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Assembling a Smart Factory? Start With Your Boardroom

Smart factories are smart business. According to a 2019 joint study by Deloitte and the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), early adopters of smart-factory technology have seen average performance gains of 10%–12% within three years.

Manufacturers looking to transform their factories—and capture these gains—must commit to the long haul: Selecting and applying advanced technologies to existing processes, as well as refining the implementations, can take years. Although choosing the right set of use cases is key, even more important is choosing the right person to lead the smart-factory strategy.

Boardrooms led by chief technology officers (CTOs) and actively supported by other C-suite executives tend to have more mature smart-factory initiatives than boardrooms led by production or operations. The CTO-led “trailblazer” boardrooms also dedicate more of their overall factory budget to smart-factory initiatives, invest in more use cases, and realize twice the benefits over a three-year period. In the infographic below, learn more about how manufacturers can achieve their smart-factory goals.

smart factory infographic

About the Author

Missy Roback is a senior editor at Autodesk. She’s also a writer, musician, and mannequin enthusiast. Words and music (but no mannequins) can be found at

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