Digital transformation in industrial manufacturing: Move fast, but have a plan

Doug Gates and Brian Heckler discuss why and how industrial manufacturing companies need to move fast, but with a strategic plan, to capture the business benefits of digital transformation.

Global Manufacturing Outlook Episode 1


Nearly 95% of the CEOs that participated in KPMG’s 2018 Global Manufacturing Outlook survey understand that digital transformation can deliver a wealth of competitive and growth opportunities to their industrial manufacturing businesses.

Yet, many are taking a wait and see approach to the technologies, their teams’ capabilities, and how digital transformation might impact their employees. Many others are diving in feet first with a technology approach, buying what they believe to be the best of everything, deploying it, and expecting to realize large business benefits.

The reality is that neither approach is optimal. In order to harness the enormous value that digital transformation has the potential to deliver, industrial manufacturing organizations must move fast, but with a clearly defined plan that balances long-term strategy and vision with short-term pressures.

In this podcast, Doug Gates and Brian Heckler, both executives from KPMG’s Industrial Manufacturing practice, sat down with to discuss:

  • How to go about developing an end goal-oriented digital transformation plan, including milestone-driven steps, change management, and strategic planning for critical new hires, particularly data scientists
  • How to showcase progress to Board members and shareholders, and why it can’t be a cost reduction play, but instead has to focus on generating greater customer satisfaction, satisfying evolving customer needs, and capturing more market share
  • The role industrial manufacturing company CEOs should play in leading digital transformation efforts. 
Doug Gates

Doug Gates

Global Sector Chairman, Industrial Mfg., KPMG US

Brian Heckler

Brian Heckler

National Sector Leader, Industrial Manufacturing, KPMG US