MNCs Accelerating Digital Transformation for Efficiency and Sustainability
Multinational companies are speeding up their digital transformations to improve business efficiency, optimise the supply chain, and improve the customer experience in a way that is better for the environment.
This model fits the needs of businesses, including shipping and logistics, industrial automation, and office equipment. It also helps related companies grow their businesses in China and around the world.
The Mediterranean Shipping Company, or MSC, Rockwell Automation, and Epson Corp. all share a vision for digital transformation and improving operational efficiency, reliability, transparency, speed, security, and sustainability.
These companies have a strong presence in Shanghai and China because the city's business environment keeps getting better.
This month, Rockwell Automation will be at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The company continues to promote digitisation as a way to boost innovation and R&D. It actively brings advanced technologies from all over the world to China and helps with the country's digital transformation and the development of smart manufacturing.
Rockwell Automation has set up a Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centre in China. This centre offers consulting, top-level design, value stream sorting, implementation, and delivery. It helps companies seize opportunities and offers them easy-to-deploy intelligent manufacturing capabilities.
Through organisations like the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Rockwell Automation has shared with the world digital transformation practises that it and its Chinese partners came up with together.
Ian Shih, president of Rockwell Automation China, is impressed by Shanghai's improved business environment and booming business opportunities in China.
Rockwell Automation is "in the big wave" of industrial development and has been growing in the city for more than two decades.
"The Shanghai government made it easy for us to do business, which gave us more confidence and great opportunities," said Shih.
Rockwell Automation's entry into China dates back to 1988.
In 2009, the company moved to Caohejing Hi-tech Park, which has given it a full set of facilities and a solid place to grow. For example, Rockwell Automation's carbon-neutral solutions can cover 90% of China's high carbon emission industries, and Caohejing is the first national eco-industrial demonstration park to use "ice storage" technology.
The digital wave has put forward more requirements for transformation and further development in China. As a leader in industrial automation and digital transformation, Rockwell Automation will increase the layout of industrial automation, information technology, and digital transformation in fields like new-energy vehicles, life sciences, non-ferrous metals and coatings, and cosmetics. It helps China's manufacturing industry build a more complete industrial chain and secure its place in the global mid-to high-end value chain.
Rockwell Automation offers new technologies like the industrial Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and AR/VR. These technologies are based on the company's deep knowledge of the Chinese market. At the upcoming CIIE, it will officially launch Rockii Alliance, a future-oriented, industry-end-to-end intelligent operations and maintenance solution that will help Chinese businesses use digital and efficient ways to track carbon and manage energy.
Researchers at Accenture said nearly 60 per cent of Chinese firms will increase their investment in digitisation within one or two years, including 33 per cent of firms that are planning to increase investment by 15 per cent or more, as digitisation is required by all.
"At MSC, we strongly believe that digitisation is the way forward, enabling not only greater operational efficiencies, reliability, transparency, speed, security, and sustainability, but also greater collaboration and customer satisfaction," said Andre Simha, MSC's global chief digital and information officer.
In the shipping industry, in particular, carriers, agencies, ports, terminals, and customs are all part of the global and integrated supply chains, so any advancements must work at an industry level, not just within one organisation. So, the digital agenda should move forward as a whole industry, not just as a single company.
"We need to work together to move the digital agenda forward as an industry, and the most important thing is to make sure we all work toward the same goals and have interoperability across the industry," Simha said. Interoperability is the ability to use something across technology systems used by different parties in the supply chain. "And this largely depends on our capability to speak the same language collectively and use the same industry standards."
MSC thinks that more important documents will be digitised in the coming years, which will make it easier to share data. Cargo traceability from warehouses to destinations (end-to-end) is another key area. By leveraging digital innovation, customers can have more and more visibility and real-time information.
Epson, which offers home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle products, views green and digitised strategies as key. The company, with 10,695 employees in China, has digitised the majority of operational processes to improve efficiency sustainably. Epson wants to stop using resources like oil and metal that can only be found underground and run out by 2050.
Epson will showcase its latest innovations in printing, projection, AR and robots during the upcoming CIIE.
Despite rapidly growing technologies, firms still face bottlenecks in digital transformation.
Around 70% of digitally transformed businesses globally have yet to meet digital expectations. According to Rockwell Automation, which cited research from BCG, the shortfall is mostly caused by a disconnect between strategy and industry trends, a lack of agile management systems, a lack of consensus, talent or tracking systems, as well as technology and data platforms.
The company said enterprises should bet on diversified strategies in business, products, and services to boost transformation.