Industry 4.0: Why should companies join?

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Why should companies join?

There is an imminent need to respond quickly to customer demands, this means that manufacturing organizations have to operate more flexibly, efficiently and therefore increasingly moving towards smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0.

How has this concept transformed the industry and what are the main benefits?

The adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies enables a series of improvements such as efficiency in the production chain, better use of resources, process automation and decision making in real time, generating increases in profitability and greater competitiveness.
One of the main benefits is the ability to capture and process large volumes of data that are generated in industrial processes (whether they are generated by machines or by the users themselves) through the incorporation of sensors (IoT), new connectivity technologies, developments of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (ML). These allow automating the collection and the analysis of production line data. This information achieves better production planning, simulation of new scenarios and, above all, adds value at the time of decision-making, generating advantages over competitors and a greater response to market demands.

What is the process to incorporate the different technological components?

This can be approached in different ways depending on the objectives. One approach is to rethink the business model and evaluate the production process, aligning it with strategic business objectives and a digital transformation plan integrated with other company projects which allows an integrated and holistic vision. Another alternative is to detect pain points and evaluate how new technologies help resolve or mitigate them.
The suggestion is to “choose a few use cases that address one or two main strategic objectives, and pursue a rapid and agile process to aggressively refine, deploy, and scale these technologies.” In other words, focus on the most strategically important opportunities with the goal of achieving real scale at an accelerated pace. You can start small with projects of limited scope and with a strong return on investment.

How should members of organizations prepare for this new reality?

The biggest challenges in the implementation of digital transformation and industry 4.0 strategies are not only in the adoption of technologies, but also in the cultural change that is required.
Clear leadership at different management levels is essential, as well as counting on appropriate assembled work teams to carry out the transformation plan. This will require developing new capabilities in the company and committing the personnel who will be an essential part of the change.
To accompany this process of change, it is necessary to review functions and adapt to new ways of working and collaboration between employees, with clients and suppliers.
It is important to work on the culture and structure of the organization so that the change is effective and sustainable over time.

How does digital transformation impact organizations and societies today?

It will surely imply a profound change in organizations, which must be carried out incrementally, ensuring that employees understand and incorporate these changes, while adopting digital technologies into their daily routine.
This entire process will leave organizations better prepared to react quickly to a changing and uncertain market, which requires flexibility and increasingly complex business strategies.
Consumers will also have to adapt to this change, either by incorporating new purchasing modalities or consumer experiences and other ways of relating to the environment. The concept of Smart Cities brings together a series of technological changes that will have a great impact on society, which will be increasingly connected and automated; achieving concrete benefits for society and industry.
On the other hand, new technologies will help reduce emissions, make energy more efficient, improve transportation and quality of life. The entire ecosystem where organizations develop will be impacted by this new reality.

What evolution will we see in companies thanks to its application?

The most concrete change will be seen in the ability to generate much faster responses to customer needs and improve flexibility, speed, productivity and quality of production processes. These technologies facilitate the adoption of new business models, production processes and other innovations.
In some cases, it can lead to profound transformations, leading them to completely or partially reconvert.

What changes are already being seen in business today due to the application of Industry 4.0?

We see many organizations already with digital transformation plans in execution and in some cases adopting new technologies, rationalizing or simplifying existing systems and implementing a series of technologies that allow greater integration, which will allow them to prepare for more advanced stages of Industry 4.0.
We also envision changes in the ways of working and in employees knowledge of new technologies.
In any case, it is a change that will take time and will be incremental, not only in the implementation but also in the cultural change that is required, where the organization will follow its roadmap that will take them to an ideal state of situation within Industry 4.0.

Emanuel Bucciarelli
CEO & Founder