The world has shifted to the age of Industry 4.0, and business leaders and executives are well aware that—these days—it’s necessary to adopt this new way of organizing the means of production in their company to stay in the race. This new approach combining the virtual world and objects from the real world makes it possible to significantly increase the productivity of organizations.
Optimize data management
New digital technologies and applications allow the companies that use them to collect and analyze data in order to automate processes, prevent problems, and anticipate needs.
- The answers to questions for the customer service department are automated.
- On production lines, problems are detected and corrected immediately or even before they occur. Business shutdowns are scheduled or even avoided.
- Customers are satisfied, become loyal, and increase their consumption, since analyzing the collected data helps anticipate their future expectations.
- Managers have more information and greater clarity to make strategic decisions.
Forward-looking organizations can therefore improve their performance while staying one step ahead of their competitors.
Combine volume and customized products
Today, customers no longer want mass-produced items and are turning to highly individualized items—a requirement that manufacturers must take into account while continuing to control production costs. They must therefore relax their production processes in order to respond to this new need for mass customization. At the same time, new systems also allow costs to be better controlled by improving resource management and reducing waste.
Rely on training
When we talk about changing the production system, we are also talking about transforming the business processes. Because while it’s necessary to equip the new systems to make them capable of adapting in case of unexpected changes in the market, both in terms of customer demands and new regulatory standards, the employees must also be prepared.
While companies can invest in every possible cutting-edge technology imaginable to stay competitive and increase their productivity, they also need the right workforce to successfully complete their shift to Industry 4.0. Since they are facing a talent shortage, they therefore have every interest in relying on current staff and emphasizing training and skills development.
Cybersecurity: a major challenge
Another essential point that should not be overlooked is the security of the systems implemented. When moving to Industry 4.0, many companies have neglected the risk of cyber-attacks. What makes this type of cybersecurity more complex is the expansion of the connected objects and the fact that they are quite often delocalized. Indeed, the security system implemented before was based on a security perimeter, whereas with connected objects, the ecosystem also extends to the partners, making the surfaces of attack larger.
By investing in a modernized system, making it more flexible, and developing the interpersonal and technical skills of its employees, a company gives itself the means to approach its shift to Industry 4.0 with peace of mind, which will allow it to significantly increase its productivity. But don’t forget that, before making these investment decisions, the director will need to establish a personalized and precise situational analysis of the company’s needs and problems.