How the Glass and Ceramics Industry Can Thrive with New Technologies

This article discusses the Glass and Ceramics industry's digital competitiveness, despite challenges. To overcome them, prioritize the four pillars of digital transformation: process, business model, domain, and cultural, leading to reduced costs, improved quality, and increased efficiency.

Razi Alakhdar - Marketing Manager

Table of Contents

The Glass and Ceramics industry has successfully maintained its competitive edge in the global market by effectively bridging the gap between customer needs and production processes. Companies in this industry have also remained at the forefront of competition by making significant investments in research, development, and innovation. As the world gears up for a digital future, the industry has a tremendous opportunity to seize the benefits of new technologies. According to Statista, digitally transformed companies are expected to contribute to more than half of the global GDP, by 2023.

Although Glass and Ceramics companies have made significant strides in automating product handling and processing, there is a persistent issue with interconnecting machines and equipment responsible for each stage of manufacturing. The industry is poised for a digital transformation that will optimize and automate the flow of data and information to take advantage of new technologies. It is imperative for Glass and Ceramics companies to streamline processes and break down silos to fully leverage the benefits of digital transformation.

Overcoming Digital Transformation Challenges

The Glass and Ceramics industry faces a range of non-technical challenges in adopting digital transformation. Companies in this industry must overcome organizational silos, lack of resources, digital skills gap, and insufficient IT resources to successfully implement digital transformation. Addressing these challenges is crucial for Glass and Ceramics companies to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Organizational Silos

Organizational silos occur when a company divides its expertise into departmental, specialized, or geographic groups. This can lead to an emphasis on departmental goals over company goals, hindering the competitive drive of a company without employees realizing it.

Organizational silos pose a significant obstacle to successful digital transformation, affecting all areas such as funding, strategy, and implementation. Companies must break down these silos to fully leverage the benefits of digital transformation.

Lack of Resources

Lack of resources, particularly budgetary constraints, can be a major roadblock for companies looking to shift towards digital transformation. In some cases, these shortages arise due to segmented strategies and decision-making, or the perception that technology investments should be short-term and tactical rather than long-term and strategic. Overcoming these resource constraints is crucial to make the most of the opportunities that digital transformation presents.

Digital Skills Gap

The digital skills gap is one of the most pressing issues that companies face when adopting digital transformation. It is crucial for companies in the Glass and Ceramics industry to cultivate core specialist competencies in areas such as enterprise architecture, cybersecurity, cloud, analytics, and more. This is necessary for the success of their digital transformation efforts. To improve change readiness, the entire company must develop digital agility and awareness for digital skills. This includes building a culture of continuous learning and investing in training and development programs for employees to bridge the digital skills gap.

Incomplete Business and IT Resources

To adopt critical technological domains like security, digital workplace, IT automation, and more, companies require significant IT skills. The inability to access IT, business, and other professional experts quickly is often due to misplaced goals, segmented decision-making (organizational silos), and cultural issues.

Training employees in low-code and self-service digital technologies can be beneficial, but more needs to be done to prepare them for complex digital business situations. Improving the digital skills of IT resources and filling organizational deficiencies in digital skills with qualified expertise can go a long way in ensuring a successful digital transformation.

The Core Pillars of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of leveraging digital technologies to develop or enhance business processes, modules, and customer experiences. Let’s explore the four key areas of digital transformation that businesses need to focus on to remain competitive in today's market.

Process Transformation

Business process transformation is not a one-size-fits-all approach. To determine the most effective strategy for your organization, it's important to establish clear objectives that align with your desired outcomes. By customizing the transformation to meet these objectives, you can create a tailored approach that is better suited to your organization's unique needs and goals.

As you undergo the process of business process transformation, it's important to keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Defining goals
  • Assessing current processes
  • Looking for the right solution
  • Implementing changes
  • Monitor and adjust

Business Model Transformation

In today's business world, transformation is essential to staying ahead of the competition. The process of changing into a new form or item is what we call transformation. To remain relevant, companies in the glass ceramic industry need to constantly innovate and evolve.

