The first half of the year has brought many changes to how businesses operate. The manufacturing industry in particular has had to refine health and safety standards, develop or enable emergency preparedness plans, and temporarily shift operations to the pandemic-related response. As organizations look to implement additional changes and prepare for what’s ahead, many are looking at modernization, embracing Industry 4.0, and working advanced technologies into the business strategy.
What is Industry 4.0 and how did we get
Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, is driven by the industrial Internet of Things (IoT). Industry 4.0 defines the ways today’s manufacturers have adopted technology as a core component of their operational strategies. It goes beyond technology that automates manufacturing processes to increase efficiency, shattering old business models, and changing the way companies operate.
Manufacturers running on disconnected,
legacy systems have likely reached the limits of productivity and growth. As
the market explores new business models, companies with dated infrastructures
may find they are not equipped to take full advantage of new business models, and
as a result, have limited competitive advantage.
Opportunities for Transformation
Industry 4.0 brings organizations an
opportunity to explore new business models and modernize processes for supply
chain and product innovation. Companies running on legacy systems and outdated
business models are likely lacking visibility, without real-time data, leaving
the business more prone to errors and unable to make business decisions quickly
Along with process improvement, upgrading your technology stack allows manufacturing organizations to optimize how people and technology interact. This is increasingly important as younger, tech-savvy generations move into the workforce. These optimizations include improved talent acquisition processes, offering more specialized training, increased collaboration tools, mobile capabilities, and improved retention measures.
Equally important, companies taking advantage of Industry 4.0 technology are optimizing the customer experience. Historically, manufacturing has been known for a “take-it-or-leave-it” business model, but advances in technology allow customers to be part of the design process through the custom ordering and self-service portals, powered by real-time data.
Enabling Change Management
As manufacturing organizations looking to
implement digital transformation strategies to take advantage of Industry 4.0
technology, it is equally important to focus on the people side of change for transformation
success. Level set from the outset that organizations don’t actually change;
they change one person at a time.
There is always a dip in performance during
change. The more disruptive the change, the more dramatic the drop. When an
organization introduces new technology to automate processes, leadership is focused
on the business strategy, and improving efficiency and effectiveness. The
individuals impacted are typically focused on a number of outcomes including fear
of being replaced by technology, an inability to be able to perform the duties
required, or being forced to transition to new work they don’t know how to do.
Subsequently, their behavior becomes focused on self-preservation, which is
often viewed as anger, irrationality, or refusal to make the change.
Enter Organizational Change Management
(OCM). OCM focuses on managing the people side of change as diligently as the
solution design, helping impacted groups of employees to be ready, willing, and
able to make the shift and adopt the new way of working. A deliberate approach
to managing change is often in everyone’s best interest and ensures alignment
with strategic goals. Organizations looking to implement Industry 4.0
technology should look to make change management a non-negotiable in their
Industry 4.0 is changing manufacturing. As
manufacturers seek to build a sustainable factory of the future, there are many
exciting opportunities to enhance operations and transform. You want a partner
that can help you take advantage of advanced technologies and bring your
strategies to life.
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