth

  • Around 200 million people work in the manufacturing and logistics sectors globally. (BDO)
  • Digital technology is becoming significantly more prominent - 46% of respondents claimed to have a good understanding of it, compared to 9% in 2016. (BDO)
  • 53% predicted digital transformation will have a large impact on their business. (BDO)
  • And 85% believed productivity to be a positive impact of digital transformation. (BDO)
  • There was a 20% increase in companies that had a digital strategy in plan from 2019 to 2016. (BDO)
  • 64% expected to see a profit from their digital transformation process within two to five years of implementation. (BDO)
  • 44% of companies have plans to embed AI into their operation. (BDO)
  • 68% have plans to use technology in the transformation of their supply chains. (BDO)
  • Cloud is the most popular technology, with 52% of respondents considering it their top investment. (BDO)
  • Identifying causes of problems and failures is considered a top benefit of data analytics for 66% of those surveyed. (BDO)
  • Digital transformation is essential, but only 18% believe their staff are equipped with the skills to fully analyse data findings. (BDO)
  • 56% of surveyed businesses don’t believe a lack of skills is their biggest hurdle in integrating Industry 4.0. (BDO)
  • Only 6% believe the government has offered adequate guidance for the integration of digital technology. (BDO)
  • 31% don’t believe their company treats cyber security risks seriously enough. (BDO)
  • This is because 84% believe a more comprehensive integration of technology will lead to increased security risks. (BDO)

Ready to transform your industrial business? Take the first steps to digital transformation by downloading your free guide, 'Front Office Digital Transformation: A Guide for Manufacturers', now.

Download now

Financial changes

  • 82% of manufacturers expect prices to increase. (The Guardian)
  • Only 2% expect costs to fall. (The Guardian)
  • The cost of goods is expected to rise by 12% in the near future. (The Guardian)
  • The BDO report includes findings from a 2018 study by the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Engineering. After surveying 212 international manufacturing businesses that had facilitated digital transformation, they found:
    • 45% reduction in material costs
    • 30% increase in outputs
    • 55% reduction in labour costs

Transforming your business

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant digital transformation that is reshaping the way business is conducted. The statistics highlighted in this blog show the increasing adoption of digital technologies by manufacturers to drive innovation, enhance operational efficiency, and improve customer experiences.

From the rise of Industry 4.0 technologies to the growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), it is clear that manufacturers who embrace digital transformation will be better positioned to succeed in today's fast-paced and competitive landscape. As such, it is imperative for manufacturers to stay ahead of the latest trends and innovations in digital transformation and leverage them to drive growth and profitability in their operations. By doing so, manufacturers can position themselves for success in the years to come.

The first steps to digitalisation

Digitalisation begins with the integration of useful software being applied to your company.

To discover the best way for your manufacturing business to level up, download your free copy of 'Front Office Digital Transformation: A Guide for Manufacturers' now.

Download now