There are several ways a company can change its business model. It could adjust its pricing approach, target new customers, or create new glass products, among other things. The ultimate goal is always to stay ahead of the curve and maintain the company's growth.

To achieve successful transformation, a company needs to first identify its core goals. Once these objectives are clear, the company can create an action plan and take the necessary steps to achieve its desired outcomes..

Domain Transformation

As more companies seek to modernize their operations, an increasing number of them are turning to cloud computing. Domain transformation involves transferring a company's data and operational processes to the cloud, which can result in lower costs, increased scalability, and greater agility, among other benefits.

The first step in domain transformation is determining which workloads and applications can be moved to the cloud. Once this is determined, you can begin the process of migrating your data and workloads. However, it's important to keep in mind several factors when undergoing domain transformation, including ensuring the safety and security of your data, choosing a reputable cloud provider, and having a structured plan for migrating your data.

Cultural Transformation

Transforming an organization's culture can be a formidable task, as it requires aligning employee behavior with the company's goals. This can result in resistance and the failure of transformation efforts, even with strong leadership.

Several factors contribute to the difficulty of cultural transition, including:

  • Cultural issues often only receive attention when they become problematic, such as when there are differences in cultural norms or practices that create challenges for the organization.
  • Given that culture is deeply ingrained within a company, persuading individuals to depart from their established practices can be an uphill battle.

Why Digital Transformation is the Key to Success for Glass and Ceramics Industry

Digital transformation is key to enhancing efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in companies within the glass and ceramics industry. Here are some of the advantages that digital transformation brings

  • Reduced Time and Operational Cost: Every company aims to save time and money, and this is no different for companies in the glass and ceramics industry. However, manual manufacturing processes in this industry can be time-consuming and slow, as they often involve one-at-a-time operations, resulting in longer production times. With digital transformation, companies can automate and optimize their processes, allowing them to complete more complex tasks and manage costs more effectively.
  • Reduced Power Consumption: By leveraging innovative digital tools, companies can optimize their production levels and reduce energy consumption, while achieving the same or better results. This helps businesses to operate more sustainably and responsibly, while reducing costs and enhancing their competitive edge.
  • Quality and Consistency: Digitalization offers a significant advantage in ensuring consistent manufacturing operations, resulting in higher quality products. With digital tools in place, companies in the glass and ceramics industry can maintain precise control over every aspect of the manufacturing process, from the initial design to the final product. This consistency ultimately leads to greater customer satisfaction and a positive reputation in the industry.
  • Minimal Human Errors: Automation is a game-changer in the glass and ceramics industry as it significantly reduces the possibility of human error in operations. While humans are more prone to error than machines when performing tasks, machines can operate continuously around the clock and never get tired, leading to fewer production errors. This is particularly important for manufacturing fragile materials such as glass, which are more likely to break when being handled manually. By adopting more automated processes, companies can significantly reduce human errors and improve the overall quality of their products.
  • Increased Productivity and Efficiency: By automating manual, repetitive processes, companies can free up their staff from tedious tasks and provide more time for creative projects that drive efficiency. Automated production systems, especially for glass and ceramics, can help workers complete their jobs more quickly and accurately, while also enabling them to maximize their time and productivity. For example, The Tile Shop, a leading ceramics company, has embraced digital solutions such as chatbots, conversational AI, and applicant tracking systems to enhance their overall efficiency.
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Maximizing Digital Transformation

As the glass and ceramics industry continues to face evolving market forces, many companies are turning to digital technologies to stay competitive and meet customer demands. One such technology is the product configurator, which allows for personalized product customization directly from a company's website.

While many vendors offer out-of-the-box configurator solutions, the team at Salsita takes a different approach. Our underlying technology allows us to tailor the configurator to your specific business needs, ensuring a seamless and optimized customer experience.

By adopting a product configurator as part of your company's digital transformation strategy, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but also increase efficiency and reduce costs. Take the first step toward digital transformation and learn more about Salsita 3D Configurator today.

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Razi Alakhdar - Marketing Manager

Razi is a marketing pro who helps companies succeed through effective marketing optimization, product validation, and lead gen.

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